OUTPLAYED: Offensive struggles and team mistakes cost Trojans in 31-21 loss to Georgia State in Atlanta
Published 3:30 am Saturday, November 28, 2015
Missed field goals and undisciplined play halted any comeback efforts as the Troy Trojans lost a disappointing Black Friday battle to Georgia State, 31-21.
Trojan senior kicker Jed Solomon missed two field goals including one from 27-yards out during the loss.
“There is not much to say about it,” said Trojans head coach Neal Brown. “We got outplayed and we got out coached. We dropped balls; we had 12 penalties. (I’m) not very excited about what we put on the field today.
The Trojan (2-5, 3-8) struggled to put consistent pressure on the Panthers’ defense, mustering only 146 total yards in the opening half.
“This week we had opportunities,” Brown said. “We had first and goal and we got called for holding.”
It was a questionable call. “(I’m) unsure about that. I am going to have to watch that on film to see what it looks like,” Brown said. “We just didn’t make plays offensively.”
The Panthers scored the game’s first touchdown when quarterback Nick Arbuckle completed a pass to Penny Hart, who scored with a 12-yard run.
The Trojans had difficulty stopping a passing attack that has averaged over 300 yards per game during the season. Arbuckle and the Panthers continued that trend, as the senior quarterback completed 29-41 passes for 368 yards and two touchdowns.
With the game heading into the second quarter, the Trojan defense held the Panthers to a three-and-out, forcing them to punt out of the end zone. The Trojans were able to get a little bit of pressure on the Panther punter forcing the rugby style punter to rush his kick. The ball clanked off a Panther lineman giving Troy the ball on the Panther 10-yard line. The Trojans were unable to take advantage, going three-and-out Solomon lined up for his second attempt of the game. The senior kicked hooked the ball right missing from just 27-yards away.
The Panthers fumbled on the next drive, giving Troy quarterback Brandon Silvers the chance to connect with senior wide receiver Teddy Ruben on a 58-yard completion. The touchdown put the Trojans on the board and evened the score at seven.
The Panthers answered on their next possession. Glenn Smith took an Arbuckle handoff and scampered 39 yards into the end zone. Georgia State followed with a 30-yard field goal by kicker Wil Lutz to give the Panthers a 10-point lead going into the half.
In the second half, the Panthers picked up right where they left off. They began with a two- play drive that ended with a Robert Davis touchdown catch from 46-yards out. The Panthers seemed to put the final nail in the coffin when they went up 31-14 on a one-yard quarterback sneak by Arbuckle.
In the final minuets of the third quarter the Trojans had their most impressive drive of the game. The nine-play, 75-yard push ended with a Brandon Burks touchdown to pull Troy within 17 points.
The Trojans held the Panther offense to a three-and-out, giving the offense another chance. Silvers led a seven-play drive to connect with Jarvis Bentley on a 17-yard touchdown pass.
With 5:39 remaining, the Trojans recovered the on-sides kick before an illegal block forced them to try again. The second attempt failed, and the Panthers were able to grab the football ending any Trojan comeback.
Silvers finished the game completing 20-45 of his passes for 284 yards and one touchdown. Burks led the Trojans in rushing yards with 54 yards on 16 carries. Ruben led the team in receiving with 91 yards.
During the game two Troy players, Clark Quisenberry and Brian Holmes were ejected. Holmes’ ejection was a team decision.
The Trojans will close out the regular season next Saturday when they make the trip to Lafayette to take on the Ragin Cajuns. Kickoff is scheduled for 4 p.m.