Trojans take care of Florida A&M

Published 10:36 pm Saturday, September 8, 2018

The Troy Trojans rounded into form with a 59-7 win over Florida A&M on Saturday night in Troy.

The win for the Trojans improves their record on the season to 1-1.

“I thought it was a quality win,” said head coach Neal Brown. “Winning is hard. So much goes into it. You never want to take a win for granted. Winning is difficult and when you do win enjoy it. We will enjoy it tonight.”

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The Troy Trojans scored points in six of their nine first half drives on Saturday. In five of their six scoring drives in the first half the Trojans scored in five plays or less.

The Trojans turned Rattler mistakes into points in the opening half.  Jabir Daughtry-Frye blocked a Rattler punt setting up the Trojans inside the five-yard line.

“I thought it got us going,” Brown said. “We wanted to be more aggressive. That’s something we really worked on in the spring. We went after the first one and Doug Salter did a good job freeing up Frye. Frye got in there and blocked it.”

Two plays later, Barker slid his way into the endzone for the game’s first touchdown.

In all the Trojans forced three turnovers in the game’s first 60 minutes and turned them into 21 points.

The first of those points came on a two-yard touchdown pass by Barker to Damion Willis putting the Trojans up 14-0. The drive was set up after the Trojans forced a fumble inside Rattler territory.

Following an interception by Tron Folsom that put the Trojans inside the Rattler 35, Barker connected with Willis for his second touchdown of the half, giving Troy a 21-0 lead.

The Trojans finished the first half with a three-yard touchdown catch by Deondre Douglas, a three-yard touchdown run and Tyler Sumpter finished the half with a 20-yard field goal giving the Trojans a 38-7 lead at the half.

The Trojans outgained the Rattlers in total yards 266 to 199.

The Trojans began the second half with Barker’s fourth touchdown pass of the game. He connected with Sidney Davis on a screen that he took 19 yards for a touchdown, brining the score to 45-7.

Barker was responsible for five touchdowns against the Rattlers, the most since Brandon Silvers was responsible for five touchdowns against New Mexico State in 2015.

Barker finished the game completing 14 of his 23 passes for 140 yards.

“I thought he did a really good job with his decision making,” Brown said. “I thought he handled the two-minute drill at the end of the half. He threw some really nice balls on the outside to get touchdowns.”

In all the Trojans forced four turnovers a week after struggling against Boise State in the opener.

The fourth turnover of the contest came on Folsom’s second interception of the game, he returned it 53 yards for a Trojan score.

With the Trojans up 52-7, Brown decided to go with Sawyer Smith for much of the third quarter. He threw his second career touchdown when he connected with Tray Eafford on a 16-yard touchdown pass, bringing the score to 59-7.

Freshman quarterback Gunnar Watson made his debut as a Trojan and finished the game completing 5 of his 8 passes for 20 yards.
“We practiced a package for him all week,” Brown said. “That was huge getting him into the game. The new redshirt rule, we took advantage of that tonight. We played a ton of people that probably would have redshirted before it was all set and done.”

The Troy defense held the Rattlers offense to 287 yards, 219 of which came in the air.

The Trojans travel to Nebraska next week to take on the Cornhuskers out of the Big 10.