FORGETTABLE: Turnovers and dropped passes doom Trojans in 24-18 loss to the Jaguars on Saturday
Published 3:30 am Tuesday, October 6, 2015
The Troy Trojans had multiple opportunities Saturday, but dropped passes and turnovers doomed the Trojans in a 24-18 loss to the Jaguars in the inaugural “Battle of the Belt.”
In all the Trojans had six dropped passes and quarterback Brandon Silvers threw three interceptions during the game at inopportune times.
“(Brandon Silvers) struggled without question,” said Trojan head coach Neal Brown. “I think Brandon Silvers was off; I think that’s a fair assessment. Like anything else, it’s not always the quarterback’s fault. We had six drops in the game, two of them on third down. If you’re dropping the football and your quarterback’s a little off, you’re going to have a rough time.”
Silvers entered the game against South Alabama having yet to throw an interception during the previous three games. Coming off a bad loss a year ago to the Jaguars, the Gulf Shores native was hoping to have a better game against his team from Mobile.
“I wanted to play very well in this game and I didn’t do that at all and it’s a tough loss,” Silvers said. “This is a big game and your top performers are supposed to step up in a big game, and I didn’t do that.”
Silvers said the three interceptions stemmed from poor discipline and decision-making on his part.
“I had three interceptions, and I’ve got to take care of the ball better and just play disciplined,” Silvers said. “Coach Brown preaches that and I didn’t do that tonight at all.”
After the Jaguars took a 7-0 lead in the opening quarter, Troy was able to answer on their next drive. While attempting to punt the ball away the snap hit one of Jaguar up-backs and Troy scooped up the ball at the 11-yard line. Silvers later connected with Emmanuel Thompson for Troy’s first score. Troy elected to go for two-point conversion and was successful when Brand Burks ran the ball in giving the Trojans an 8-7 lead.
South Alabama scored the next two touchdowns giving them a 21-8 lead before the Andre Flakes and the Trojan offense responded. After an eight-play drive, Flakes took the Silvers handoff and raced out to a 20-yard touchdown run to cut the deficit to 21-12.
The Trojans made a key stop late in the first half. With the Jaguars driving deep into Trojan territory, Justin Lucas hauled in an interception off a deflection.
The Jaguars extended their lead to 24-15 entering the fourth quarter. Troy looked to have taken the lead when Silvers connected with Jarvis Bentley in the corner of the end zone. With fireworks going off and the fight song blaring, few people saw the flag lying on the turf. Troy was called for an illegal man down field, nullifying the Trojan touchdown.
“There’s been awareness on it since the Alabama/Ole Miss game,” Brown said. “Not sure that should affect us, but I think there’s been a nationwide look on it, but that was the call. Both teams run a lot of combination plays where they’re run plays with pass options. We got called on it and the touchdown got taken away, that’s all I can say.”
Kicker Jed Soloman nailed a 33-yard field goal to pull the Trojans to within 24-18.
The Trojan defense maid a huge stop in the fourth quarter and with 3:29 remaining in the game the Trojan offense took over on their own 17-yard line, eyeing the game winning score.
The Trojans made it all the way to near midfield before having to face a fourth down play that decided the Trojans fate. After a timeout by the Trojans, Burks took a Silvers handoff and came just short of the first down marker, sealing the win for the Jaguars.
With the loss the Trojans drop to 1-3 overall and 0-1 in the Sun Belt Conference.
“We had opportunities to win the game,”
Brown said. “They took advantage of their opportunities. We didn’t. How are we going to get better for it?
I think it always starts with me and trickles down.”
The Trojans will hit the road next Saturday and will face Mississippi State at 3 p.m. in Starkville.