Troy parties like it’s 2000; Trojans rout New Mexico State 52-6 in Sun Belt opener
TROY, Ala. (troytrojans.com) – Jabir Frye returned a kickoff for 100 yards, blocked a punt that was returned for a score and the Troy defense intercepted five passes as the Trojans cruised past New Mexico State, 52-6, to move to 3-1 for the first time in the school’s Football Bowl Subdivision history.
The Trojans (3-1, 1-0 Sun Belt) made the move to college football’s top division in 2001 had not won three of their first four games of the season, despite winning five straight Sun Belt Conference championships.
Troy carried just a seven-point lead into the second quarter before exploding for 24 points in the second quarter to carry a 31-0 lead into the break. Brandon Silvers threw touchdown passes to Emanuel Thompson and Sidney Davis in the quarter, and Demetrius Cain returned the punt that Frye blocked 15 yards for a score.
Frye quickly removed any hopes of a New Mexico State (1-3, 0-1) comeback as he became the sixth player in Troy history to return a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown when he took the opening kick of the second half to the house.
The Trojans found the end zone three times on the ground in the game as Silvers put Troy on the board in the first quarter with a 1-yard touchdown, while Jordan Chunn scored from five yards out and Davis found paydirt from eight yards out.
Troy’s defense bent, but most certainly didn’t break with the five interceptions and just one touchdown. Blace Brown led the attack with a pair of interceptions to go along with four tackles and a pass break up. The Trojans entered the game seventh nationally with 22 passes defended on the year and added 10 more to the tally tonight.
In addition to the big turnover numbers, the Troy defense also stuffed the Aggies 11 times behind the line of scrimmage, including a season-high three sacks. The five interceptions by the Trojans were the most since Troy picked off Alcorn State six times in 2008.
Silvers finished the game 23-of-32 for 246 yards and a pair of touchdowns, which moves him into a tie for fourth place all-time in Troy history with 40 career touchdown passes (Kelvin Simmons). Emanuel Thompson caught eight passes for 77 yards, while Deondre Douglas had six grabs for a career-best 101 yards.
Tyler Rogers completed 29-of-54 pass attempts for the Aggies for 445 yards and a touchdown, but also had the five interceptions. In his first game this season, Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Year Larry Rose III rushed 12 times for 56 yards. New Mexico State had success moving the ball with 539 yards of total offense on 87 snaps, while Troy finished with 492 yards on 78 snaps; the Trojans averaged 6.3 yards per play compared to the Aggies’ 6.2 yards per play.
“Offensively, anytime we can go 200 (passing) and 200-plus (rushing), that’s what we talk about,” head coach Neal Brown said. “I had questions about our football team’s focus. We went really hard Tuesday and Wednesday. We are going to continue that through the bye week. I’m proud of their effort. We answered the bell three weeks in a row and a game [next week] against a tough opponent who came done and beat us on homecoming last year (Idaho).”
Stat of the Game
Troy’s defense intercepted five passes and broke up five passes in the game. The Trojans have forced 29 turnovers over the past seven games dating back to last season. It also marked the first time since 2010 that the Trojans have intercepted multiple passes in three straight games.
With Troy leading 14-0 midway through the second quarter, Jabir Frye blocked a punt and Demetrius Cain scooped and scored from 11 yards out. It was Cain’s third career touchdown – returned two punts for a touchdown last year – and marked the first time since 2013 that Troy returned a blocked punt for a score.
Ryan Kay moved into ninth place all-time in Troy history with his 20th career field goal as he made a 34-yarder as time expired in the first half.
Sound Smart With Your Friends
Troy has won 56 Sun Belt Conference games since joining the league prior to the 2004 season, which is the most by any school in the league.
• Troy improves to 7-0 under Neal Brown when leading at the half.
• The Trojans have now scored 50+ points four times in Neal Brown’s 16-game tenure as head coach; Troy had scored 50+ points just once in the 66 prior games.
• Troy did not allow a sack in the game and has allowed just one sack all season and just four sacks over the past 10 games dating back to last year.
Troy travels across the country to take on Idaho in the Kibbie Dome. The Trojans will be looking for revenge after the Vandals spoiled Troy’s Homecoming last season with a 19-16 victory.
TROY – Silvers 1-yard rush (Kay kick), 9:05, 1st
TROY – Thompson 6-yard pass from Silvers (Kay kick), 8:27, 2nd
TROY – Cain 15-yard punt return (Kay kick), 7:39, 2nd
TROY – Davis 17-yard pass from Silvers (Kay kick), 2:24, 2nd
TROY – Kay 34-yard field goal, 0:00, 2nd
TROY – Frye 100-yard kickoff return, 14:45, 3rd
TROY – Chunn 5-yard run (Kay kick), 8:21, 3rd
NMSU – Lottie 13-yard pass from Rodgers (Cramer pass failed), 0:33, 3rd 45-6
TROY – Davis 8-yard run (Kay kick), 11:11, 4th