/Trojans beat Idaho, improve best start in Division I history

Trojans beat Idaho, improve best start in Division I history

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Wesley Kirchharr

Staff Writer

The Troy football team upended conference foe Idaho 34-13 on Saturday and cruised to its first 4-1 start in its FBS history.

With the win, the Trojans (4-1, 2-0 Sun Belt) moved up to No. 33 in the national rankings and two spots ahead of Auburn, according to cbssports.com. Troy is now the second-highest ranked team in Alabama, according to the website.

Troy was able to showcase its offense, racking up 530 total yards, while the defense held the Vandals (2-3, 0-1 Sun Belt) to just 255.

“Anytime you go on the road in your league and win, I think that’s a big deal,” Head Coach Neal Brown said after the game.

“The biggest benefit we have right now is we are able to run the football. Defenses have to respect our run game.”

Idaho was able to get on the board first with two field goals in the first quarter of play. Senior kicker Austin Rehkow had successful attempts from 21 and 42 yards out to give his team a 6-0 lead over the Trojans.

Troy responded and never looked back as junior quarterback Brandon Silvers found junior wide receiver Tevaris McCormick for the 36-yard score. On Troy’s next drive, Silvers found junior wide receiver Emanuel Thompson for another score through the air. After extra points from senior kicker Ryan Kay, the Trojans were on top 14-6 as the first quarter came to a close.

In the second quarter, junior running back Jordan Chunn was able to punch it in from 12 yards out to add to Troy’s lead. The teams headed to the locker rooms with Troy on top 21-6.

The Trojans did not slow down after the half as Silvers found junior wide receiver John Johnson for a 60-yard score and his own third passing touchdown of the game on the first play from scrimmage. Troy held a comfortable 28-6 lead in the third quarter, and Kay did the rest from there.

He booted two field goals from 25 and 31 yards out to close out the third quarter, giving Troy a 34-6 lead.

Idaho tacked on one last score during the fourth quarter as junior quarterback Matt Linehan found senior tight end Trent Cowan for a 22-yard score through the air. After the PAT, the score stood at 34-13, where it would remain until the end of the game.

Silvers went 31-for-42 through the air along with 3 touchdowns. His 373 passing yards is a career high, as is his 31 completions. Despite two interceptions, Saturday’s game was the seventh straight game dating back to last season that Silvers has thrown multiple touchdown passes in a game.

Chunn led the Trojan offense on the ground, running for 137 yards on 22 touches to go along with one score. With his performance, Chunn moved into fifth place all-time on Troy’s career rushing touchdown list with 25.

Three of Chunn’s four career 100-yard rushing games came this season.

For the Trojan defense, sophomore cornerback Blace Brown picked off two passes. Brown is now in a four-way tie for first in the country with four interceptions so far.

Linehan went 13-for-34 for the Vandals with one touchdown and two interceptions.

Troy received one vote in the USA Today Coaches’ Poll last week, and its win this week earned the team two more votes.

The Trojans have a bye week after this game and will return to conference action on Saturday, Oct. 15, when Georgia State comes to town for homecoming. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.