Trojans face tough task against Georgia Southern
Published 3:00 am Saturday, November 14, 2015
The Troy Trojans look to end the season with a win as they Georgia Southern at Veterans Memorial Stadium today.
A month ago, Troy (2-3, 3-6) was coming off a devastating 19-16 loss at the hands of the Idaho Vandals, extending Troy’s losing streak to four games and dropping their conference record to 0-2 to start the season.
Since Solomon’s kick clanked off the right upright to dash their hopes in that game, the Trojans and their offense has kicked it into gear.
They nearly took then conference-leading Appalachian State to triple overtime, then demolished New Mexico State 52-7 and Louisiana-Monroe 51-14.
This week the challenge gets a little steeper when the 4-1, 6-2 Eagles pay a visit to Troy.
“They’ve only lost one Sun Belt game in two years, so they’ve been dominant in league games,” said head coach Neal Brown. “They’ll be well-rested. They haven’t played since October 29, and this is going to be third game in conference we’ve played that the opponent will have extra days rest.”
The Eagles lone Sun Belt loss over the last year and half came two weeks ago when they lost to Appalachian State.
The Eagles will sport a triple-option offense that the Trojans have experience in defending this season.
“They are an option-oriented team, but they’re not a Georgia Tech style option. They’re a gun-based option team,” Brown said. “They spread you out and use a lot of motions, a lot of different formations, unbalanced formations and they try to get you into one-on-one tackling situations. They’ve got some guys that can make you miss.”
The Eagles sport the nation’s top rushing attack at 385 yards per game. Overall their offense ranks in the top 25 in scoring.
Quarterback Kevin Ellison comes into the game averaging seven yards a carry.
“Their quarterback Kevin Ellison can really run,” Brown said. “He does a very capable job of throwing it as well, but he can run and he makes you miss. The quarterback Ellison has 7.5 yards per carry and the running back has 9.5 yards per carry … If our guys ran like that we’d be running it every time.”
Trojan defensive coordinator Vic Koenning sees some similarities between the two offenses. In the end Troy will have to stay disciplined if they hope to contain the strong rushing attack.
“It goes back to what a spread offense can do,” Koenning said. “It causes matchups and one-on-one matchups. If you’re better than them, then you can stop it. If they’re better than you, you can’t. You can’t really scheme it because you can’t get more than what they have.”
Troy’s offense has been the catalyst for their recent success and time of possession will be critical.
“When you play these types of games, you understand that your possessions are going to be limited,” Brown said. “I think third downs become crucial and the first plays of your drives are crucial.”
Kick off is 2:30 p.m. today.