Trojans no longer control destiny with loss

Published 6:48 pm Tuesday, October 29, 2019

With Troy’s 52-33 loss to Georgia State on Saturday, the Trojans no longer control their own destiny when it comes to winning the Sun Belt Conference Eastern Division.

The loss dropped the Trojans to 1-2 in conference play, putting them behind Appalachian State, Georgia State and Georgia Southern. The Trojans have five games remaining, but only three remaining division games.

“With five games left, we don’t control our own destiny anymore, but with so many games left to be played there are many options left,” head coach Chip Lindsey said. “We just need to put together as many wins as possible and position ourselves to reach our goals. We don’t control our own fate as much as anymore, but we’re still looking forward to getting on the field and getting ready for Coastal Carolina.”

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One of the goals still on the table for the Trojans is reaching a bowl game for the fourth consecutive season. To do that, they will need to go 3-2 down the stretch to become bowl eligible. Following this game against Coastal Carolina, Troy will take on Georgia Southern. After taking on Texas State, the Trojans will take on divisional frontrunners Appalachian State and Louisiana. The two teams have a combined conference mark of 6-2. With bowl eligibility and division lead still in play, Lindsey and the coaching staff know the importance of this Saturday’s game against Coastal Carolina.

“If we want to accomplish our goals, it is a must-win,” Lindsey said. “We try and approach every week the same and we try being consistent. We know where we are in the standings, so you can say it’s a must-win, but we’ll prepare the same.”

The Trojans have won both of their games against Coastal Carolina since the Chanticleers made the transition to the Sun Belt. The Trojans defeated four of their five upcoming opponents last season. The Trojans’ lone loss came to Appalachian State in the season finale last year.

“We’re going game by game,” said receiver Tray Eafford. “We treat every day like we really need it. We’re going to treat every game like it’s our championship. We need every game to get where we’re going.”

Despite the slow start to the season, the Trojans are still upbeat and playing for each other.

“That’s the thing about football,” Eafford said. “You can’t let little things keep you down or your team won’t be the same. If things start going downhill, we try to keep each other up so we can get back in the saddle.”

To see results, the Trojans are going to have to clean up some things on the field, more specifically the defense. The Trojans entered Saturday’s game as the conference’s best run defense, holding opponents to just 93 yards per game. The Trojans allowed 390 rushing yards, 242 of which came from running back Tra Barnett.

“We didn’t play like we normally do up front. That’s been the bright spot of our defense the whole year. I know we got our butts whooped at the point of contact several times and at times we didn’t make a tackle when we had opportunities. Don’t get me wrong, the back is a nice player. He is a good player and all of that, but we made him look really good.”

The Trojans hope to clean things up Saturday when they take on the Chanticleers beginning at 2 p.m.