Trojans not looking back, turn attention to Duke

Published 5:54 pm Monday, September 23, 2013

By Danielle Percival

The Troy Trojans experience one of their worst losses in recent memory Saturday night as Mississippi State crushed the Trojans 62-7 in Starkville.

The Trojans (2-2) gave up 10 points off turnovers in the first quarter and a costly fake punt put seven more on the board for the Bulldogs as it quickly spiraled out of hand.

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“It was one of those nights where we couldn’t get anything done,” head coach Larry Blakeney said.

On a fourth-and-four early in the second quarter, kicker Will Scott opted to tuck it and run but was only able to gain two yards on the play.

That resulted in a turnover on downs and the Bulldogs capitalized on the first play of the drive as quarterback Dak Prescott kept it and rushed for a 22-yard touchdown to put Mississippi State up 24-7.

“If it’s fourth-and-four or less and we have the rugby punt called, he has the green light if it’s there,” special teams coordinator Shayne Wasden said. “We missed a block. If we had gotten him, he would have made it. I didn’t fault him for that decision.”

The Trojans powerful offense was no match for the Bulldogs defense as Mississippi State (2-2) held Troy to only 186 yards in the game.

“We knew it would be tough to match up against them and we certainly struggled with that today,” Blakeney said.

The Bulldogs totaled 551 yards in the game and scored on their first eight drives of the game before a missed field goal ended their perfection.

“We weren’t really clicking and they got the best of us,” linebacker Mark Wilson said. “We’ve just got to go back and correct our mistakes and try to get better.”

Troy was able to put together a solid drive in the first quarter that led to a 5-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Corey Robinson to Eric Thomas for Troy’s only score.

Thomas now has six touchdown receptions this season and sits at 23 in his career, which is one behind the current Sun Belt Conference record held by T.Y. Hilton.

The star of the show was Bulldog’s quarterback Dak Prescott who accounted for four touchdowns in the game.

Prescott ran for two touchdowns, threw for one and caught another on a play where he lateraled to Trey Page who then tossed it downfield to an open Prescott who carried it 36 yards for the score.

“We’re better than this,” linebacker Mark Wilson said. “It’s a part of football but it’s a heartbreaking loss.”

The Trojans had seven penalties for 80 yards against the Bulldogs and were flagged for four personal fouls in the game.

“I have talked to the whole group about composure and you’re being selfish,” Blakeney said. “It’s called a team violation when you do that.”

Another issue for the Trojans was missed tackles as the Trojans had 17 in the game.

The 62 points the Trojans surrendered is the most they have given up since a 69-24 loss at South Carolina in November of 2010.

“It’s just tough taking a loss like that,” Robinson said. “Doesn’t matter who it’s to.”

The Trojans have now dropped two in a row and will be on the road again next weekend in Durham, North Carolina battling Duke.

“The only way to get over it is to go back to work and win a game,” Blakeney said.