The Troy football team bounced back from its Week 1 loss in dramatic fashion, cruising past in-state foe Alabama State 34-7.
The Trojans (1-1, 0-0 Sun Belt) picked up their first win of the season in front of a record-setting crowd in attendance. An official headcount of 29,278 fans packed Veterans Memorial Stadium to watch Troy tally 605 yards of total offense in its home opener.
Troy was the first on the board, scoring on its first offensive possession. Senior running back Jordan Chunn punched it in from four yards out, the first of three scores on the ground for Chunn.
Troy held that lead until the Hornets defense erased the deficit by intercepting a Brandon Silvers pass. ASU’s Ronnie Scott took the play 80 yards back for the score, resulting in a 7-7 tie after the first quarter.
It wasn’t until the end of the first half that Troy began to find its rhythm. Chunn capped off an 82-yard drive with a 15-yard TD run, but a failed two-point conversion left the score at 13-7 with under five minutes to go.
Memphis transfer Jamarius Henderson then picked up his first of two scores on the ground with under two minutes remaining in the half to extend Troy’s lead. Henderson’s 12-yard score put the Trojans up by two scores heading into the halftime break.
Troy scored once more in both the third and fourth quarters to do away with any hopes of Alabama State getting itself back into the game. Chunn and Henderson carried the load with a three-yard and a 36-yard run, respectively.
Following Chunn’s 10th career game with multiple touchdowns, he now moves to within eight scores of tying the Sun Belt’s all-time record.
Along with Troy’s dominance on the ground, Silvers tallied 345 yards through the air, but no touchdown passes. After completing 32 of his 40 attempts, Silvers jumped to second place in Troy’s all-time passing yards record book with 7,878. Troy’s total yards through the air were also the most without a passing touchdown since the Trojans joined FBS play.
“Tonight was a win,” said Head Coach Neal Brown. “A win isn’t always pretty.
“I thought we dominated the game in all three phases. The score didn’t always show that, but I was proud.
“Defensively we continue to play with a lot of passion and energy. We shut them out defensively. The only score they had was a pick-six. I think the defense will continue to grow. Offensively we dominated the game; we just shot ourselves in the foot in the first half.”
Troy looks ahead to its first Sun Belt matchup of the year. The Trojans are set to take on New Mexico State on Saturday in Las Cruces, New Mexico. The Sun Belt opener will be aired on ESPN3 with kickoff set for 7 p.m.