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Troy Trojans

College Football

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As the only Sun Belt team to beat Appalachian State last year, Troy was set up to win the conference. Instead, the Trojans faltered in the final month, getting destroyed at home 35-3 by Arkansas State and then at Georgia Southern in the finale. Now without the Mountaineers on the schedule, Troy may have to go undefeated in conference play to have a shot at the league title this season.

That won’t be impossible with an offense that returns all of its potent weapons starting with quarterback Brandon Silvers, entering his fourth season as the starter. He’s coming off his best campaign yet with 63.7% completion, 23 TDs and 12 picks. Joined by Jordan Chunn (1,288 yards, 16 TDs, 30 receptions) in the backfield, no one in the Sun Belt can match what those two players bring. Receiver is also set with the top three guys returning in Emanuel Thompson (820 yards, 6 TDs), Deondre Douglas (740 yards, 6 TDs) and Tevaris McCormick (456 yards, 5 TDs). The biggest question for an offense that scored 33.7 points per game will be on the line where three starters are gone, including a stud at left tackle. Going from one of the best pass protection lines in the country (eight sacks allowed) to returning two starters will take some time and could make things slightly more difficult for Silvers early.

It’s the same situation along the line on the defensive side with only two starters back in the front six. New players will have to step up, especially at linebacker, while seniors Jamal Stadom and Seth Calloway have big spots to fill on the line. The secondary is in a better situation, but was also the worst unit for the defense last year. Four starters return with three of them being seniors as corner Kamryn Melton leads the group.

Once again, the Trojans will have some difficult non-conference games with trips to Boise State and LSU in September. That could keep their win total down from a year ago unless they run the table in the Sun Belt. Running the table will be tough, though, with a trip to Arkansas State in the regular season finale. Other than that, things line up favorably for the Trojans as long as they can dispose of teams like Georgia Southern, South Alabama and Idaho at home.

Even with the game at Arkansas State, Troy has the same odds as the Red Wolves at +400 to win the Sun Belt (at 5Dimes Sportsbook) in late July. With an over/under at 8.5, it’ll be hard to make a play on that with two non-conference losses likely. While Troy is talented, three new starters on the offensive line could be trouble and that could result in another upset loss similar to last year. Then again, Silvers is the best quarterback in the conference so it’s hard to underestimate what this team can do.


2017 Troy Trojans Football Schedule

Sept. 2 at Boise State
Sept. 9 vs. Alabama State
Sept. 16 at New Mexico State
Sept. 23 vs. Akron

Sept. 30 at LSU
Oct. 11 vs. South Alabama

Oct. 21 at Georgia State
Oct. 28 vs. Georgia Southern

Nov. 2 vs. Idaho
Nov. 11 at Coastal Carolina
Nov. 24 vs. Texas State
Dec. 2 at Arkansas State

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