Camels Sent Packing; Lindsey leads Troy to season opening win

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(PHOTO/ Chris Wallace)

The Trojan receiving corp, led by Kaylon Geiger and Reggie Todd, posted 282 total yards, with Geiger’s 104 and Todd’s 108.

 

Scott Shelton

Staff Writer

Troy football earned its first win of the Chip Lindsey era with a 43-14 win over the Campbell Camels.

Lindsey becomes the first Troy head coach to win his debut game since former Head Coach Robert Maddox did so in 1988.

“I’m glad we got the win,” Lindsey said. “I was a little bit worried with how we would respond after the long delay, but I was really pleased with how we played in the second half. 

“I was really pleased with how we tried to take control of the game upfront and win the line of scrimmage.”

Troy’s offense started out strong with 17 points in the second quarter. Then, lightning came in the area and forced a 74-minute delay. 

Troy put a field goal on the board in the second quarter and managed to shut out Campbell and maintain the lead.

After halftime, the team found its groove and continued with its first-quarter pace. 

The offense accumulated 305 yards in the second half, and the defense stifled the Camels to just 143 total yards for the whole game.

Senior quarterback Kaleb Barker played in his first game since his injury suffered at the midway point of last season and picked up where he left off.

Barker completed 18 of 29 passes for 282 yards and two touchdowns.

One touchdown went to sophomore Luke Whittemore, and the other went to junior college transfer Reggie Todd, who led the receiving core with 108 yards receiving on the day.

Kaylon Geiger, another junior college transfer, made his debut with five receptions for 104 receiving yards.

But Barker didn’t immediately hit his stride. After the game, Barker discussed the offense’s first drive-in during which he couldn’t connect with Sam Letton in the end zone, and the Trojans settled for a field goal. 

“That’s going to eat me up,” Barker said. “He’s a good guy. 

“He’s not holding it over my head.”

One of Troy’s brightest spots of the night was the performance from its stable of running backs.

Senior running back B.J. Smith crossed the 100-yard mark with 108 yards rushing on 10 carries.

Smith’s third-quarter touchdown marked the 16th of his career, putting him at 10th on the all-time list in program history.

Smith rushed for 100 yards or more in five games last season. His six 100-yard-games puts him at 10th all-time in that category. 

Redshirt freshman D.K. Billingsley made his season debut and contributed 86 yards and two touchdowns, including a 38-yard scamper for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.

On defense, the Trojans held strong, allowing just 68 total yards of offense through three quarters.

Sophomore Carlton Martial set his career-high in tackles and led the team with 13 total tackles and nine solo tackles.

Troy’s steady defensive front allowed just 55 rushing yards on the day and sacked the quarterback a total of five times.

Senior defensive tackle Marcus Webb led the team with two solo sacks on the night.

Travon Mathis, Jarvis Hayes, K.J. Robertson and Justin Whisenhunt all recorded sacks as well. 

After the first game, Troy’s defense ranks ninth nationally in team sacks and sixth in total defense.

The Trojans have a bye week this week before playing at home against the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles of Conference USA on Sept. 14.

The Trojans’ rivalry with the Golden Eagles dates back to 1935. Since then, the two teams have met over nine games, with the Golden Eagles taking seven of those games. 

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