SPECIAL PLAYS: Trojans receive a big night from Teddy Ruben and roll to a 44-16 win over the Buccaneers
Published 3:00 am Tuesday, September 15, 2015
Troy used senior wide receiver Teddy Ruben’s three-touchdown performance and their defense to defeat the Charleston Southern Buccaneers 44-16 on Saturday, giving first year head coach Neal Brown his first career.
“It’s great to get win number one under my belt and under our belt,” Brown said.
The win gives Troy a 1-1 overall and 1-0 at home. “I thought it was a quality win against a good FCS opponent. I was worried about them coming into the game,” Brown said. “They’re unique in what they did on both sides. They run the triple option offensively, a lot of different motions and some unique motions. Defensively it was a system that you don’t see a whole lot in a 3-3 stack.”
Both the Trojans and Buccaneers finished with 374 total yards of offense, but it was the Trojan offense’s ability to hit the big play that separated the two teams.
“We got off to a quick start, which really enabled us to get off and hold that lead. We started 14-0, which any time you are playing a triple option team, I think that’s important because they want to run the ball first and they have less of a passing attack. We made them throw the ball a little more than they wanted to,” Brown said.
The source of the two big plays for the Trojans in the early stages of the game was Ruben, whose first hauled in a touchdown catch from 47-yards out. Ruben streaked down the sideline and nearly stepped out of bounds before reaching the goal line. The play was reviewed but it was eventually confirmed to give the Trojans the early lead.
“I actually didn’t know it was that close. I was hoping they weren’t going to call it back,” Ruben said. “I was about to say I don’t think I stepped out, but I didn’t realize how close I was when I first saw it.”
Ruben carried over his momentum in the next drive, scoring from six yards out to extend Troy’s lead to 14-0.
Troy’s defense played well the majority of the night, allowing 263 rushing yards against the triple-option attack.
“We’ve got to be better on first down,” Brown said. “We allowed too many yards running the ball, especially on first down. We’ve got to get off third and fourth down. We were improved from a week ago but we still have to do better, especially in some of those medium situations.”
The only scoring for the Buccaneers in the first half came on a 3-yard touchdown pass from Kyle Copeland to Darious Hammond and on a safety after Troy quarterback Brandon Silvers was sacked in the end zone.
“We limited their big play. They only had three explosive plays,” Brown said. “They were less than four yards per carry until we heavy subbed late in the fourth quarter, which was a point of emphasis. I thought we pressured their quarterback all night. I don’t think he ever felt comfortable in the game.”
After halftime Troy was able to get some big runs by both Andre Flakes and Brandon Burks. Both runners picked up touchdown runs in the second half to put the game out of reach.
Perhaps the most of exciting play of the game happened on special teams. With the Trojans up early in the fourth quarter, Ruben returned a punt from 64-yards out for his third touchdown of the game.
Ruben after the game Saturday was named the Sun Belt Special Teams Student athlete Player of the Week.
Brown also named Ruben the offensive player of the week. The senior receiver had six receptions for 89 yards.
William Lloyd was named defensive player of the week with five tackles, one sack and one and a half, half tackles.
The special teams player of the week honor went to Robert Johnson who played on three different units Saturday night.
As for Brown, he plans on keeping the game ball of his first ever win as head coach in his office until it makes its way home.
The Trojans will be back in action Saturday when they hit the road to Madison, Wisconsin, to take on the Badgers. Kick off is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.