Troy falls to Tennessee in offensive slugfest

Published 4:13 pm Saturday, November 3, 2012

Knoxville, Tenn. – The football programs at Troy and Tennessee are having similar difficulties, big offense, but very little defense. The contest between the two teams at Neyland Stadium on Saturday was no different. Tennessee defeated Troy 55-48 in a game where the offenses racked up 1,439 combined yards.

Troy out-gained Tennessee 721-718. The output marked the most yards allowed all-time by both team’s defenses.

“I know everybody’s frustrated, I’m frustrated too.” Troy head coach Larry Blakeney said. “It’s a tough day for us to get that close to an SEC team.”

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Troy (4-5, 3-3 Sun Belt) took a 48-41 lead with 3:14 left in the game when Eric Thomas made a one-handed highlight reel reception and raced 67 yards to the end zone.

Tennessee (4-5, 0-5 SEC) scored twice in the final 2:54 to take the lead for good. The game-winning score came with 1:25 remaining on 9-yard run from Marlin Lane.

The loss for Troy comes a week after the defense allowed 421 yards to Florida Atlantic, who entered that game with the league’s worst offense in a 34-27 loss.

“We’ve got to address some of our woes (defensively) probably in recruiting,” Blakeney said. “We’ve got to recruit guys who can play over there.”

Tennessee came in ranked 21st in pass offense. Volunteer’s wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson caught nine passes for 219 yards. Justin Hunter also had nine catches for 181 yards and three touchdowns. Quarterback Tyler Bray finished with 530 yards passing with five touchdowns.

Troy signal-caller Corey Robinson was 30-for-46 passing for 393 yards with one touchdown. Eric Thomas hauled in six passes for 147 yards and two touchdowns while Chip Reeves had five catches for 144 yards and one score.

Troy hosts Navy next week at Veterans Memorial Stadium.