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2013 Troy Preview – Offense

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted May 19, 2013


CollegeFootballNews.com 2013 Preview - Troy Trojan Offense


Troy Trojans

Preview 2013 - Offense

- 2013 Troy Preview | 2013 Troy Offense
- 2013 Troy Defense | 2013 Troy Depth Chart

What You Need To Know:
The offense should see more of the same. Offensive coordinator Kenny Edenfield has a terrific quarterback situation with veteran bomber Corey Robinson and dual-threat Deon Anthony combining forces to make one of the nation’s most dangerous passing games go. The receiving corps should be excellent with a little bit of time, with Eric Thomas expected to grow into a dangerous No. 1 playmaker. The rushing attack will be a bit of a question mark with three untested speedsters trying to replace Shawn Southward while working behind a line that has to replace four starters and needs a ton of retooling.

Returning Leaders
Passing: Corey Robinson
257-389, 3,121 yds, 12 TD, 9 INT
Rushing: Deon Anthony
82 carries, 390 yds, 8 TD
Receiving: Eric Thomas
55 catches, 667 yds, 7 TD

Star of the offense: Senior QB Corey Robinson
Player who has to step up and be a star: Junior RB Khary Franklin, sophomore RB Daron White and/or Brandon Burks
Unsung star on the rise: Sophomore C Dalton Bennett
Best pro prospect: Senior WR Eric Thomas
Top three all-star candidates: 1) Robinson, 2) Thomas, 3) OT Terrence Jones
Strength of the offense: Quarterback, Passing Game
Weakness of the offense: Running Back, Line Experience

Quarterbacks

Senior Corey Robinson threw for a ton of yards again, but he didn’t necessarily put up the massive season expected. After bombing away for 3,411 yards and 21 touchdown passes two years ago, he chucked for 3,121 yards while hitting on 66% of his passes, but he only threw 12 touchdown passes with nine picks. Part of that was because he missed a little time, and part of it was because he split the duties. Even so, when the team needed to move, he was the main man chucking for 485 yards against Louisiana, 417 yards against Arkansas State and 393 yards in an interesting firefight against Tennessee. While he’s not a runner, he’s not immobile, and while he’s not huge, his 6-2, 209-pound size and good arm get the job done. Kentucky’s former Mr. Football is smart, tough, and experienced.

Senior Deon Anthony stepped in from Hinds CC and became an instant factor. The 6-0, 214-ound rushing option completing 70% of his passes for 856 yards and nine touchdowns with just three picks. He stepped in against WKU and threw for 245 yards and three touchdowns in the win, but his mobility was what got the job done against the Hilltoppers with 115 yards and two scores on the ground. Fast and creative, he finished second on the team with 390 yards and eight scores, becoming a nice part of the rotation over the second half of the season.

Watch Out For … even more of the a rotation. It worked and kept defenses on their toes. Robinson is the veteran bomber, Anthony is the dangerous playmaker, and they both need to see time and work. They will.
Strength: Passing. The Trojan offense puts up gigantic numbers, and with both quarterbacks involved, the numbers will once again be fantastic. Last year Troy threw for 245 yards or more in every game but two – the stunning loss to Florida Atlantic and the Opening Day win over UAB. Putting up 400 yards was the norm late in the year.
Weakness: Interceptions. With 509 pass attempts there were bound to be some mistakes, and while some of the bad days didn’t turn out to be all that costly, the two picks were a big deal in a six point loss to Mississippi State and in the season finale against Middle Tennessee.
Outlook: Troy has an outstanding 1-2 punch. Anthony can throw, but he’s at his most dangerous when he’s running the ball, while Robinson is the deadly veteran who’ll push the ball all over the field. The results will be fantastic with one of the nation’s top passing games sure to push for close to 4,000 yards.
Unit Rating: 8

Running Backs

With all the key running backs gone, and quarterback Deon Anthony the most dangerous rushing option, several backs will get work by committee. Junior Khary Franklin is a 5-8, 168-pound speedster who came to Troy as a quarterback prospect and receiver prospect, but he only ran three times for 23 yards and caught three passes for 34 yards last season. He had problems staying healthy, and he’s not built to be much of a workhorse.

Sophomore Daron White is another smallish, quick back with 5-9, 176-pound size and the feet to make big things happen through the hole. Really, really fast, he has the upside to be used for the passing game – he’ll hit a home run or two when he gets to the outside. He’ll combine with Franklin and sophomore Brandon Burks, a 5-9, 195-pound athlete who’s capable of ripping off big yards in chunks. He didn’t get any work in last season, but he’ll get every chance this summer to take over the starting job.

Watch Out For … Tim Longmire, who comes in as one of the team’s top recruits, but he might be moved to defensive back or receiver. The 6-0, 195-pounder from Tallahassee can do a little of everything as a pass catcher or a runner. However, he has the make-up and build to be a whale of a corner. Meanwhile, 5-11, 230-pound Josh Anderson is a strong linebacker prospect who might be a thumper of a running back and/or a part-time fullback. He might be too valuable on offense to mess around with the defensive side.
Strength: Quick backs. Troy recruits to a type, and it has more than its share of speedy runners who can cut on a dime and make big things happen in the open field. The three new options will all get a shot.
Weakness: Experience. Franklin barely got a chance to get his feet wet, and White and Burks haven’t done anything yet. The production will come, but it’s not a plus to lose the 2,793 career yards and 33 rushing scores of Shawn Southward.
Outlook: The offense works best when the passing game is humming, but the backs need to get involved early. As long as the ground attack is cranking out over 150 yards per game, it’s doing its job. It might take a few backs and to make that happen.
Unit Rating: 5

Receivers

The Trojans lose leading receiver Chip Reeves, but it has plenty of good targets ready to pick up the slack starting with 6-1, 209-pound senior Eric Thomas, the team’s second-leading receiver who followed up a 67-catch sophomore campaign with 55 grabs for 667 yards and seven scores in a steady and occasionally explosive season. A top recruit for the program, he’s living up to the hype as a deep threat who’ll work at the outside X position.

5-11, 183-pound senior Chris Williams only came up with eight catches, but he produced big plays with a 44-yarder against South Alabama and averaging 15.9 yards per grab. The former transfer from Mississippi Valley State is a dangerous deep target at the H, while 5-9, 159-pound junior Chandler Worthy is a nice option at the Y after finishing third on the team with 46 catches for 544 yards and two touchdowns. A wisp, he’s track star fast and slippery with the ball in his hands. Dangerous enough to get a few carries now and then, the versatile weapon ran 11 times for 79 yards.

The combination of 6-2, 197-pound junior B.J. Chitty and 5-11, 173-pound sophomore Bryan Holmes will work at the Z. Chitty caught 20 passes for 222 yards and two scores after being a nice part of the rotation two years ago with 16 catches. The former high school quarterback has found his position, while Holmes still needs a little more time after making just one catch for six yards. One of the team’s best all-around athletes and fastest players, he needs the ball in his hands in space.

Former UCF tight end Jim Teknipp was a tremendous recruit out of high school, but he hasn’t done much yet with just three catches and working mostly as a blocker. The 6-5, 245-pounder has the ability and skills to do far more, but the 6-4, 240-pound redshirt freshman Tommy Blevins will also get in the rotation. Built like a big receiver, he’s a good athlete who’ll be asked to block.

Watch Out For … redshirt freshman Brandon Brooks. The best receiver recruit last season sat out, but now he’ll push for time at the H. At 6-0 and 185 pounds, he has decent enough size to get by and the sudden quickness to make his man miss in space.
Strength: The offense. As always, the Trojan attack will be more than happy to spread the ball around and make big things happen all over the field. Everyone will get their turn – eight players caught 20 passes or more last season.
Weakness: Tight end production. There’s no real reason for Teknipp to not be a factor. He has all the tools and skills, but he hasn’t done anything yet. Blevins is a talent, but he needs to get involved.
Outlook: A No. 1 target has to quickly emerge to replace Reeves, and the backs have to do their part after losing an outlet target in Shawn Southward, but the talent and quickness are both there to come up with another big year. Thomas has the talent to be the main man, while Worthy and Chitty are good options who’ll have better numbers.
Unit Rating: 5.5

Offensive Line

The line was terrific in pass protection last season and did a decent job for the ground game. Left tackle Jarred Fleming is gone, being replaced by junior Terrence Jones, last year’s starting right tackle. The 6-3, 306-pound veteran has been one of the team’s steadier blockers, and while he’s better suited for the right side, his experience will make him fine on the left. With Fleming’s move over, 6-6, 256-pound redshirt freshman Antonio Garcia will be a woefully undersized option at right tackle, but he can move. A great all-around athlete with room to move into his frame, he should be terrific in pass protection.

Stepping in for Kyle Wilborn at center is sophomore Dalton Bennett, a good-sized 6-3, 293-poundblocker with the toughness to be considered for the defensive line but with the ability to play anywhere in the interior. He’ll be the new leader up front, helped by veteran Jimmie Arnold at left guard. The 6-1, 276-pound run blocker spent last season as a key back up on the right side, but now he’ll step in for Andrew Phillips on the left side. 6-3, 294-pound junior Chris Hawkins could take over at left tackle if needed, but he’ll start out the year working at right guard with Cody Woodiel done.

Watch Out For … Taylor Edwards will fit into the equation somewhere very soon. The 6-4, 290-pound guard prospect was a good recruit who could’ve have a shot at several BCS schools but could be tried out at tackle early on for the Trojans. He’s a ready-made run blocker with good feet.
Strength: 2014. This is a completely rebuilt line that should get time to grow. If all goes according to plan, Arnold is the only starter who won’t be back next season. The line should be fine with a little bit of time, but …
Weakness: 2012. Jones is the only returning starter with four seniors up front doing a great job last year. One of the best lines in the Sun Belt last season, it has a ton of rebuilding and reloading to do. Can the line be as consistent and effective? It might take a little while.
Outlook: Fantastic last season in pass protection and great for the ground game, there’s lots of work to do to find all the right pieces to fall into place. The passing game should still be fine and the protection will be decent – the coaching staff knows what it’s doing – but the rushing attack should sputter for a little bit with the new backs trying to find their way behind a new line.
Unit Rating: 5

- 2013 Troy Preview | 2013 Troy Offense
- 2013 Troy Defense | 2013 Troy Depth Chart