Scouting The Trojans

Robert George

Troy comes into the game this weekend with their eyes set on a share of the 2016 Sun Belt Championship. If they beat Georgia Southern this weekend, they’ll join Appalachian State and potentially Arkansas State as co-champions. It will also be their sixth Sun Belt title since joining the league in 2004.

Troy has been one of the most complete teams in the conference all season. They have the second best offensive unit and the third best defensive unit in the Sun Belt. They also have one of the most efficient field goal kickers and kick returners in the conference as well.

“What you don’t see is any glaring weaknesses,” GS head coach Tyson Summers said. “What you see is guys on both sides of the ball doing what they’re supposed to do and that play extremely hard.”

Offensively, the Trojans are led by the leading passer in the Sun Belt in junior Brandon Silvers. He has a league-high 2727 passing yards to go along with 21 touchdowns, which is five more than the next closest player. Trojan head coach Neal Brown is known for employing a pass-first scheme, and he has an experienced and talented quarterback to do it.

Silvers doesn’t run very often, but he does have four rushing scores on the year, which is the fourth most of any QB in the Sun Belt. The rushing attack is largely bolstered by junior tailback Jordan Chunn. He’s got 1197 yards on the season and 11 scores, which averages out to about 100 yards and one touchdown per game. His success on the ground has been a big part of the Trojans ability to be balanced on offense this season.

“One of the things that’s different with Coach Brown is him making the run game an important piece of his package on offense,” Summers said. “He’s always been kind of a throw-first guy, but that’s not really what they are anymore. They’re still high-paced and high-tempo.”

Defensively, their two leading tacklers are linebackers William Lloyd and Terris Lewis, players Summers describes as “solid” and that “do everything right.” Along with them are two all-around safeties in Kris Weatherspoon and Cedarius Rookard. Rookard leads the team with two interceptions while Weatherspoon has six pass break-ups, which is second most on the team.

Senior defensive end Rashard Dillard is the playmaker in the front seven, and he’s had a fantastic season thus far. He leads the team in tackles for loss with 12.5 and in sacks with six. He’ll look to get in the backfield and cause problems for a GS offense that has struggled this season.

GS would like for nothing better than to send its vaunted senior class off with a win in their final game. It’ll be a large task, however, as Troy has been good all season long, and has its sights set on another Sun Belt title. These things should make for a good game this Saturday as the 2016 season comes to a close.

Photo courtesy of Mick Miller.