On Saturday night the Troy Trojans were looking to even the score from last season’s 24-13 loss to the Boise State Broncos. The Broncos had other plans. The Boise State offense proved to be too much for the Troy defense to handle with a 56-20 victory that was led by the steady passing of senior quarterback Brett Rypien. The Trojans were also plagued in the game by four costly turnovers, including an interception early in the second quarter that really gave Boise State all the momentum.
Boise State vs Troy Recap
The Troy Defense Was Over-Matched
In 2017 Troy not only had the best defense in the Sun Belt Conference, it had one the best defenses in the entire country. That unit would rank 24th nationally with only allowing 337 yards per game, and ranked 11th in points allowed per game with 18.5. When the Trojans lost last seasons close match-up in Boise 24-13 they only allowed 210 yards passing in the game. They allowed more than that in the entire first half to senior quarterback Brett Rypien and the Boise offense.
By halftime the Broncos held a 35-7 advantage and Rypien had 276 yards in the air with four touchdowns. A big chunk of those yards came from senior receiver Sean Modster. He totaled 108 yards with 2 touchdowns as the teams went to break. Rypien would end the game with 305 yards and Modster had 167 at the final whistle.
How Did New Quarterback Kaleb Barker Fare?
A big question going into the season was who would replace four-year starting quarterback Brandon Silvers? During his time in Troy, Silvers would throw for 10,677 yards and 71 touchdowns. Troy came into the season with two quarterbacks that had playing experience in junior Kaleb Barker and sophomore Sawyer Smith. While Barker did win the job, both would get playing time in the opener. Barker really did not play a bad game despite the lopsided defeat. Barker was an efficient 20 of 29 with 211 yards and one touchdown. The negative stats would show of course one interception and a average pass play of 7.3 yards. The Trojans were never really able to test the Broncos secondary on the deep pass due to pressure on the Troy quarterback. Sawyer Smith did get some playing time going 4 of 5 with 45 yards passing.
How Did The Running Backs Do?
One of the constants for the Troy Trojans the last few seasons has been great running ability of Jordan Chunn. During his career at Troy Chunn ran for 3,124 yards and a total of 47 touchdowns. With Chunn now off to the NFL the Trojans were tasked with finding his replacement. Many have believed that Jamarius Henderson would be that guy with his explosive speed that can change a game at any moment. Henderson and Jabir Daughtry-Fry would only run for a combined 71 yards and one touchdown. The lone touchdown for Fry would come on a 23 yard run that would even the game up at 7 over mid-way through the first quarter.
Troy was one of the best teams in all of college football in 2017 when it came to the turnover battle. Last season they had an impressive +7 in that department. On Saturday they were -3. Troy would fumble three times during the game. Two of those fumbles were returned for touchdowns by Boise State senior corner back Tyler Horton. This game was also the debut for the turnover throne by the Broncos. The most costly turnover for the Trojans though came in the second quarter. Kaleb Barker would be picked off by Boise State senior linebacker Tony Lashley that would result in a Broncos touchdown and a 21-7 lead. At that moment the Broncos would never look back.
What’s Next For The Trojans?
The Troy Trojans will once again be in front of their home fans this Saturday as they host the Florida A&M Rattlers at 6 p.m. central time. The Rattlers are coming off an impressive 41-7 victory over Fort Valley State in week one. This will be a game where the Trojans should win. It is a great opportunity for Troy find out what they do have and fix some of the mistakes they made against Boise State. They will also hope to have another outstanding home crowd that did pack Veterans Memorial Stadium with 29,612 fans. To Troy fans it is better known as “The Vet”. Troy does have a few weeks before they get into conference play. Which means despite this loss they can still obtain the ultimate goal of winning another Sun Belt Conference Championship. A lot of work needs to be done, but this team is still very capable of making that happen.