Trojans get first conference win

Published 8:41 pm Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Troy Trojans picked up their conference win of the season on Friday night against New Mexico State.

The Troy Trojans picked up their conference win of the season on Friday night against New Mexico State.

The Trojans forced five turnovers as they beat New Mexico State 52-6 and claimed their first Sun Belt Conference win of the season.

“Much appreciation to our fan base,” said Trojans head coach Neal Brown. “I was worried about this game. I really feel like they have one of the best offenses in the league if not the best.”

The Trojans were out-gained Saturday night 539 to 492, but Troy’s five interceptions and two special team turnovers made the difference.

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“We took the ball away from them five times, and we didn’t turn the ball over,” Brown said. “That was the difference in the game.”

Led by Jabir Frye, the Trojans scored two special teams touchdowns, one of which was a blocked punt by Frye returned for a touchdown by Demetrious Cain.

“Special teams are our edge right now,” Brown said. “We a had a kick off return by Jabir Frye, and then he blocks a punt that turned into a touchdown. Huge night on special teams.”

All five Aggie turnovers came on interceptions, two of which came from Blace Brown.

“It was huge,” Brown said. “This was the first time he has played defensive back. He gets two huge picks. Several guys made big plays. We have been opportunistic. I don’t think the ball just bounces in your direction you make opportunities. We played hard and with good effort all year.

The Trojans took their opening drive of the game 69 yards on nine plays and jumped out to a 7-0.

The Trojans had only 92 first quarter yards compared to 148 by the Aggies.

The Trojans increased their lead to 14-0 when Emmanuel Thompson hauled in a six-yard touchdown pass with 8:27 left in the second quarter.

The Trojans special teams unit joined in on the act in the second quarter. After the Trojan defense held the Aggies deep in their own territory, Frye blocked the Aggie punt and Cain scooped it up and scored from 15 yards out to increase the Trojans lead to 21-0.

The Trojans embarked on their longest drive of the year to go up 28-0 late in the second quarter. The drive lasted 10 plays and traveled 91 yards. Quarterback Brandon Silvers connected with Sidney Davis on a 17-yard pass. It was Davis’ first touchdown of his career.

The Aggies threatened to score in the final minute of the half, but Blace Brown picked off a Rodgers pass and Troy took over near midfield.

Frye returned the second half kickoff 100-yards for a touchdown to increase Troy’s lead to 38-0.

It was the first time in Troy’s FBS history a kickoff has been returned for a touchdown to begin either a game or a half.

After Justin Lucas picked off an Aggies pass, Jordan Chunn scored from five yards out to give Troy a 45-0 lead.

The touchdown for Chunn ties him for fifth place in Troy history with 24 touchdowns.

The shutout came to an end in the final minute of the third quarter when Aggies quarterback Tyler Rogers completed a pass to Izaiah Lottie and the game entered the fourth quarter with the Trojans leading 45-6.

The Trojans got the touchdown back when Davis ran it from the eight-yard line. The touchdown gave the Trojans their fourth 50-point game in Neal Brown’s 16 games as head coach. In their previous 66 gams the Trojans had just one.

Silvers finished the game 23-32 for 246 yards and two touchdowns. Emmanuel Thompson had eight receptions for 77 yards. Chunn led the Trojans in rushing with 64 yards.

With the win the Trojans improve to 3-1 on the season and 1-0 in conference play.

The Trojans will be back in action next Saturday when they travel to take on Idaho.