2013 Troy Spring Football Analysis
2013 Troy Trojans ...
Head Coach: Larry Blakeney
Why To Be Excited The Trojan offense should be the Trojan offense again after leading the Sun Belt in both total offense and passing. There are plenty of major changes and replacements needing to be made, but quarterback Corey Robinson is back with 10,258 passing yards and 61 career scores under his belt. Eric Thomas is a terrific receiver who should be one of the Sun Belt’s biggest producers, while tight end Jim Teknipp will play a bigger role. There are playmakers waiting in the wings, and Robinson should make everyone better.
9/7 Savannah State
9/12 at Arkansas State
9/21 at Mississippi State
9/28 at Duke
10/5 South Alabama
10/12 at Georgia State
10/19 OPEN DATE
10/26 at WKU
11/7 at Louisiana
11/16 at Ole Miss
11/23 OPEN DATE
11/29 Texas State
Why To Be Grouchy The offensive line isn’t starting from scratch, but it’s not far off. Tackle Terrence Jones is the lone holdover from a front five that was fantastic in pass protection and paved the way for 167 rushing yards per game. Gone is leading rusher Shawn Southward and top target Chip Reeves, while the defense that finished last in the Sun Belt has to replace six starters including leading tacklers Kanorris Davis, Brynden Trawick and Brannon Bryan.
What Needs Working On Pass rush. The defense has been an issue for several seasons, and losing so much talent won’t help the continuity. The team only came up with a mere 13 sacks, and the trickledown effect kicked in with the secondary struggling and opposing backfields doing anything they wanted. Inexcusably, there weren’t any tackles for loss against Arkansas State and just 50 on the year. Leading sacker Tony Davis is gone, but he only came up with three sacks – he can be replaced.
Non-Conference Games: UAB, Savannah State, at Mississippi State, at Duke, at Ole Miss
Realistic Best Case Record: 7-5
Worst Case Record: 3-9
Likely Finish: 7-5
Pre-Preseason Projected Wins: Savannah State, South Alabama, at Georgia State, ULM, Texas State
Pre-Preseason Projected Losses: UAB, at Arkansas State, at Mississippi State, at Duke, at WKU, at Louisiana, at Ole Miss
Schedule Analysis: Beating UAB in the opener could be the key to a winning record. There are some must-win, relatively easy games against Savannah State and South Alabama to go along with a road game at Georgia State, but the biggest Sun Belt dates – Arkansas State, WKU and Louisiana – are all on the road. Throw in the non-conference road games at Mississippi State, Duke and Ole Miss, and it’s going to be hard to get on any sort of a run.
Team Concerns For 2013: The Trojans have to be better on defense - but you've heard that before. The program has had way too many problems on a regular basis when it had to come up with a key defensive stop. There's no pass rush, finishing last in the league in tackles for loss and 113th in the country in sacks, and the pass defense hasn't helped the cause. Turnover margin was a huge issue last year, finishing last in the Sun Belt hurt mostly by coming up with just six interceptions.
The 2013 Class Is Heavy On ... Running back. After rocking with the Sun Belt's best recruiting classes over the last few years, there weren't too many openings. Guard Taylor Edwards was a good get, and some decent defensive backs were signed, but the best players are for the offensive backfield with the signing of Tim Longmire out of Tallahassee and fullback Josh Anderson, who could've gone to a much bigger school.
2012 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 102. That Class Was Heavy On ... The Trojans came up with the Sun Belt’s best recruiting class last season and is scheduled to bring in another whopper. The defensive line has been worked on over the few seasons, and now it should be about the skill spots with several running back prospects ready to come in to beef things up after all the top running options are scheduled to be gone after next year.
2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 83. That Class Was Heavy On ... Defensive ends. Enough of that … Larry Blakeney and the coaching staff appear to be sick of having a poor defense. Last year’s class was the best in the Sun Belt by far, and this year’s class could be even better, at least on the defensive front. With fantastic gets in JUCO transfer Tony Gillsepie, a 6-2, 315-pounder who’ll be planted in the middle of the line right away, and speed-rushing JUCO end Marty Stadom for the outside. JUCO transfer safety Brynden Trawick is a 6-2, 210-pound hitter who’ll be the immediate Sherriff of the secondary. 6-7, 200-pound Dallas Tidwell will be an interesting quarterback to develop for well down the road.
2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 79. That Class Was
Heavy On ... Greg Jenkins to
Brett Moncrief. The Trojans are now known for their
high-powered offense and huge passing numbers, and
they got a couple of stars to keep the production
rolling. Greg Jenkins is an athletic JUCO transfer
with the ability to step in and take over Levi
Brown's old starting spot right away. Adding to the
receiver talent is Brett Moncrief, a 6-3, 205-pound
JUCO transfer who looks the NFL part. He could've
gone to Ole Miss or Mississippi State, but chose
Troy. On defense, the recent struggles in the
secondary were addressed with seven corners signed
including Dionte Ponder, a ready-made playmaker with
2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 85. That Class Was
Heavy On ... Ready made defensive linemen. The Trojans had the Sun Belt’s best offensive line last year by far, but three starters are gone. While there’s depth and potential with the returning players, this class made sure the front five is loaded with four JUCO transfers, led by tackle Tyler Graves. The defensive side got some fantastic tackle prospects with JUCO transfer Riley Flowers good enough to play just about anywhere.
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