Troy hopes offense stays hot against Mountaineers
Published 3:00 am Friday, October 30, 2015
The Troy Trojans are counting on momentum for last week’s win as they travel to Boone, North Carolina, to take on the first place Appalachian State Mountaineers.
The Trojans (1-2, 2-5) picked up their first conference win of the season a week ago against New Mexico State. This week’s match up offers up a taller task.
“Just playing well gives you some confidence,” said Trojan head coach Neal Brown. “I wasn’t surprised that we played well on the road. If you look at it, even the games we’ve lost, we’ve played pretty decent on the road.”
It’s not just going on the road that has been a challenge for the Trojans; it’s the locations. “The league didn’t do us any scheduling favors,” Brown said. “We go from the furthest west to the furthest east and there’s really no easy way to get to Boone. I think they handled the trip down here pretty well last year, so I don’t think it will be that big of an issue.”
What may be an issue for the Trojans is the fact the Mountaineers are playing the best football within the Sun Belt conference.
The Mountaineers (3-0, 6-1) enter the game near or atop of the conference in offensive numbers. They average 38 points per game while putting up nearly 500 yards of offense.
They are led by sophomore quarterback Taylor Lamb who has thrown for more than 1,300 yards and 17 touchdowns this season.
“They are one of the hottest teams in the country,” Brown said. “I think they are 12-1 over their last 13 games. When you start talking about them it starts at the quarterback, Taylor Lamb. He is a coach’s son, with two years starting. He makes a lot of good decisions, and doesn’t turn the ball over much. He is a threat to run.”
Troy’s offense found its ground in New Mexico when Brandon Silvers returned to the quarterback spot after being sidelined with an injury. Silvers threw five touchdown passes and tallied 288 passing yards.
“It’s a challenge week in and week out,” Brown said. “I’m proud that we’re getting better, but this is going to be our toughest match up in conference for sure. I knew we were going to play better, Brandon practiced all week and we play at a little higher level when he plays. We caught the ball better; we knew we were going to focus on throwing the football more this week, so I felt like we had an identity and starting to figure out who we are.”
Even though the Mountaineers pose a challenge, if the Trojans are able to get a win it could be program-defining week.
“That’s something I talked to our team about,” Brown said. “Whether we’re at the same point. That happened the mid-way point of year two for them. I don’t know if we’re ready yet, I hope we are, but that’s something that’s to be determined.”
The Trojans and Mountaineers will kick off at 2:30 p.m. in Boone. The game will be televised on ESPN3.