Troy tallies over 700 yards in rout of Austin Peay
Published 8:49 am Tuesday, September 6, 2016
With a weekend matchup against the No. 2 ranked Clemson Tigers looming, the Troy Trojans are taking time to enjoy being 1-0.
“We are 1-0 and glad to do it,” said Troy head coach Neal Brown. “Wins are hard to come by. I think it’s important that we celebrate it and enjoy it.”
The offense racked up 706 yards of offense in their season-opening 57-17 win over Austin Peay, the most of any Troy team since 2012.
“The stats were really impressive,” Brown said. “We ran the ball really well. Several different running backs ran really well. (We had) zero turnovers which is always the most important.”
And, they did it in explosive fashion. Four of the touchdowns came on plays of over 40 yards.
Jordan Chunn led the running game, with 161 yards and one touchdown.
Chunn’s touchdown came on the first play from scrimmage when he took a Brandon Silvers handoff and raced for a 48-yard touchdown.
The defense, projected to be among the best in the Sun Belt Conference, gave up only 254 yards, with 161 yards coming through the air.
“We stopped the run,” Brown said. “They were under three yards a carry. We limited them in explosive plays. In the second half, we played good defense. We played the same way we should have played the whole game.”
That said, Austin Peay managed to score 13 unanswered points in the second quarter.
“We only had one takeaway,” Brown said. “I didn’t think we were good enough on first down. Our eyes were all over the place instead of reading our keys. Some of that is first game jitters and some of that was because we didn’t know what to expect.”
Players of the week included senior Junior Gnonkonde took home the defensive player of the week with six tackles and one quarterback hurry, and Ismail Saleem on offense, finishing with four catches for 106 yards and one touchdown.
Josh Marshall won the award on special teams. The Corey McCullers Spirit Award was given to A.J. Smiley while KE’Marvin Pitts was given the Nathan Harris Service Award.
Now the Trojans turn their sites on a second ranked Tiger team that is fresh off a win over Auburn on Saturday.
“It is a big step up in competition,” Brown said. “Coach Swinney and his staff has done a great job in recruiting and when you look at them across the board, they are big, strong and fast.
“We are looking forward to getting to Death Valley. It’s a great challenge or opportunity, however you want to look at it. It’s one of the best atmospheres in college football. It should be fun.”
Kick off between the Trojans and the Tigers is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Saturday.