KEY ROAD WIN: Brandon Silvers connects with five touchdown passes, Troy routes New Mexico State 52-7
Published 3:30 am Tuesday, October 27, 2015
Brandon Silvers connected on five first half touchdowns as the Troy Trojans rolled to an easy 52-7 win over the New Mexico State Aggies on Saturday.
The Trojans (2-5, 1-2 in the Sun Belt) had struggled in conference play heading into the game. The win for the Trojans not only gave them their first conference win but their first road win as well.
“Good team win; we needed it,” said Trojan head coach Neal Brown. “I’m proud of our guys. We overcame some adversity. We didn’t get in to El Paso until right around midnight on Friday night. They handled that well.”
In the first two conference games this season the Trojans lost by a combined nine points.
“We have been close in a couple of conference games and didn’t get it done,” Brown said. “So to get off to the type of start we had on Saturday night was definitely a positive and something we look forward to doing.”
Silvers, who has missed the previous game and half after exiting in the second quarter against Mississippi State with a concussion and a high ankle sprain, was a major shot in the arm to an offense that had really struggled.
“It was good to get him back,” Brown said. “We are a different team offensively when he plays. He came out and threw with confidence and got the ball out of his hand quickly. He was decisive.”
Silvers’ five touchdown passes tied the mark for most touchdown passes in a game since 1993 when Kelvin Simmons through for five scores against Alcorn State. It was also the fourth most in Sun-Belt Conference history.
“We had a really good offensive game plan this week,” Silvers said. “It was really good practice this week I don’t think we had a bad practice. We were mentally sharp. As an offense we were really sharp about it. Teddy had some great runs after the catch. Jarvis made some plays on the ball and scored a touchdown and KD caught the ball on the goal line. It was a great week offensively.”
The Trojans finished with 482 yards of total offense surpassing their season high of 374 in week two against Charleston Southern.
“By far the best game we’ve played this year,” Brown said. “Hopefully those performances become the norm.”
The defense also made strides, holding the struggling Aggie offense to just seven points and 392 yards.
“I think this is a testament as to how far we’ve come,” Brown said. “We haven’t played as well, but we gave up seven points this week and only gave up 16 the week before. I think a lot of that shows how much improvement we’ve made.”
They also forced had two fumble recoveries, one of which was scooped up by Rashad Dillard who returned it 33-yards to close out the scoring for the Trojans.
“He scored his first touchdown ever – like peewee, high school, ever,” Brown said. “That’s what he told me after the game. He did a good job holding his gap in the run game. He got a couple pressures on the quarterback and had a huge fumble recovery for a touchdown in the second half.”
The Trojans jumped out to an early 7-0 lead when Silvers connected with K.D Edenfield on a pass from four-yards out just 2:41 seconds into the game. Brandon Burks, who has made a habit of breaking out big runs so far this season, broke out again. With Troy pinned near their own three yard line. Burks spun out and took the handoff 93-yards for a touchdown. It tied the record for the longest run in team history, which was set back in 1964.
The Trojans closed out the first quarter with their third touchdown of the game when Silvers found Teddy Ruben on a 37-yard touchdown pass.
As if the first quarter lead wasn’t comfortable enough, the Trojans exploded in the second quarter by scoring 24 more points.
Jarvis Bentley hauled in a 13-yard pass for a touchdown followed by Brian Holmes’ second touchdown of the year from 14-yards out. The final touchdown of the half went to Ruben, this time on a pass play of 54 yards to put the Trojans up 42-7.
Kicker Jed Solomon closed out the scoring in the second half with a 44-yard field goal to put the Trojans up 45-7.
Burks ran for another 100-yard game when he finished with 138 yards. Ruben was the man lined up outside for the Trojans on Saturday. The senior finished with three catches for 109 yards and two touchdowns. Emmanuel Thompson also had a big game finishing with 73 yards receiving.
During the game the Trojans had 10 different receivers get their hands on the ball.
“We played several guys, which is good for camaraderie and team chemistry,” Brown said. “We were still able to get the ball to some of our top guys.
We got Teddy in space. It was really good to see Emmanuel and Jarvis Bentley, KD and those guys to be able to get in the game.”
The Trojans look to carry over their momentum next Saturday when they hit the
road for a second consecutive week and travel to take on Appalachian State.