Righting the ship: Trojans handle Florida A&M, earn first win

Published 9:00 pm Monday, September 10, 2018

The Trojans picked up their first win of the season on Saturday over the Florida A&M Rattlers 59-7 at Veterans Memorial Stadium.

The Trojans (1-1) came into their game against the Rattlers looking to put their season-opening performance against Boise State behind them.

“I’m proud of our coaches and players earning victory number one this week over Florida A&M,” said head coach Neal Brown. “I thought FAMU played with a lot of effort and energy. It’s a good win for us, I thought we made solid improvements going from week one to week two after watching it on video.”

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

In week one, the Trojans defense struggled to contain a Bronco offense that accumulated 416 total yards. The Trojan defense redeemed themselves by holding the Rattler defense to 287 yards and forcing four turnovers that they turned into 28 points.

We forced four turnovers in the game and only allowed seven points,” Brown said. “I thought we were much better on third down, 2.1 yards per rush and we were more aggressive. We played with a better mentality; it was still not exactly what we are looking for, but I thought our mentality and our effort was much better.”

The Trojans are in search of their number one running back. The Trojans had four runners rush for more than 50 yards, led by Jabir Daughtry-Frye’s 71 yards on just seven carries.

I thought we did a nice job of establishing the run game, we had (almost) 300 yards rushing,” Brown said. “Our tempo over the past two weeks has been the best since I have been here in the past four years.”

Brown named quarterback Kaleb Barker the team’s offensive player of the week during Monday’s press conference. The junior quarterback in just his second career start completed 14 of his 23 passes for 140 yards and had four passing touchdowns. He also ran for another. Barker’s five touchdowns was one shy of a Troy single-game record.

“It felt great,” Barker said. “Last week was tough, only having one. I am just glad we played well offensively. I am just glad we bounced back from last week and had a good outing.”

As a unit, the Trojans finished the game with 477 yards.

“Overall I thought we played well offensively,” Barker said. “I thought we played together. We played hard. I think that was the biggest thing last week (against Boise State), but we weren’t playing hard enough. We played the game of football tonight (Saturday) the right way.

The Trojans will now shift their focus to their first road trip of the season. They travel to Lincoln to take on the Nebraska Cornhuskers on Saturday.

I think Nebraska has one of the top venues in all of college football,” Brown said. “They are one of the top football programs in all of college football historically and I think they are one of the top brands. I’m glad our coaches and staff get a chance to experience that.