By the numbers: Troy falls to USM

Published 7:50 pm Monday, September 16, 2019

The Troy Trojans fell to the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles 47-42 on Saturday afternoon at Veterans Memorial Stadium.

Despite the five-point loss, the Trojans put up big numbers; one player did enough to warrant a Sun Belt Conference Offensive Player of the Week Award.

504: Troy Quarterback Kaleb Barker broke the school single-game passing record on Saturday when he threw for 504 yards. The quarterback completed 29 of his 43 passes for 504 yards. He also had four touchdowns. The four touchdowns match a career high for Barker.

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“Kaleb kept fighting,” head coach Chip Lindsey said. “At times, we protected him pretty well. At times he made plays with his feet. I thought he played a solid game and took care of the ball. He made some really good throws.

He through four touchdowns in Troy’s win over Florida A&M last season. Barker’s performance earned him the player of the week award, although he preferred the win.

“We lost the game,” Barker said. “That’s great, but I couldn’t care less about that honestly. It would have felt better if we won the game, but we lost.”

442: Barker had plenty of weapons on Saturday afternoon. Of his 504 yards, 442 of them were spread out between Tray Eafford, Kaylon Geiger, Luke Whittemore and Khalil McClain. All four receivers broke the century mark in the game. It was the first time in Troy’s FBS history that they had more than two reach 100 yards in a game. Geiger did it for the second conseucutive week. He finished the game with 118 yards. Eafford and McClain both broke the 100-yard mark for the first time.

“Khalil broke out tonight,” Lindsey said. “Luke is another guys that makes big plays. Kaylon I know had another good night. Tray had a good night. We have to continue to get those guys the ball.”

24: One week after posting 245 yards on the ground against Campbell, the Trojans rushing attack was held to just 24 yards on Saturday. DK Billingsley took over as the leading back after the injury of B.J. Smith. He finished with 41 yards on nine carries and had a touchdown.

4: Big plays hampered the Trojans effort in the loss on Saturday. The Eagles had a total of seven offensive touchdowns (one special teams) and four of them went for over 25 yards and two of them were over 50 yards. Quez Watkins finished with 209 yards on seven receptions and had two touchdowns, while Jaylond Adams had 11 catches for 180 yards.

“Quez Watkins and Jaylond Adams are two big time receivers that can play in any league in America,” Lindsey said. “We have some young players that are learning. This was their first big experience against quality players. Sometimes it showed. They’re going to be really good players for us, they just need time to grow.”

64 percent: The Golden Eagles converted 11 of their 17 third downs on Saturday. Troy converted one of three on third down.

“Anytime you can’t get off the field on third down, that is something that extends drives,” Lindsey said. “These guys took advantage and scored touchdowns. That is something that we will focus on. My feeling is third down on both sides were pretty good.”

27,108: Troy had their fifth largest crowd ever at Veterans Memorial Stadium on Saturday.

“Our fans were unbelievable tonight,” Lindsey said. “We really thank those guys for supporting this group.”