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Schedule and Odds
There is a sizable dropoff in the Sun Belt and it starts with Troy. The Trojans find themselves below the top-level teams in the conference, but also above the bottom barrel teams. That's what tends to happen when the teams most similar to you, leave the conference.
The Trojans don't return a lot of starters, just eight as a team, but the offense still retains its main pieces from a squad that averaged 330 passing yards and 30 points per game. The most important ones are quarterbacks Corey Robinson (3,121 yards, 12 TDs) and the more athletic Deon Anthony (856 passing yards, 390 rushing yards, 17 total TDs). Those two lose plenty around them, but they should be able to keep the offense rolling. At wide out, Eric Thomas led the team with seven TDs a year ago to go with 55 grabs and 667 yards. Tailback is a little more of a question mark, but Justin Albert and D.J. Taylor (134 combined carries) are expected to split touches along with Daron White. The offensive line only returns one starter and could be a problem.
Defense is another story for Troy, as they were at the bottom of the conference last year and lost more of their starters. It starts with the line and stopping the run, but a couple transfers may be able to help at tackle. At both linebacker and cornerback, there is lots of inexperience which is a concern. Seniors Chris Pickett and Camren Hudson will try and lead the secondary at the safety spot.
2013 Troy Football Schedule
Aug. 31 vs. UAB
Sept. 7 vs. Savannah State
Sept. 12 at Arkansas State
Sept. 21 at Mississippi State
Sept. 28 at Duke
Oct. 5 vs. South Alabama
Oct. 12 at Georgia State
Oct. 26 at Western Kentucky
Oct. 31 vs. LA-Monroe
Nov. 7 at LA-Lafayette
Nov. 16 at Ole Miss
Nov. 29 vs. Texas State
Troy's season gets off to a nice start with two home games, but the gauntlet gets unleashed starting with three road games at quality opponents. It starts with conference foe Arkansas State and then two bigger teams at Mississippi State and Duke.
After getting South Alabama at home, it doesn't get much easier for the Trojans, going on the road for four of their next five games. That stretch includes four straight games against Western Kentucky, LA-Monroe, LA-Lafayette and Ole Miss. Due to their schedule, it's evident that the defense will have to step up if they want to reach six wins.
Reaching five wins should still be in reach for the Trojans, but if they want more than that, they'll need an upset or two. That means the offense has to keep scoring and the defense will need to step up, something that didn't happen in 2012.
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