Troy Takes on Mountaineers with first place on the line

Published 3:00 am Saturday, November 12, 2016

submitted photo/Jonah Enfinger The Troy Trojans take on the Appalachian State Mountaineers this afternoon at Veterans Memorial Stadium.

submitted photo/Jonah Enfinger
The Troy Trojans take on the Appalachian State Mountaineers this afternoon at Veterans Memorial Stadium.

First place in the Sun Belt Conference will be on the line today when the Appalachian State Mountaineers come to Veterans Memorial Stadium to take on the Troy University Trojans.

The Trojans (7-1, 4-0) get back into conference play this week after defeating UMASS 52-31 last week. The Mountaineers currently hold a share of first place with the Trojans with a conference record of 5-0 and an overall record of 7-2.

“It is going to be a big conference game this weekend celebrating Veteran’s Day,” said Troy head coach Neal Brown. “We have a lot of respect for Coach Scott Satterfield, staff, their program and what they have done since they made the move to 1-A.”

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The Trojans offense comes into Saturday’s game averaging 535 yards in the last two games. At the center of the offense is quarterback Brandon Silvers and running back Jordan Chunn. Silvers has thrown for a total of 644 with four touchdowns and Chunn has a total of 277 all-purpose yards.

“We have been extremely balanced. They all feed off each other,” Silvers said. “Brandon (Silvers) is obviously feeding off the success that Jordan (Chunn) is having because people are having to play one safety and get another guy inside the box to account for Jordan. It goes the other way as well. Jordan has been able to have success because people are worried about Brandon and the passing game.”

They will face a Mountaineer defense that has allowed just eight points in their last five games and is ranked 14th in the country.

“Defensively, they are playing as well as anyone in the country right now,” Brown said. “I think they have the best front seven in our league. These guys have played a ton of football. They are creating negative plays. They have a unit that I think is difficult to prepare for.”

Troy’s defense comes into the game ranked tied for 13th in the country in sacks with 24. They hope to increase that number against Taylor Lamb and the Mountaineer offense.

“The quarterback Taylor Lamb is a winner. He takes care of the ball and finds a way. He is very accurate and I like watching him play. This will be a big test for us. We have to stop there outside zone play. We have a big task on our hands defensively.”

The Trojans will also have to contend with two running backs in Marcus Cox and 1,000 yard rusher Jalin Moore.

“They have two very good running backs,” Brown said. “Marcus Cox is the all-league player that was out, but he has been back the last couple of weeks. They have rushed for over 300 yards the last few weeks.”

The Trojans plan on celebrating Veterans Day weekend in very special way by honoring past and current military members.

“We are going to have a big military turnout,” Brown said. “We look forward to really educating our guys about our country.”

Kickoff between the Mountaineers is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. and can be watched on ESPN3.