Trojans head to Atlanta to take on Georgia State

Published 10:31 pm Friday, October 25, 2019

The Troy Trojans hit the road to take on Georgia State in a pivotal Sun Belt Conference Eastern Division game on Saturday evening.

The Trojans (3-3, 1-1) have had a lengthy break since their win over South Alabama last Wednesday evening. They have played just two games in the last three weeks.

The Trojans currently find themselves in third place in the eastern division behind front runner Appalachian State and Georgia State and Georgia Southern, who are tied at 2-1 in conference play.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Despite their conference opening loss to Arkansas State, the Trojans still hold their fate in their hands, with all their division opponents still left on their schedule, starting with the Panthers.

“It’s going to be a big challenge for us to go on the road and get a victory,” Troy head coach Chip Lindsey said. “We dropped a game against Arkansas State at home that we probably should have won, so now we need to go on the road and handle our business and play really well.”

The Trojan defense had arguably one of their better games last week when they held the Jaguars to 13 points and 274 yards.

This week they will play a Georgia State offense led by one of the most improved quarterbacks in the conference in Dan Ellington. Ellington is second in the conference in passing yards per game, behind only Troy quarterback Kaleb Barker. The Panthers are fourth in the conference with 226 yards per game.

“Dan Ellington is a really nice player for them and is one of the better quarterbacks in our league,” Lindsey said. “He’s a tough guy with a lot of moxie who has improved a lot since last year. He’s where the offense starts.”

The Trojans defense has allowed a conference-low 93 yards rushing per game this season. On the back end, the Trojans defense has allowed 287 yards per game, 10th in the conference.

“We’ve played really good run defense all year if you look at the rankings,” Lindsey said. “We played some teams early on that could really hurt you in the passing game, and we had younger guys playing back there. We’ve gotten some younger players game reps and the kids that are back there are working extremely hard to improve in the film room and the field.”

Georgia State is averaging 238 yards per game, second in the conference. They are led by running back Tran Bennett, who has six touchdowns and is averaging nearly 100 yards per game.

“They have a solid running back in Tra Barnett,” Lindsey said. “They have two productive wideouts and do a great job of spreading the ball around. They’re a run-pass option team and will give us many different looks there.”

The Trojans will be without Melvin Tyus for the first half on Saturday after he was ejected for targeting in the second half last Wednesday.

“It’s tough to not have Melvin out there for the entire game,” Lindsey said. “Melvin has had two of those calls go against him this year, and neither were intentional. Melvin is a senior who has been here a long time, so anytime you lose that leadership it hurts.”

The Trojans are 5-1 all-time against Georgia State. Their lone loss came on the road in 2015. The Trojans defeated Georgia State last season 37-20.