Junior defensive end John Hines Jr. sets to meet Texas State defensive back Khambrail Winters blocking on a Trojan field goal attempt.
The Troy Trojans defeated the Texas State Bobcats 63-27 in Bobcat Stadium on Saturday behind a record day for senior quarterback Kaleb Barker.
The win evens Troy’s overall record at 5-5 and their Sun Belt Conference record at 3-3 with two games left in the regular season.
After the game against Georgia Southern, Head Coach Chip Lindsey said the team had played its most complete game of the season. Lindsey had similar remarks after Saturday’s win.
“I was really pleased with the way we came out, especially in the first half,” Lindsey said. “I thought we executed well –only a few drives that we left out there.
“We carried over well between offense, defense and special teams from last week. We talked about keeping that momentum, and I think we did.”
Troy’s 63 points set a school record for points in a Sun Belt Conference game and marked the most points by the Trojans since scoring 66 against Savannah State in 2013.
Thirty-five of those points came in the first half on Saturday thanks to the arm of the Trojans’ senior signal-caller.
After Texas State put the first three points on the board, Troy responded with a 35-7 run in the first half behind five passing touchdowns from Barker.
Barker threw his sixth and final touchdown of the day in the third quarter to put the Trojans up 42-10.
For his performance, Barker was named the Sun Belt Conference Offensive Player of the Week by the league office.
Barker threw for 363 yards against a Texas State team that came into the game with the 18th-best passing defense nationally and the second-best in the Sun Belt Conference, allowing about 186 passing yards per game.
Eleven different receivers caught passes from Barker on Saturday. Junior Kaylon Geiger caught eight passes for 61 yards. Geiger leads the Trojans in receptions with 68 this season and ranks 18th nationally with 6.8 receptions per game.
Redshirt sophomore Luke Whittemore caught his second touchdown pass of the year, and junior Khalil McClain scored his seventh receiving touchdown, which leads the team this season.
Before Saturday, redshirt freshman running back Trevon Woolfolk had four receptions on the season. Against the Bobcats, Woolfolk had four catches for two touchdowns in the first half.
“I figured out that your running back is your best friend,” Barker said. “Especially when you play a lot of teams that drop eight.”
A week removed from setting the school record in sacks, the Trojan defense caught a season-high four interceptions against the Bobcats’ quarterback, Tyler Vitt.
The Trojans faced Vitt last season and picked him off five times in a 12-7 win for Troy at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
On Saturday, the four interceptions turned into 28 points for the Trojans, as each of them resulted in a touchdown.
Sophomore linebacker Carlton Martial had two of the interceptions, including one which was returned for a touchdown in the fourth quarter which put the final seven points on the board for the Trojans.
K.J. Robertson recorded an interception and led the team in total tackles with eight and had a tackle for a loss.
At Tuesday’s press conference, Robertson discussed the defense’s progression throughout the season.
“Preparation I think has been a whole lot different,” Robertson said. “Us trusting each other is a huge part of it,”
Next, the Trojans will hit the road again for a Sun Belt Conference matchup against Louisiana (8-2, 5-1), who currently leads the West Division.
The Trojans will need to win one of its final two regular-season games to become bowl eligible for the fourth season in a row.