Troy football will play its home opener against Charleston Southern University this Saturday at 6 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
Head Coach Neal Brown hopes for support following a loss in the season opener versus NC State.
“Obviously we are fired up about our home opener,” Brown said. “We need to defend our home turf and that will begin Saturday night. We are expecting a good crowd. I’d appreciate everyone in the Dothan, Montgomery and Troy area to come out and support us and our guys.”
The Trojans will be facing a Charleston Southern team that was 8-4 last season, with two losses against Division I opponents.
Charleston Southern has nine upperclassmen players on offense and eight upperclassmen on defense, so experience will be a strength. The Trojans will have to win these types of games if they want this year to be successful.
Charleston Southern runs an option offense, so the Trojans’ run defense will be challenged throughout the game. Senior defensive end Tyler Roberts and sophomore defensive end Jamal Stadom are disruptive pass rushers, but their ability to remain disciplined in running lanes will dictate the success of the run defense.
Junior linebacker William Lloyd had 15 tackles against NC State, so that effort will need to be replicated among all defensive players.
“We gave up very few big plays,” Brown said of their performance against NC State.
While that may be true, the Trojans were unable to make stops on major downs during the game, and the offense’s inability to sustain drives were key in their loss versus NC State.
“In a game like that, those third down and fourth downs are really important,” said senior transfer cornerback LaMarcus Farmer. “That would have changed a lot of the outcomes.”
Troy’s offense looks to build on their week one performance. Sophomore quarterback Brandon Silvers was highly effective with short passes against NC State and this allowed for senior running back Brandon Burks to break loose.
Troy’s offensive line will set the tone of the game against Charleston Southern. Coach Brown has set high expectations for the offensive line, so whether it is creating holes to run or providing pass protection, the offensive line has a heavy responsibility in getting a win on Saturday.
With the program wanting to impress, a breakout victory in Troy’s home opener would instill confidence in the fans and show progress.