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at Troy 38 … Middle Tennessee 35

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Sep 24, 2011


Week 4 CFN Fearless Prediction & Game Story - Middle Tnnessee at Troy


2011 Predictions & Game Story 

Week 4 - Middle Tennessee at Troy

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Sept. 24 at Troy 38 … Middle Tennessee 35
CFN Analysis: Death, taxes, and Troy beating Middle Tennessee. Even when the Blue Raiders seemed to have control of the game, Troy still found a way to get the job done with Corey Robinson blowing up at the right time to finish with 348 yards and three touchdowns, and the defense did just enough when it absolutely, positively had to. However, the D was miserable. The pass defense is non-existent and the line got pushed around way too much. The pass rush was average and the secondary was torched, but it was still a huge win to take early control of the Sun Belt, but the Trojans won’t win the title unless the defensive backs can start to play a little better.

Middle Tennessee has to be kicking itself. Logan Kilgore threw for 415 yards and five scores, and Benny Cunningham ran for 117 yards as the ground game held up its end of the bargain, but the secondary melted down in the second half and the two turnovers, especially the fumble for a touchdown, were disastrous. The team is better than 0-3, and it’ll show it at home over the next three games against Memphis, Western Kentucky, and Florida Atlantic. The bad pass defense won’t have problems with any of the three.

(AP) TROY, Ala. -- Corey Robinson threw for 348 yards and three touchdowns as Troy defeated Middle Tennessee 38-35 in both teams' Sun Belt Conference opener Saturday.

It was the Trojans' sixth straight victory over the Blue Raiders on the same day that the field at Veterans Memorial Stadium was named Larry Blakeney Field in honor of the Trojans' head coach.

Middle Tennessee never trailed until late in the third quarter when Robinson threw a 75-yard touchdown pass to Chandler Worthy to give the Trojans a 31-28 lead.

Chris Anderson added an 8-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.

Robinson also threw touchdown passes of 8 yards to Jaquon Robinson and 46 yards to Eric Thomas. Chris Pickett had a 67-yard fumble return for a touchdown.

MTSU's Logan Kilgore threw for a career-high 415 yards and five touchdowns, but his fourth-down pass with 1:37 left was intercepted by Troy's Brannon Bryan.

Middle Tennessee (0-2) at Troy (0-2) Sept. 24, 4:30, ESPN3

Here’s The Deal … If it’s possible for two 0-2 teams to play a huge game, this is it. FIU looks like the class of the Sun Belt, and ULM and Louisiana are playing well, but this will play a big role in the title chase.

Why has Middle Tennessee failed to live up to the lofty expectations and why hasn’t it been able to make enough noise in conference play? 0-5 against Troy over the last five seasons. This year, the Blue Raiders started out the season strong against Purdue, almost coming up with the win only fail to get to overtime on blocked late field goal, and considering the Georgia Tech offense is blowing up, losing 49-21 wasn’t too bad. But now the struggling defense has to show it can come up with a key stop now and then, and the offense has to prove it can keep up the pace.

Troy’s opening day loss to Clemson now looks far more acceptable, and the team didn’t go away against Arkansas despite some early problems. The Hogs were in control all game long, but the Trojans made it interesting. The high octane passing game has the talent and the firepower to beat anyone in the conference, and with road games at Louisiana and FIU on the horizon, there can’t be a slip in the conference home opener.

Why Middle Tennessee Might Win: The Blue Raiders can throw a bit, too, and the Troy secondary has been lousy over the first two games. Middle Tennessee’s pass protection has been stellar against two BCS conference teams, and it has showed with Logan Kilgore getting off to a hot start. He bombed away for 330 yards and two scores against Purdue, and while he only threw for 117 yards against Georgia Tech, but the team got down so big that the coaching staff changed things up. Against the Troy D, Kilgore should be able to regain his accurate form that lit up Purdue.

Why Troy Might Win: this should be a battle of two passing games, and Troy’s is better. Against Arkansas, quarterback Corey Robinson kept pressing and finished with 373 yards and three touchdown passes on 63 throws. Troy will keep pressing all game long, and while Middle Tennessee has the pass rush to potentially get to Robinson and throw off the passing game a bit, Troy has a stronger pass rush with more talent and more weapons to get into the backfield. Basically, the two teams are equals with the same styles and most of the same strengths, but Troy’s positives are stronger.

What To Watch Out For: Is there going to be any sort of a quarterback controversy for Middle Tennessee? Kilgore has been good, but the offense didn’t move against Georgia Tech and Jeff Murphy ended up stepping in and completed 5-of-6 passes for 54 yards and a score. A 6-0, 195-pounder, Murphy runs far better than Kilgore and has a nice arm. He’s not all that big, but he’s mobile and he has a nice enough arm to get vertical. Kilgore’s a 6-3, 178-pounder who isn’t going to run too much, but he can push the ball down the field with a nice arm and good upside. He started out his career at Bakersfield College and is accurate, and now he has to be a leader and has to keep the offense moving by limiting mistakes.

Troy needed a receiver to step in and pick up the slack for the loss of Jerel Jernigan, and Corey Johnson has been one of the key new producers. The JUCO transfer leads the team with 11 catches for 67 yards, and he’s been functional on kickoff returns. Now he needs to be even more explosive.

What Will Happen: Bombs away. The two teams will combine for over 600 passing yards and there will be plenty of big plays and momentum shifts, but Troy will pull away in the fourth quarter helped by two late interceptions.

CFN Prediction:
Troy 38 … Middle Tennessee 30 
- Click For Latest Line From ATS: Troy -12.5 O/U: 63

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