Trojans tumble in opener

Scott Shelton

Staff Writer

In front of a record crowd, the Troy football team dropped its season opener to No. 22 Boise State 56-20. 

Troy fans set a record at Veterans Memorial Stadium with a crowd of 29,612.

Prior to the game, Troy had won seven games in a row, dating back to last season, which was the fourth-longest streak in the country.

The Trojan defense, ranked 12th last season in the nation in overall defense, had no answer for the Broncos’ offense. 

“We got beat by a better football team,” said Troy Head Coach Neal Brown. “I think we lost the game late in the first quarter.

“I like how our guys responded in the second half. I a like that was probably the best team we have played since Clemson in 2016.”

Boise State scored on five of its first seven possessions as quarterback Brett Rypien took advantage of the Trojans’ secondary.

Rypien threw for 276 yards and four touchdowns in the first half alone. Broncos wide receiver Sean Modster had two touchdowns and 161 receiving yards off six catches in the first half.

After seeing the Broncos score on their first drive, the Trojans were forced to punt on the ensuing drive but caught a break when the football hit Avery Williams of Boise State, allowing the Trojans to recover. 

The Trojans would go on to score on a 23-yard touchdown by Jabir Frye, the second of his career, and tie the game at seven points each.

The game then got out of hand for last year’s Sun Belt Champions as Rypien threw a 53-yard touchdown to receiver C.T. Thomas to give Boise State the lead, which it held for the remainder of the game. 

Following the Bronco touchdown, a series of mistakes plagued Troy. Boise State’s Tony Lashley picked off Kaleb Barker, and the Broncos pounced with Rypien’s third and fourth touchdowns to put Boise State up by 28 at the half. 

The Trojans ended up with four turnovers for the game, which the Broncos used to score 21 points. The Broncos also controlled third down on offense and defense, converting on nine of 15 third downs and allowing the Trojans to convert only four of 15.

In the second half, as the pace of the game slowed, the Trojans crept back after a rushing touchdown by running back B.J. Smith and a passing touchdown by junior quarterback Kaleb Barker. 

All momentum was stopped by a Trojan fumble, returned by Boise State’s Tyler Horton for his second defensive touchdown of the night. 

In his first game as a starter, Barker threw 20-29 for 211 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Sawyer Smith also saw action, completing four of his five passes for 44 yards.

Frye led the team in rushing with 41 yards on seven attempts. Deondre Douglas passed the century mark with 102 receiving yards and a touchdown.

Troy ended with 379 yards of offense shadowed by Boise’s 416 yards of total production.

This Saturday, Sept. 8, at 6 p.m., Troy will play FCS opponent Florida A&M in its second consecutive home game to begin the season. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+.

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