Eagles prepare for landing in Troy

Hayden Boudreaux

Back from the bye week, the Eagles will travel to Alabama to take on the Troy Trojans this Saturday. Georgia Southern is currently ranked third in the Sun Belt while the Trojans are ranked sixth.

Former Troy head coach Larry Blakeney stepped down last November after a 24 seasons and gave the helm to his 35 year old assistant coach, the second youngest in the FBS. His first full season hasn’t gotten off to a fabulous start but he is on track to record more wins than last season.

It would be easy for fans to dismiss the 3-6 Trojans as an easy win for the Eagles, but it will likely be anything but. Troy may have only three wins, but in their two wins over New Mexico State and ULM they were able to put up over 50 points. Two of their losses came from two ranked teams in Wisconsin and Mississippi State. They also fared much better against Appalachian State, taking them to overtime but losing in a 44-41 affair. The Eagles will have to look out as Troy will be at home and coming off of a win over ULM to give themselves something to make them think they can win.

Statistically, the Trojans have been able to hold their own in the conference on both sides of the ball. Offensively they rank as the fourth best passing attack with sophomore Brandon Silvers leading the charge. The Trojan defense has been the best in the Sun Belt at going after the quarterback as they have 22 sacks all season. They allow an average of 384 yards per game and while their defense is built better for defending against the pass, their size and speed will present roadblocks for the Eagle offense.

The defensive line contains two of the best pass rushing defensive ends in the conference. Senior Tyler Roberts and redshirt junior Rashad Dillard have combined for 9.5 sacks this season and were top prospects from the football factories of Byrnes High School and Hoover High School. Roberts has totaled 39 tackles this season, 9.5 tackles for loss and forced one fumble. His counterpart registered 23 tackles, seven take downs behind the line and a forced fumble. Their one-two punch will be assisted by their playmakers at linebacker.

Junior linebacker William Lloyd leads the team in tackles with 59 and is a menace for opposing offenses. The 6’0” 214lb linebacker has deceptive speed which allowed him to pull down 2.5 sacks and eight tackles behind the line. Next to him is the 6’2” 229 load of a linebacker in Terris Lewis. He lacks the speed of Lloyd but does a good job of ricocheting himself in the holes of the offense, clogging up the run game, and ranks third on the team in tackles (47) and leads the team in forced fumbles (2).

All in all, the Eagles should win this game, and need to win the game in order to keep their hopes of winning the Sun Belt alive. Along with winning out the schedule, Arkansas State much suffer two loses along with App State losing one more. It may seem like a quirky situation, but stranger things have happened in the world of college football. Troy is a team that has nothing to lose and they will pull out all the stops to take down the defending conference champs. As long as the Eagles can jump ahead early and kill their spirits, they should tick off their fifth conference win.