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2018

Troy

College Football

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Troy has been a force in the Sun Belt the last two years and should again contend for a spot near the top of the Sun Belt standings even with a new quarterback. The Trojans managed an 11-2 record last year that featured a road win at LSU and bowl win over North Texas. Their over/under comes in at 7.5 wins with +300 odds to win the conference, slightly behind App. and Ark. State at 5Dimes Sportsbook.

The biggest question for Troy comes at quarterback where four-year starter Brandon Silvers is gone. He didn’t have amazing numbers (3,290 yards, 17 TDs, 7 INTs), but still ran the offense. The competition will likely go into the season between Kaleb Barker, last year’s backup, and Sawyer Smith. Both are plenty mobile and could give the offense an added element Silvers didn’t provide. And even with a new quarterback, the offense should average close to 31.5 points per game again behind the Sun Belt’s best line that returns four starters including senior center Deontae Crumitie. Running back is unknown, but a few guys will split time between Jamarius Henderson (45 carries, 355 yards), Kevin Perkins and B.J. Smith. Returning wide receivers will help the new quarterback with Deondre Douglas (628 yards) and Damion Willis (620 yards).

The defense may not be as good statistically with only five starters returning, but this group should still be close to dominant after allowing only 18.5 points and 106 rushing yards per game. Nose tackle Trevon Sanders holds things down in the middle, which leaves guys like Hunter Reese (14 tackles for loss) and linebacker Tron Folsom (80 tackles) to do everything else. Those three run the front six, while safety Cedarius Rookard (74 tackles) is the leader on the back end with interception machine Blace Brown (five INT). Even with new starters, there is enough returning talent to remain a top group.

Troy battled Boise State in its opener last year, but fell short 24-13 on the road. It will try and pull an upset this year at home, but it won’t be easy with a new quarterback. And while the Trojans could lose two of their first three non-conference games, the conference schedule is workable as long as the new quarterback doesn’t derail things. None of their road games can be considered easy and the season finale at App. State will likely decide the winner of the East division. That said, Troy’s over/under is at 7.5 wins because none of its road games are against teams at the bottom of the standings. Sure, none of them are elite, but with a new quarterback, it’s hard to assume Troy will win on the road. But with a stout offensive line and playmakers on defense, this will still be a solid team that could easily make the Sun Belt title game.

 

2018 Troy Trojans Football Schedule

Sept. 1 vs. Boise State

Sept. 8 vs. Florida A&M

Sept. 15 at Nebraska

Sept. 22 at UL Monroe

Sept. 29 vs. Coastal Carolina

Oct. 4 vs. Georgia State

Oct. 13 at Liberty

Oct. 23 at South Alabama

Nov. 3 vs. Louisiana

Nov. 10 at Georgia Southern

Nov. 17 vs. Texas State

Nov. 24 at Appalachian State

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