With the loss against Appalachian State, the Troy football team is now 9-3 and 7-1 in the Sun Belt, placing Troy second behind App. State in the Sun Belt East Division. The last game was not only a bid to place in the Sun Belt Championship game, but a chance to host the game as well.
The Trojans struggled throughout the game on offense, scoring only 10 points the entire game. Sawyer Smith went 17-for-34 for 160 yards, throwing one touchdown and two picks. B.J. Smith had 15 carries but was held to 53 yards rushing. The defense played well, holding App. State to just 21 points, but any player will tell you it wasn’t enough for the win.
The question after the game is: Where do the Trojans go from here?
Ultimately, the Trojans played well during the second half of the year after suffering a huge season-ending injury to starting quarterback Kaleb Barker after he tore his ACL. Sawyer Smith stepped in and played well after the upset at Liberty, leading the team to a 5-2 record while filling in for Barker. Even with the injuries this season, the Trojans still have a chance to finish with more than 10 wins for the third straight season with a bowl game win.
We will learn more about the bowl game after championship week when the bids are sent out. Probable locations include Montgomery’s Camellia Bowl, Orlando’s Cure Bowl or Mobile’s Dollar General Bowl. This anticipated bowl game will cap some very great careers here and start new ones for the guys who will fill their roles.
Some big-time seniors are leaving after this season, including Damion Willis and Blace Brown, but the team is still in good hands with Barker coming back and B.J. Smith possibly returning on offense and defense. Tron Folsom may possibly return to lead the stout Troy defense.
Like any other team in the country, the Trojans are losing some players to the next level or graduation, but Troy’s young core looks to have the team in good hands for years to come.