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Trojans slay another giant

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KeyShon Taggart

Staff Writer

The “Giant Slayers” of Troy have done it again.

In front of a packed crowd of 89,360 at Memorial Stadium on Saturday, the Troy Trojans beat the Nebraska Cornhuskers 24-19. 

Troy (2-1, 0-0 Sun Belt) was coming into this game 1-1 after beating Florida A&M convincingly last week, while the Cornhuskers and first-year coach Scott Frost were trying to bounce back after losing at home to Colorado and losing starting quarterback Adrian Martinez to a right leg injury.

The Trojan defense started the game with a stop of the Cornhusker offense, forcing them to punt it back to Troy. The Trojans capitalized with a field goal to take a 3-0 lead and never looked back.

Troy then forced a fumble and an interception, recovered by Hunter Reese and picked off by Tyler Murry, respectively.

The turnovers kept Nebraska at bay until a 58-yard punt return by Cedarius Rookard broke the stalemate and put Troy up 10-0.

In the second quarter, the Trojans went up 17-0 after a 5-play, 80-yard drive finished off by B.J. Smith’s 9-yard touchdown run.

Nebraska would soon answer before halftime with its own touchdown, making the game 17-7 heading into the locker rooms. 

During the second half, Nebraska mounted a comeback after kicking two field goals to come within four, 17-13.

Troy fired right back with a 10-play, 62-yard drive to give B.J. Smith his second score of the day, a 26-yard touchdown rush.

Nebraska answered by scoring a touchdown of its own and stopping the Trojan offense and forcing Troy to punt on the next offensive drive. 

Troy’s own Will Sunderland then intercepted Nebraska quarterback Andrew Bunch for the second interception of the  game, ending Nebraska’s comeback bid. 

Kaleb Barker finished the game going 14 for 21 with 110 yards passing and one interception, while B.J. Smith led the running attack. Smith posted 170 rushing yards on 11 carries. 

Tron Folsom led the Trojans’ defense with 14 total tackles. The defense had 3 sacks, 10 tackles for loss, 2 interceptions, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. 

“I thought we showed tremendous grit and determination,” said Head Coach Neal Brown following the win.

This is the second time in two years the Trojans have beaten a Power 5 conference team. 

The Trojans were paid $985,000 to play LSU on  its homecoming of 2017 and now $1.15 million to play the Cornhuskers.

This Saturday, Sept. 22, at 6 p.m., Troy will play Louisiana-Monroe to begin Sun Belt Conference play in its second consecutive road game.