Bowl eligible: Troy knocks out South Alabama to remain undefeated in conference play
Published 3:00 am Friday, October 21, 2016
Jordan Chunn gave the Trojans the lead with under 90 seconds to play and Troy edged in-state rival South Alabama 28-21 to win the Battle of the Belt.
The win makes Troy (6-1, 5-0) bowl eligible and came despite several crucial turnovers by the Trojans.
“It was a big win. I thought this was a good college football game. It was a great atmosphere. South played well and I thought we played well. This game meant something. It’s a rivalry game and It meant something because it got us to six wins. We haven’t been bowl eligible here in a while,” coach Neal Brown told reporters after the game.
Troy started fast with an apparent 79-yard touchdown on the first play from scrimmage, but the play was called back after a replay showed Chunn stepped out of bounds near midfield. Troy turned over the ball on the next play, and the Jaguars drove for an early lead, thanks to a 1-yard touchdown run by Xavier.
A bad snap to punter Ryan Kay late in the first quarter gave the Jaguars the ball inside the 10-yard line. The Jaguars once again turned the turnover into seven points when Johnson scored his second touchdown from five yards away with 3:36 remaining.
The Trojans closed out the first quarter on an 80-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Brandon Silvers to Tevaris McCormick to bring the score to 14-7.
After the Trojans held the Jaguars to a three and out, Chunn took a second down and handoff and ran for 37 yards and moved the ball into Jaguars territory. The drive ended when Kay converted on a season high 47-yard field goal to bring the score to 14-10.
South Alabama reclaimed the lead before the half when NFL prospect Jordan Everett hauled in a 21-yard touchdown pass, giving South Alabama the 21-10 lead.
Troy claimed the lead early in the fourth quarter when Chunn rambled his way into the end zone from two yards away. Chunn had two runs in the drive that totaled 47 yards. The Trojans went for two and tied the game when Silvers caught a John Johnson pass and dove into the end zone.
The defense held the Jaguars to a three and out. The Trojans got the ball on their own 20-yard line and drove 80 yards on five plays. McCormick and Sydney Davis hauled in big receptions of 24 and 42 yards during the drive.
A one-yard run by Chunn gave Troy a 28-21 lead with 1:20 remaining.
Silvers finished the game 28-42 for a career high 395 yards and one touchdown. Chunn after fumbling on the opening possession finished with 143 and two touchdowns on the night. The Trojans on the night finished with 585 yards.
“We knew we moving the ball,” Brown said. “I thought they had a good plan for us in the first half. They kept us off balanced…in the second half we changed our running game and got away from our base run. Our assistants, a lot of credit to them we ran some more outside zones and some gap plays and got them off balanced a little bit.
The Trojans will be back in action on November 5 when they host UMASS at 6:30 p.m.