Trojans travel to take on Missouri

Published 10:39 pm Friday, October 4, 2019

The Troy Trojans look to be giant killers once again when they travel to Columbus, Missouri to take on the Missouri Tigers.

The Trojans have won five games against Power 5 teams over the years. They hope to make it six today when they take on the 3-1 Tigers.

“I think the opportunity to play in these games is what makes Troy a special place for our players to come to,” Troy head coach Chip Lindsey said. “They’re excited about this opportunity. Obviously, each year is different because the team is different, but I know our players are excited about this opportunity.”

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The Trojans have picked up Power 5 wins against Mississippi State, Missouri, Oklahoma State, LSU and Nebraska.

“Historically we have five Power 5 victories which leads the Sun Belt Conference,” Lindsey said. “Some of those wins were a while ago and some were more recent. But each year is different. Our players are looking forward to the opportunity to compete against a quality SEC opponent.”

This year’s opportunity will present a challenge for the Trojans. The Tigers enter the game with a 3-1 record. Picking up wins against Wyoming, West Virginia and Southeast Missouri State. Their one loss came last week at home to South Carolina.

“Overall, it’s a very good football team,” Lindsey said. “These guys are very solid and it’s a big challenge for us. But it’s a challenge our guys are very excited about. We’re going to put together a great plan and give ourselves a chance to be successful and win the football game.”

Troy’s defense has allowed over 500 total yards in both of their losses this season including over 600 against Southern Mississippi.

They will have another challenge this week as they go up against a Tiger offense led by former Clemson Tiger quarterback Kelly Bryant. The Tigers have averaged 38 points per game this season and 460 yards of offense.

“Is there anybody that we have left on our schedule that doesn’t have a host of NFL-quality receivers,” Troy defensive coordinator Brandon Hall said. “This tight end they have is special. I tell you what makes this team go: Their offensive line is good. They have a bunch of starters back. Obviously, the quarterback is really good. He’s actually gotten better as the year has gone on.”

Troy’s offense has either surpassed or kept up with their opponents this season. They have passed the 500-yard mark in three of their four games this season and nearly did it a fourth time when they totaled 485 against Akron.

The Trojans had two drives stall in the red zone last week and they were forced to kick field goals. Lindsey would like to see Troy convert those drives into touchdowns, especially against an offense like Missouri.

“We missed some opportunities there, not scoring touchdowns,” Lindsey said. “It’s something we’re trying to focus on every week. If it was easy, everybody would score touchdowns. But we’re improving. We’ve got to try to do a better job with our reps as much as we can.”

The Trojans knocked off Missouri 24-14 in 2004 at Veterans Memorial Stadium. Although 15 years have passed, because of Troy’s history against Power 5 teams, Lindsey believes Missouri will be ready to play.

“I think everybody we play is going to be on guard. That was a long time ago when that happened and they’re in a different league now. We’re in a different place now. Anything that has happened in our history we’re very proud of, for sure. We’ve got people in this program still around that were part of those things.”