Troy football has reached the middle of the season at an overall record of (2-3) and (0-1) in conference play.
The Trojans are coming off a dismal performance against Missouri where both quarterbacks were knocked out of the game due to injuries. Troy started strong but couldn’t contend with the strength and physicality of the Tigers after Barker left the game with an injury.
The only conference loss this year came against an exceptional, but beatable, Arkansas State squad. Arkansas State started a redshirt freshman at quarterback who posted 440 passing yards. In that loss, Troy gave up a safety, 558 yards of total offense, had two unsuccessful 2-point conversions, and four turnovers.
Troy enters its next conference game against a struggling South Alabama team that is (1-5) this year with their only win against Jackson St.
Troy has shown glimpses this year of a potentially dangerous squad on the offensive side of the ball, but the fact is that there has been inconsistent quarterback play, a secondary that is banged up, and a run game that has been great in wins and sub-par in losses.
Troy’s front seven this year has been great against the run, allowing under three yards per rushing attempt. The front seven is not the problem though; the secondary has given up 309 yards a game to opposing receivers. This must change in order for Troy to get off the field on third down and get crucial stops to win games.
Kaleb Barker has a QBR (Total Quarterback Rating) of 60.4 this season, which ranks 61st in the nation. Barker hasn’t played a complete game this year for the Trojans. At times Barker has looked like an all-conference quarterback, but in other times he has succumbed to the pressure of the defense. Barker is coming off a Missouri game where he threw two interceptions and was injured. In Troy’s next contest, Barker has the chance to have a complete game against a weak South Alabama defense.
Troy has been plagued with injuries at running back for the last three games after B.J. Smith, who was expected to be an all-conference star in Troy’s backfield, suffered a season-ending injury against Southern Miss. Also, Jabir Daughtry-Frye was injured in that game and has missed considerable time with no timetable for his return.
DK Bilingsley has taken over and has the talent and the will to average 100 rushing yards per game. The offensive line has allowed only 10 sacks with the consideration of the mobility of Barker. Run blocking hasn’t been up to par as the Trojans rank 90th in the country in yards per rushing attempt with 3.7 yards per attempt.
I believe the key to any good offensive football team is a balance. In the two Trojan wins this year, the team has rushed for more than 200 yards, but in three losses, the Trojans haven’t even rushed for 120 yards. The Trojans have some of the most talented and physical wide receivers in the game, but the threat of a run is diminished and so is play-action, which is a huge part of any successful offense.
Troy fans, don’t panic just yet because if our secondary can limit the big plays, the Trojans can rush for more than 100 yards a game, and Barker can hit his talented targets, we still have a chance to compete in late November despite this unfavorable start to the season.