Trojans offense taking shape after first scrimmage

Published 7:30 pm Thursday, August 15, 2019

Just like the Trojan defense, the Troy offense will have a new leader in offensive coordinator Ryan Pugh.

Pugh is new to the Trojan football team. Along with mainly coaching the offensive line, Pugh will take over an offense that was previously coached by former offensive line coach and coordinator Matt Moore, who went on to be the co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at West Virginia.

Through the early days of camp, Pugh has liked what he has seen out of his offense.

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“I think our guys are off to a good start,” Pugh said. “I think our energy level and excitement to come to practice each day has been there. The things we have been stressing to these guys have been their energy, attitude and body language.”

It’s been a process for the Troy offense in the early days of camp. Not only are they welcoming in Pugh, but also a new head coach in Chip Lindsey. Kaleb Barker is back after missing half of the season a year ago due to a knee injury.

“I think each day we have taken some steps forward,” Pugh said. “I think we have been really detailed in our approach.”

After holding seven practices during fall camp, the Trojans put their work to the test on Saturday when they held their first of two scrimmages at Veterans Memorial Stadium.

“It was our first opportunity to get out there in a live scrimmage situation and it was good,” Pugh said. “Especially for the young guys. Overall, it was their first real test of college football. Sometimes it’s going to look good, sometimes it’s going to look bad and sometimes it’s going to look ugly.”

Both Pugh and Lindsey believe the offensive line needed to do a better job up front on Saturday.

“We have to be able to control the line of scrimmage and the game from that position,” Pugh said.

After returning from his injury, Barker was extremely limited during spring practice and didn’t get an opportunity to play in the T-Day game. So far during fall camp, the quarterback has been a full participant and got his first real live reps on Saturday morning.

“It was good to see number seven back out there at quarterback,” Pugh said. “Kaleb I know felt good and was excited. Everybody was excited to see him out there.”

Consistency was a topic of conversation after the scrimmage on Saturday, mainly up front with the offensive line.

“We have to have guys practicing,” Pugh said. “We have to have guys out there working hard every day. I talk to them all the time about making new mistakes. Lets not make the same mistakes over and over again. At the end of the day the offensive line has the opportunity to be the leaders of this offense. We are going to go as they go.”

Pugh enters the season as a first-time offensive coordinator. He believes the offensive coaches will work hand-in-hand to make sure the offense lives up to the expectations.

“We have a lot of great offensive minds on or staff,” Pugh said. “We work really well together and I think we play off each other. We are on the same page and we have a vision of what coach Lindsey wants on offense.”

Pugh and the rest of the new coaches have now been on staff for about eight months. The newness has worn off for Pugh and now it’s time to get work.

“It’s time for us to continue to take steps forward and learn what we are supposed to do,” Pugh said.

The Trojans will practice on Friday morning before holding a closed scrimmage on Saturday morning. They will officially open the season on August 31 when they host Campbell.”