September 9, 2012
Grading the Game - Louisiana-Lafayette
Before we get into Troy's performance, we have to acknowledge the display of emotion by ULL head coach Mark Hudspeth. A fourth quarter tirade that drew a flag and plenty of cheers from several dozen remaining Troy fans was quite entertaining. Hudspeth could be heard screaming "That is the dirtiest team in the country" in the direction of the Ragin' Cajun fan section. While there was plenty of physicality shown from both teams, Hudspeth sure wins the award for the nation's "Lunatic of the Week".
A - Conference Championship Material
B - Solid Performance
C - Not Quite Ready for the Game
D - Very Disappointing
F - Complete Disaster
Quarterbacks - How much more could Corey Robinson do? The junior was 46-for-70 for 485 yards. He is now Troy's all-time leading career passer in every major category for the position. Two fumbles by receiver, one that was returned for a ULL touchdown, and a pass that was bobbled by running back Shawn Southward before being intercepted really cost the offense. Backup Deon Anthony got in on the action as well completing 4 of 5 of his attempts and rushing for a touchdown in the first quarter.
Overall Grade: A
Running Backs - After rushing for 204 yards last week against UAB, Shawn Southward was held to just 33 yards on 16 carries. Justin Albert and Khary Franklin had some success with 30 yards on six combined attempts. Head coach Larry Blakeney said after the game that the team's run blocking assignment are simple and there is no excuse for that to be an issue.
Overall Grade: D
Wide Receivers - Nine receivers combined to catch 50 passes for the Trojans. There were several drops in there as well. After the run game proved ineffective, Troy stuck with what was working. Chandler Worthy had a career game, catching nine passes for 154 yards. Eric Thomas and Jaquon Robinson caught passes for touchdowns. Chip Reeves, Troy main deep threat, was held to just four receptions and 37 yards. Robinson missed Reeves deep twice on a drive in the second quarter, the second was batted away on a nice play by a ULL defender. Fumbles by Thomas and Worthy as well as a bobbled shovel pass to Southward that turned into an interception proved costly.
Overall Grade: B-
Offensive Line - Troy allowed just one sack for the game but the line completely failed to establish a running game.
Overall Grade: C
Defensive Line - Troy's defensive front didn't record a sack, never really pressured the pass and sure didn't stop the run. ULL rushed for 218 yards for the game, Alonzo Harris had 137 of those.
Overall Grade: F
Linebackers - Dimitri Miles and Brannon Bryan each finished with eight tackles to lead the team. Kanorris Davis had seven. It is a welcomed sight after safety Brynden Trawick led the team in tackles last season. Troy didn't fair poorly against the pass but ULL broke off huge chunks of yards off-tackle in the run game.
Overall Grade: C
Defensive Backs - Troy wasn't tested much, especially deep as ULL attempted just 22 passes. Terra Broadway's two longest completions of 21 and 32 yards came on consecutive plays in the second quarter. The 21-yards connection to Effrem Reed came on a screen while the 32-yards hook up with Jamal Robinson was on a short out route.
Overall Grade: B
Special Teams - Kicker Will Scott tallied three touchbacks on four kickoffs and made all three extra point attempts. He also made good on his lone field goal attempt, a 33-yarder in the third quarter. Scott punted five times for an average of 43 yards. The return game could have been better as the Trojans averaged starting at its own 20. Brandon Burks made a bad decision in the first quarter by returning a kick from the end zone and being stopped at the Trojans 10.
Overall Grade: D on returns, A on kicking
Team Performance - The Trojans offense looked like a conference contender outside of the struggles in teh run game, which are fixable, and the turnovers. Troy's ability to move the football will win some games for them this season if the defense can keep up. The defensive line must improve and the defensive coaches must learn to make adjustments more quickly if the team want to compete for the conference title this season. Troy also had issues with substitutions, especially on special teams. It was a tough loss emotionally for the Trojans, especially with a home bout against Mississippi State looming this week.
Overall Grade: B on offense, D on defense
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