#98 Troy Football 2014 Preview

Troy Trojans

Overall Rank: #98
#4 Sun Belt

Troy Team Page#98 Troy Football 2014 PreviewBuy Troy Football Tickets

The big story at Troy is under center. Corey Robinson was a four year starter for the Trojans and was the face of the offense. Now there are four inexperienced players battling to be his replacement. Dallas Tidwell has actually thrown a few passes with the team, going 12-of-16 for 137 yards and two touchdowns in 2013. The 6-7 pro style signal caller is an interesting option, but so are junior college transfers Dontreal Pruitt and Connor Bravard. Redshirt freshman Brandon Silvers has impressed thus far and is in the mix as well.

2013 Record: (6-6, 4-3)
2013 Bowl: None
Coach: Larry Blakeney (83-75 at Troy, 83-75 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Kenny Edenfield
Defensive Coordinator: Wayne Bolt

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Brandon Burks, RB, 675 yards
Passing: Dallas Tidwell, QB, 137 yards
Receiving: Bryan Holmes, WR, 676 yards
Tackles: Mark Wilson, LB, 58
Sacks: Tyler Roberts, DE, 5.5
Interceptions: Chris Davis, CB, 1; Terris Lewis, LB, 1

Other Key Returnees: RB Jordan Chunn, OL Terrence Jones

Key Losses: QB Corey Robinson, WR Eric Thomas, S Camren Hudson, S Chris Pickett, DE Antonio Gillespie, DE Marty Stadom, OL Evan McKissack, K/P Will Scott

The good news for the new quarterback is that he will have plenty of talent to work with. The offensive line, led by right tackle Terrence Jones, is extremely deep. A year ago there were serious concerns about the inexperienced line, but they stepped up and played very well. Now the unit is a year older and a year better. Troy never lacks in receiving options and this year is no different. Bryan Holmes is the top returning pass catcher with 40 receptions for 676 yards and seven touchdowns, but there is talent and experience across the board. Chandler Worthy is one to keep an eye on. Last year he only caught 24 passes, but each went for about 17 yards. He should be involved as a big play receiver in 2014. If it takes any time for the new quarterbacks to get the passing game going, Coach Larry Blakeney can look to his ground game instead. Brandon Burks and Jordan Chunn are back and can increase their workload. Burks led the team with 675 rushing yards, but Chunn led the nation in rushing touchdowns for a freshman with 14.

For every big play the Troy offense produced in 2013, it seemed like the defense just as quickly allowed one of their own. The secondary was ineffective at best and downright awful at times. The unit allowed 313.6 yards per game through the air, ranking 121st in the nation. The defense as a whole gave up nearly 36 points per game and a total of 483 yards. In one sense it cannot get any worse, but there are still holes to fill, especially on the line. The defensive line lost three starters and will have to rebuild around end Tyler Roberts. Mark Wilson and Wayland Coleman-Dancer are experienced linebackers who should be able to emerge as solid leaders. The hope is the secondary can improve with more experience at corner. Chris Davis, Ethan Davis and Keion Payne accounted for every start last year and are back to hope for better. The safety spots are an even bigger concern. Camren Hudson and Chris Pickett, last year’s top two tacklers, are gone and that is not good news for a team that needs experience in the back of the defense to help prevent big plays.

The Bottom Line:
Troy is certainly one of the top programs in the new look Sun Belt. Unlike most teams in the conference, the Trojans have been around at this level for a while. There is not a conference game on the schedule that Troy will be afraid of, although the season finale against Louisiana will be difficult. But that contest could also be for the Sun Belt title if the Troy defense can manage to see some significant improvement.

Projected Bowl: None

2013 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 141.0 (90th in nation, 6th in conference)
Passing Offense: 322.3 (13, 1)
Total Offense: 463.3 (27, 1)
Scoring Offense: 35.9 (107, 7)
Rushing Defense: 169.6 (72, 5)
Pass Defense: 313.6 (121, 7)
Total Defense: 483.2 (112, 7)
Scoring Defense: 35.9 (107, 7)
Turnover Margin: -0.7 (107, 6)
Sacks:  2.00 (62, 3)
Sacks Allowed: 1.67 (41, 2)


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