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** 2018 Opponent Previews: Troy (Game 3) **

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SBNation: Neal Brown is still at Troy!

 

A bonus year is rare. When you’re a head coach at a mid-major school, and you have two seasons like Brown just had at Troy, you get snatched away by a power conference program. It is a harsh fact of life. Your reward for making a good hire is having to make another one.

 

2017 record and S&P+ ranking: 11-2 (31st)

Projected 2018 record and S&P+ ranking: 8-4 (78th)

Five key points:

1. Troy went 21-5, with a win over LSU and a near-upset of Clemson, in the last two years, and somehow Brown is back for a fourth year in charge.

2 A lot of faces will change, though. Among them: four-year starting quarterback Brandon Silvers. His 2016 and 2017 backups are both back to fight for the job.

3. No one in the conference could boast the depth Troy fielded last year. That’ll pay off in 2018. Get to know names like RB Jamarius Henderson and WR Tray Eafford.

4. Vic Koenning’s defense was the best in the SBC, and if the line holds up to attrition, the back eight should dominate again.

https://www.sbnation.com/2018/2/14/16999068/troy-football-2018-preview-schedule-roster

 

 

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CollegeFootballNews: Troy Trojans. It's Simple - Just Win Every Game

Troy has the coach, it has the systems, and it has the success. Now it has to beat all the bad teams to truly be special. The Trojans managed to beat LSU at LSU. They pushed eventual national champion Clemson in Death Valley in a 30-24 loss early in 2016, and lost last season on the road to a Boise State squad that ended up winning 11 games and the Mountain West title.

They won 21 games and two bowls over the last two seasons, and they took a piece of the Sun Belt championship last year. And they lost to a lousy South Alabama team that won just three other games, scored just three points with the Sun Belt world on the line late in the 2016 season, and managed to lose to a mediocre Georgia Southern squad a few weeks later. Appalachian State and Arkansas State are the fellow stars of the Sun Belt, but this year, Troy has the shot to be something special at an even bigger level, and it starts with the head coach.

https://collegefootballnews.com/2018/06/troy-trojans-college-football

– What You Need To Know: Offense | Defense
– Top Players, Key Game, Fun Stats
– What Will Happen & Win Total Prediction

 

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The Athletic: Troy football makes transition from building to sustaining success

For Neal Brown and Troy, staying here will be much more challenging than getting here.

They sure got here quickly. Brown has coached the Trojans to 21 wins over the past two seasons — only seven FBS teams have won more — and brought home a conference title in his third year as head coach. They got the world’s attention by stunning LSU in Death Valley. Their next challenge is one all rising programs must confront: the complex act of sustaining success.

https://theathletic.com/417865/2018/07/08/troy-football-season-preview-depth-chart-schedule/

 

 

 

More to come!!!

 

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Pretty much exactly what we want in an out of conference challenge. Veteran OLine and good WRs with an experienced defense. Should be a good test to prepare us for conference play.

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44 minutes ago, Caliborn72 said:

Pretty much exactly what we want in an out of conference challenge. Veteran OLine and good WRs with an experienced defense. Should be a good test to prepare us for conference play.

 

 

I feel the opposite way, but I'm mostly focusing on the word "exactly." This is pretty far from exactly want I want for an out of conference game.

 

If we're going to play a good team, I want it to be one people respect. We gain almost nothing from beating Troy, regardless of what their record was last year. But the odds of losing are higher.

 

I'd much rather play a team like Washington, UCLA, Miami, or a G5 team that's not as good as Troy (seeing as we're already playing a P5 team).

 

This is not to say I think we'll lose, but imo exactly what we want is a marquee match up and a couple teams we can trounce to gain confidence.

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Whoops, I didn’t see your response. Certainly a fair argument. Mostly, I just want to face good WRs and good front 7s in our out of conference play because I think those are the real tests for us this year. I still don’t trust our corners and our OLine obviously needs to prove it before we can trust them.

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5 minutes ago, Redux said:

42-17

 

Next

 

I'd be very pleasantly surprised if Nebraska held Troy to 17 points.  I wish Nebraska was catching them as the home opener as they're trying to replace a 4 yr starting QB and Brown is a helluva coach.

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25 minutes ago, Xmas32 said:

 

I'd be very pleasantly surprised if Nebraska held Troy to 17 points.  I wish Nebraska was catching them as the home opener as they're trying to replace a 4 yr starting QB and Brown is a helluva coach.

 

I wouldn't want them in the opener as we will have our own bugs to work out, but agree that the later in the season, the more likely they've found a way to replace lost production.

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Troy plays Boise St first game of the year. That will tell you something.  They played BSU last year also and got beat by 11.  Yes, they beat LSU but I don't think Nebraska will be taking Troy lightly like LSU did.  Troy is a solid team, but don't make them out to be something super great.  Other than LSU there was nothing on their schedule last year that was all that great and they weren't really killing anyone. 

 

Again not saying they going to be terrible, but don't make them out to be some juggernaut.  They will be a good solid test.  I say 35-17. 

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27 minutes ago, NUinID said:

Again not saying they going to be terrible, but don't make them out to be some juggernaut.  They will be a good solid test.  I say 35-17. 

 

I get what you're saying. Even with Boise and LSU on the schedule, they had one of the weakest SOS in the country. 

 

The thing that stands out to me is there offense moved the ball pretty good (6.3 ypp) but didn't score at a very high rate (31.5 ppg). There is a metric out there to try to explain this called IsoPPP. It's not necessary to understand all the details of this, but the idea is to look at how successful a team is on its successful plays as a means of measuring explosiveness. The top two offenses by S&P were Oklahoma and UCF and their respective IsoPPP were 1st and 6th, respectively.

 

Troy, an 11-2 team with a highly favorable schedule, was only 45th. They just don't get a lot of explosive plays in the passing game.

 

On the flip side, they were extremely difficult to run against, with only LSU and their massive talent advantage able to do much. It's a true bend but don't break defensive style: stuff the run, surrender passing percentage if necessary, but make them earn it. This is why they are such a dangerous team for P5 opponents. What they lack in sheer explosiveness they make up in efficiency. You can't just capitalize on their mistakes, they make you beat them.

 

Fun team to watch for fans of quality football.

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I hope we destroy them, because if we don't we're going to hear about their "Alabama speed" the entire effing game.

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UCF's D didn't impress me last year, as they gave up a lot of points to just about everyone they played. The notion that they scored so fast that the D was out there a lot, doesn't wash with me. I like it when the D gets the ball right back to the O, so they can score or take time off the clock and wear the other team down. Just spoiled by T O's teams I guess.

 

GBR!!!

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1 hour ago, huskered17 said:

UCF's D didn't impress me last year, as they gave up a lot of points to just about everyone they played. The notion that they scored so fast that the D was out there a lot, doesn't wash with me. I like it when the D gets the ball right back to the O, so they can score or take time off the clock and wear the other team down. Just spoiled by T O's teams I guess.

 

GBR!!!

UCF was 105th in Time of Possession in 2017.  https://www.ncaa.com/stats/football/fbs/current/team/705/p3

 

If you don't care for that style, you better find a way to get used to it because it is happening. :thumbs 

 

We are not going to be milking the clock and running into the line for 3 yards over and over anymore. Times change.

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1 hour ago, huskered17 said:

UCF's D didn't impress me last year, as they gave up a lot of points to just about everyone they played. 

No they didn’t. They were 43rd in the nation with 24.7 oppg. Only 4 teams scored above that mark on them, those being Memphis(2nd ppg), USF(9th), Auburn(18th), and FCS Austin Peay. Keep in mind they held Memphis(1st game) and SMU(14th ppg) well below their season average. 

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7 hours ago, DrunkOffPunch said:

No they didn’t. They were 43rd in the nation with 24.7 oppg. Only 4 teams scored above that mark on them, those being Memphis(2nd ppg), USF(9th), Auburn(18th), and FCS Austin Peay. Keep in mind they held Memphis(1st game) and SMU(14th ppg) well below their season average. 

 

And Austin Peay was beat by 40, which is more than they scored. That UCF defense wasn't great, but it was relatively efficient and got a lot of stops to win key games. 

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4 hours ago, brophog said:

And Austin Peay was beat by 40, which is more than they scored. That UCF defense wasn't great, but it was relatively efficient and got a lot of stops to win key games. 

 

Also, my completely anecdotal and unscientific opinion is there are a lot more offensive players to go around than there are defensive players.  So there are enough skill guys that even the Group of 5 teams can find some pretty good players on offense.  But it's a lot harder to find defensive players - especially defensive linemen and cornerbacks - so it's a lot more difficult to get talent at those spots for the smaller schools.

 

So that's another reason that I'm willing to give Chinander a chance to see what he can do with some better athletes.  Obviously the competition will get better as well but I think the talent he has to work with on defense will be a much bigger step up than it will be on offense.

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7 hours ago, Mavric said:

 

Also, my completely anecdotal and unscientific opinion is there are a lot more offensive players to go around than there are defensive players.  So there are enough skill guys that even the Group of 5 teams can find some pretty good players on offense.  But it's a lot harder to find defensive players - especially defensive linemen and cornerbacks - so it's a lot more difficult to get talent at those spots for the smaller schools.

 

 

 

Absolutely. The defensive side of the ball is where recruiting really shows. No matter how proactive or aggressive a defensive scheme is, it is still the reactive side of the ball. Any offense can attempt to scheme around their weaknesses by virtue of having the ball and making the defense adjust to what they are doing. The defense, any defense, is prone to getting attacked where it is weak.

 

To that point, two of UCF's best defensive players, Hughes and Griffin, were gambles in their own way. Griffin's story is known at this point, Hughes was a P5 talent that got into some legal trouble. UCF and it's kind has to find defensive talent where it can. 

 

Meanwhile, the offensive side of the ball can plug in an undersized, but speedy running back, even as a freshman because he only needs to do what he's capable of doing. You can so much more easily accommodate a range of players on offense for this reason.

 

IMO, there is no excuse for ever having a bad offense. Small schools, service academies, P5 bottom dwellers...all have shown time and again that you can have a good offense without needing to recruit elite talent. 

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8 hours ago, Mavric said:

So that's another reason that I'm willing to give Chinander a chance to see what he can do with some better athletes.  

 

Looking back at Nebraska defenses the better part of this century is why I'm willing to give Chinander a chance. 

 

Regardless of form or nomenclature, two words I'd use to describe Nebraska defenses over this span is Rigid and Passive. Neither of those is how I'd describe a Chinander unit. 

 

At the end of the day, once a play is identified; the RB breaks the line of scrimmage, the pass is thrown, it's about 11 guys chasing down and tackling one guy. It's really that simple. So much of the various past schemes have been about area control, that we've kinda forgot this part. 

 

What Chinander and crew are doing is not eschewing control, but rather being more aggressive through the proper use of leverage. It's about attacking through the ball carrier/blocker with risk mitigation because you've taken the angle that reduces their threat. It's more fair to call it a philosophy than a scheme. He can and will use a lot of schemes, but they're all taught through this conceptual framework. What I love isn't so much where they put the players but that they explain the why to the players. That allows players to break the rules, ultimately allowing 11 to tackle 1.

 

I think we will have a pretty good defensive unit this year. Obviously thin in the secondary, and it may take some time to find the right mix at LB, but the defensive line should be solid out of the gate. At some point, this defense will understand the freedom they have and it'll click. Should be a lot of fun when that happens.

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Four teams in college football that could surprise us in 2018?

 

Troy

 

The Trojans need to replace quarterback Brandon Silvers, but they’re deep almost everywhere else on offense thanks to coach Neal Brown’s scheme—which rolls in waves of players on a regular basis and creates a perpetually experienced group.

 

Troy and Appalachian State likely will fight for the Sun Belt title, but the Trojans have a chance to make national headlines when they host Boise State in Week 1 and when they travel to Nebraska in Week 3.

 

SI.com

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1 hour ago, Mavric said:

 

SI.com

 

How is Troy a surprise team? They are not some 6 or 7 win team. They are an 11 win, conference champ that went to LSU and won....and everyone knows this coming into the season. They won't surprise Boise, Nebraska, and certainly not the Sun Belt conference.

 

I find it insulting to suggest Troy is a surprise team, because the only reason someone can suggest that they are such is because of their conference affiliation.

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That tweet is a lot harder to read embedded than on Twitter

 

He is listing the teams with the biggest discrepancy between their offensive ranking and defensive ranking

 

He has Troy as the second-most imbalanced.  #51 on offense and #6 on defense

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This game has me worried especially after losing Martinez.  The thought of going 0 - 2 is unreal with the high expectations we had before the Akron game.  

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On 9/9/2018 at 9:45 AM, r06ue1 said:

This game has me worried especially after losing Martinez.  The thought of going 0 - 2 is unreal with the high expectations we had before the Akron game.  

 

This game has me very worried.  Nebraska SHOULD be able to just go take carte of business.  We will have had a week of practice to help fix the issues we saw in the CU game.  New players now have some experience at this level.  First game jitters should be gone for both players and coaches.

 

But, until this team actually does that....I'm nervous.

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2 hours ago, BigRedBuster said:

 

This game has me very worried.  Nebraska SHOULD be able to just go take carte of business.  We will have had a week of practice to help fix the issues we saw in the CU game.  New players now have some experience at this level.  First game jitters should be gone for both players and coaches.

 

But, until this team actually does that....I'm nervous.

I had a bad feeling about the Colorado game after the Akron cancellation, never posted my score prediction for that game.  Also had a bad feeling when Martinez took off late in the game (when he was injured), wanted him to pitch it outside.  I do feel better about this game if Martinez plays but without him it will be really close.  

 

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This game could be closer than a lot of people think. Troy won big last week but was trounced by BSU in week 1. But, Troy had 4 lost fumbles and an INT in that game against a good BSU squad. If they don't commit those turnovers the game would more than likely have been a lot closer. Not saying they would have won but it probably wouldn't have been a blow-out.

 

The CU game scared me (enough that I picked the correct winner in the prediction contest). This game scares me too, especially if AM sits out. But rest easy since I picked DONU for a narrow victory this week:). I hope I'm wrong and we blow them out of the stadium like the good old days. 

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I don't really know what to make of Troy. Boise took whatever they wanted against the Troy D: regularly burnt their DBs deep, gashed them up the middle (even against 8-9 man boxes), etc.

 

Troy offense likes to go fast. They did some QB switching against Boise and I think that kept them from getting a good rhythm going. Barker, the QB, can and will run. He's not Taylor Martinez fast but he's plenty fast. Their o-line did not look great. Boise got good pressure with only 4 guys, but he broke contain a couple times for decent runs and he hit some nice passes on the move.

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