Troy receivers thriving

Published 3:00 am Friday, November 13, 2015

Big receptions and even bigger plays have helped the Troy Trojan sparked the Troy Trojan offense in recent weeks.

The Trojans have averaged 48 points per game in the last three days, due in large part to the efforts of the receiving corps and quarterback Brandon Silvers.

“I say it all the time, Coach Brown talks about stacking up meetings, practice, all that,” Silvers said. “We’ve been working hard lately and getting this offense where it needs to be. The last three games, it’s been pretty good.”

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Last week the Trojans had eight players catch the ball including running back Brandon Burks.

One of the players slowly starting to heads is sophomore receiver Emmanuel Thompson who has hauled in a total of nine passes for 81 yards and two touchdowns in the last two games.

“Emmanuel is making those types of plays,” said Trojan head coach Neal Brown. “His negative plays are decreasing every game. He is starting to figure out who he is, what his strengths are, what his weaknesses are. He is a student of the game, and I am excited about his progress especially because he is only a sophomore.”

Thompson believes it’s his confidence on the field that has contributed to the amount of success he has had.

“As a receiver, the most important thing you could have is the quarterback’s confidence,” Thompson said. “If he feels like ‘I need a big play I can come to you,’ and you capitalize, that’s like a big plus, so I work on that hard at practice. As a receiver, any athlete really, you want the ball. I think it really plays a part in practice. You practice it, and then game time, it’s just repetitious.”

The leader in the clubhouse is still senior Teddy Ruben, who was named the Sun Belt Conference Special Teams player of the week early in the season. He has a total of 47 catches for 606 yards and six touchdowns.

“Teddy is our go to guy,” Brown said. “(Even though) Teddy didn’t play as well as he has been (in the last game), he is still our number one option. He is our leading receiver, and he has been our most consistent guy.”

Another receiver is Troy native John Johnson, who may not have the numbers of the receivers but has made some big plays to help out the offense.

Last week on the first play from scrimmage, Silvers connected with Johnson on a deep pass in which the young receiver had to lay out and make a diving catch. It’s plays like that have the coaching staff taking notice.

“We said all along we thought John had a lot of skill,” said Troy offensive coordinator Kenny Edenfield. “Both of those guys knew we were going to throw that play the first play of the game, so they had been working it all week. He made a heck of a play, really got us jump-started right there off the ball.”

The Trojans hope the points will keep coming Saturday afternoon when they host Georgia Southern at 2:30 p.m.