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Trojans escape Texas State, 12-7

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Scott Shelton

Staff Writer

 

The Troy defense forced six turnovers, five in the first half, as the Troy football team defeated Texas State 12-7 on Saturday.

The Trojans remain unbeaten in Sun Belt play and will face Appalachian State next Saturday for the Sun Belt East Division title.

Troy has now won 13 straight conference games and 21 of its last 24 Sun Belt Conference games.

Against Texas State, the defense was all over the place as it held the Bobcats to seven points, the lowest since holding Florida A&M to seven points.

Three of Texas State’s turnovers came at the hands of linebacker Cedarius Rookard.

In the first half alone, Rookard picked off two passes and forced a fumble, stopping any momentum the Bobcats were creating.

In the second half, Blace Brown kept the turnovers coming with his first interception of the season.

Down by five in the fourth quarter, Texas State had a chance to take the lead in the game. But a crucial third-down sack by Travis Sailo and Jarvis Hayes all but sealed the fate of the Bobcats.

The defense made up for the play of the offense, which struggled to get in the end zone.

Wide receiver Damion Willis, who led the Sun Belt in receiving yards and receiving touchdowns coming into the game, did not play in what could be Troy’s final home game of the season.

But when the Trojans got into Bobcat territory, placekicker Tyler Sumpter scored all of Troy’s points by making all four of his field goal attempts.

B.J. Smith rushed for 94 yards and reached one-thousand yards rushing on the season, the first Sun Belt rusher to do so this season.

Quarterback Sawyer Smith struggled against the Bobcats secondary, throwing for 79 yards off 13-27 passing.

Sidney Davis was the leading receiver for Troy, accumulating 43 yards off five receptions.

Troy outgained Texas State 141 to 129 on the ground, but the Bobcats outgained the Trojans with 284 yards of total offense to Troy’s 220.

Twelve points from the Trojans was the lowest output in any game for the team this season.

The teams were nearly identical statistically, but the Trojans took 36 minutes off the clock, limiting the Bobcats time on offense.

The Trojans won the turnover battle by not giving up the ball on offense and forcing quarterback Tyler Vitt into throwing five interceptions.

Next week, Troy takes on Appalachian State at 1:30 p.m. on ESPN+.

The winner will advance to the inaugural Sun Belt championship and play host to the game on Dec. 1.