Troy Holds Off New Mexico State on the Road to Win 27-24

The Trojans of Troy traveled to Las Cruces to do battle with the red hot New Mexico State Aggies and came away with a 27-24 victory on Saturday.

The Aggies proved resilient in the contest, coming back from a 20-3 deficit and pulling within a field goal in the final quarter. Troy’s timely offensive responses kept them in the lead, however, and the Trojans were able to start conference play on the right foot.

Troy wasted no time getting on the board, going 50 yards in 1:31 on its first drive of the game. Senior quarterback Brandon Silvers was 3/4 for 34 yards including the drive-ending touchdown pass, his first of the season, to junior wide out Damion Willis.

New Mexico State responded with an 11 play, 6 plus minute drive but could only get a field goal out of it. Junior receiver Jaleel Scott had three receptions on the possession for 32 yards.

Now up 7-3, Troy embarked on another scoring drive capped off by a three yard touchdown run by senior running back Jordan Chunn. Silvers was efficient once more, completing four of five passes on the drive for 69 yards. Kicker Bratcher Underwood missed the extra point, keeping the Trojans lead at 13-3.

After the Aggie’s second punt of the day, Troy set off on a 12 play drive that ended with a missed 27 yard field goal. New Mexico State was continuously forced into punts while Troy had one more shot at a scoring drive in the first half. Instead of attempting a 39 yard field goal, Troy elected to go for it on fourth and five and failed to convert.

The half ended with Troy dominating in yards 257-116. The Aggies had only mustered six rushing yards through the first two quarters. Senior Aggie quarterback Tyler Rogers was 13/18 with 118 yards.

Troy opened the second half with the football and promptly went on a six play scoring drive finished by junior tail back Jamarius Henderson’s three yard touchdown run to open up a 20-3 lead.

The Aggies answered with their first scoring drive of the game. After several completed passes moved New Mexico State just inside midfield, Rogers found Izaiah Lottie on a 45 yard touchdown pass. on the ensuing extra point attempt, holder/wide receiver/quarterback Conner Cramer bobbled the snap and was broght down by the Troy defense making the score 20-9.

New Mexico State then forced Troy into a three and out before striking again with another touchdown drive. The 12 play possession featured 11 pass plays. Rogers completed eight of those passes for 75 yards- five on a touchdown pass to Scott.

With the score now 20-16 and the momentum heavily on the Aggies side, the Troy offense came alive again and silenced the crowd with a late third quarter touchdown. Noted dual threat quarterback (JK.. maybe) Silvers took a read option 32 yards to put the Trojans up 27-16.

The fourth quarter started with both teams trading three and outs. On the Aggies’ second drive of the quarter, running back Larry Rose III finally broke free with a 32 yard run and set himself for a one yard touchdown run. Rose had 44 yards on three carries during the drive. New Mexico State successfully attempted the two point conversion and pulled within a field goal.

Both teams again traded three and outs before Troy took over from its own three yard line with 6:15 remaining in the game. The Trojans would not give up the football for the rest of the game.

Silvers finished the game with 286 passing yards and a touchdown while Rogers had 331 yards and three touchdowns. The Aggies had just 51 rushing yards on the ground as a team.

Key Positive- Troy

The Trojans were able to stave off the Aggies despite having a 104.2 Yards Per Six Points (YP6P). Troy’s YP6P was high due to nine penalties and a pair of kicking miscues. This tells us Troy’s defense is once again a strong unit in 2017, making timely stops against a high powered Aggie offense.

Key Positive- New Mexico State

The Aggies did not turn the ball over for the first time this season. Last year’s beatdown against Troy can be attributed to the five interceptions Rogers threw in the game. New Mexico State was sound with the football against Troy and, if it can be more consistent on the ground, will continue to be a dangerous team in the Sun Belt.

 

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