Teddy Ruben rolls, Trojans get first victory

Published 11:17 am Sunday, September 13, 2015

Teddy Ruben scored three touchdowns in Troy's 44-16 win over Charleston Southern Photo/Joey Meredith

Teddy Ruben scored three touchdowns in Troy’s 44-16 win over Charleston Southern on Saturday night
Photo/Joey Meredith

An explosive performance by senior wide receiver Teddy Ruben helped propel the Trojans to a 44-16 win over Charleston Southern on Saturday.

Ruben scored three touchdowns, including a 64-yard punt return, providing big plays in a big night for the Trojans.

“We continued to hit some big plays,” said first year head coach Neal Brown. “We have to do a better job at sustaining drives, but like I told the guys: 365 days for 12 opportunities. Two of those are down. We are 1-1 we are going to celebrate tonight.”

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Troy got the scoring started quickly in the their opening drive. Brandon Silvers connected with Jarvis Bentley on a 22-yard completion down to the Charleston Southern 47-yard line.

On the next play Ruben corralled a 47-yard pass from Silvers for his first TD, putting Troy up 7-0.

The Trojan defense held Charleston Southern to a three-and-out on the Buccaneers’ first drive of the game, regaining possession on the Buccaneers 36-yard line. Silvers got the drive started with another completion down field. This time it was to Deondre Douglas for 24-yards out, setting up Troy’s second touchdown of the night – another Silvers-to-Ruben pass.

“It’s been kind of feast or famine for us,” Brown said, referring to the quick scores followed by nearly two quarters of unproductive offense. “It’s something that we are going to have to address. We really focus on making big plays and we have done that. We have made big plays. The negative thing is we have done a poor job at sustaining drives.”

The Buccaneers got on the board late in the opening quarter when a roughing the punter penalty gave CSU new life. The Buccaneers took advantage and drove the length of the field before scoring on a three-yard pass from Kyle Copeland to Darius Hammond to cut Troy’s deficit to 14-7.

Silvers had a knack for making big completions in the first half. Early in the second quarter he connected with John Johnson on a 40-yard completion down to the Buccaneers 1-yard line. Brandon Burks scored his seventh career touchdown on the next drive to give Troy a 21-7 lead.

After a first quarter that saw them put up a total of 111 yards, Troy managed only 70 yards in the second quarter.

CSU was able to cut into Troy’s lead when Troy was pushed back to their own goal line. Silvers was able to escape the initial pressure but was brought down in the end zone for a safety.

Troy started the third quarter by holding a fourth down attempt for CSU in Troy territory. Troy took advantage of the turnover on downs when Burks leaped over a defender for his second TD of the night, pushing Troy’s lead out to 27-9. The touchdown was set up by a 23-yard completion to Ruben and a 14-yard run by Andre Flakes. It is the first time in Burks career he has rushed for two touchdowns in a single game.

Early in the fourth quarter Troy officially put the game out of reach when Ruben returned a punt from 64-yards out. It was Troy’s first punt return for a touchdown since Jerrell Jernigan in 2010.

It was the third touchdown of the game for the Ruben, who said had a feeling coming into the game that he was due for a breakout performance. “I felt like it was going o come eventually. I didn’t have many opportunities last year but this year coach brown and the staff has given me all the opportunities to make plays,” he said.

Ruben said the punt return was the second of his career. “It was probably the best that I have had,” Ruben said. “Our punt return team did their job and it really opened up the field for me and that’s all I can ask for.

Troy closed out the scoring in the fourth quarter when Flakes rushed up the middle for a 47-yard touchdown run.

The Buccaneers were able to score a late touchdown but it wasn’t nearly enough.

Flakes led the Trojans in rushing with 68 yards while scoring a touchdown. Burks finished with 50 yards and two touchdowns.

Ruben led the Trojans in receiving with 89 yards on six receptions.

Silvers finished the game completing 19-28 passes for 249 yards and two touchdowns.