2009 CFN Troy Preview
Troy QB Levi Brown
CollegeFootballNews.com 2009 Preview - Troy Trojans
2009 Troy Offense
2009 Troy Defense |
2009 Troy Depth
2007 Troy Preview |
With three straight Sun Belt titles, three straight years with
eight wins or more, and good showings against some of the biggest programs in
college football, Troy is no longer just another non-BCS team. It’s starting to
approach Boise State territory.
Head coach: Larry Blakeney
19th year: 144-73-1
Best Troy Players
1. LB Boris Lee, Sr.
2. DE Brandon Lang, Sr.
3. LB Bear Woods, Sr.
4. WR Jerrel
5. DE Cameron Sheffield, Sr.
6. RB DuJuan
7. C Danny Franks, Sr.
8. QB Levi Brown, Sr.
9. CB Jorrick Calvin, Sr.
10. PK Sam Glusman, Sr.
9/3 at Bowling Green
9/12 at Florida
9/26 at Arkansas State
10/6 Middle Tenn.
10/10 OPEN DATE
10/17 at FIU
10/24 North Texas
11/7 at Western Kentucky
11/14 at Arkansas
11/21 Florida Atlantic
11/28 at UL Lafayette
8/28 at Middle Tenn W 31-17
9/6 at LSU PPD
Alcorn State W
9/20 at Ohio State L 28-10
9/27 at Oklahoma St L 55-24
10/7 at Florida Atlantic W 30-17
FIU W 33-23
at North Texas W
11/1 at UL Monroe L 31-30
West. Kentucky W
11/15 at LSU L 41-30
UL Lafayette W
Arkansas State W
New Orleans Bowl
12/21 So. Miss L 30-27 OT
Of course, there has to be even more production in conference play, double-digit
win seasons, and several more years of success to get to the level the Broncos
have earned, Troy has created a formula for success with a swarming defense
that’s been a bit of a pipeline the NFL, and an offense that’s effective and
explosive. It should be another year with the same success.
There are only three concerns, and none of them are that big a deal. The two
first-team All-Sun Belt tackles, Dion Small and Chris Jamison, are gone, three
All-Sun Belt defensive backs (Terence Moore, Sherrod Martin, and Tavares
Williams) are gone, and the starting defensive tackles need to be replaced. Troy
is as good as anyone at finding JUCO transfers to not only come in and play
right away, but come in and succeed. The same will go for this year.
Emmanuel Dudley and Riley Flowers are two ready-made contributors for the
defensive interior, and James Brown, Jimmie Arnold and Tyler Graves are all
options to see time on the offensive line. The secondary is a different story
with several players ready to step in after playing reserve roles last year.
Everything else is in place for another Sun Belt title run.
The talent level is impressive with an abundance of riches in key spots. There
are several quarterbacks who could play just about anywhere in the Sun Belt,
Boris Lee and Bear Woods form one of the nation’s most productive returning
linebacking tandems. Brandon Lang and Cameron Sheffield form one of the nation’s
best pass rushing duos, and the interior of the offensive line is a rock. There
are playmakers on both sides of the ball, there’s decent depth, and there are
several options to work with. And then there’s the coaching staff.
Head man Larry Blakeney has taken the program from D-II to D-IAA to the FBS
ranks where it can now step on a field with LSU and come close to pulling off a
win. Going into his 19th year, he’s not a household name in the
college football world, but his program is getting more and more respect and his
team keeps on winning.
Barring a total disaster, Blakeney will come up with his 12th winning
season, his team will either win another Sun Belt title or come in a
disappointedly close second, and the machine will keep on rolling.
What to watch on offense … The quarterback situation. If Levi Brown is
under center, the running game will revolve around DuJuan Harris and the running
backs with Jerrel Jernigan getting work here and there. If Jamie Hampton is back
and starting after he missed most of last year with a knee injury, the spread
attack will take on a whole new look. It’s possible the quarterbacks will rotate
from time to time to mix things up.
What to watch on defense … The alignment. Defensive coordinator Jeremy
Rowell likes to use five defensive backs as much as possible. With so many
talented defenders in the secondary last year, LB David McDowell ended up
redshirting because he wasn’t going to get on the field. This year, McDowell
will be a bigger part of the mix while the secondary has to replace five
starters from last year’s 4-2-5 alignment. Rowell will still use a nickelback,
but it just might not be as often.
The team will be far better if … the passing game is a bit more
efficient. The yards will be there, especially if Levi Brown is under
center, but the efficiency has been a bit of a problem even though Brown
completed 62% of his throws, tossed 15 touchdown passes and just three
interceptions. Troy had the seventh most efficient passing game in 2008.
The Schedule: Compared to last year’s nightmare, this year’s slate appears tame. The Trojans
had to play the two 2007 national title combatants last year, and gave Ohio
State and LSU all they could handle, and this year they have to go to Florida
early on. However, at Bowling Green, UAB, and at Arkansas isn’t all that bad for
non-conference play. The league schedule couldn’t be better with Florida
Atlantic and Middle Tennessee coming to Troy. There’s a nice stretch of three
home games in a four week span in October, but the Trojans go on the road three
times in four weeks in October.
Best Offensive Player:
Junior WR Jerrel Jernigan. He does it all. The team’s leading receiver made 77
catches for 868 yards and five touchdowns, he was second on the team with 254
rushing yards, and he was a top kick and punt returner. Only 5-9 and 176 pounds,
he’s tough for his size with the quickness to make big plays any time he touches
the ball. Think a smaller, poor man’s Percy Harvin.
Best Defensive Player:
Senior LB Boris Lee. DE Brandon Lang is in the mix for the honor of being the
Troy’s best defensive player, but it’s Lee who’s the heart-and-soul of the
tremendous defense. Always a bit undersized in the middle, he bulked up to over
230 pounds and should be even tougher. In his great career he has made 265
tackles and could finish around 400 if all goes well.
Key player to a successful season:
Senior CB Jorrick Calvin. Just about everything is in place for another big year
except for the offensive tackles and the secondary. The tackles will be fine
with several good prospects ready to step in, but the secondary has some huge
replacements to make. Calvin is a strong corner and a possible all-star.
Anything less than a fantastic season from Calvin could be a major problem with
three, and potentially four new starters.
The season will be a success if ... Troy wins the Sun Belt title. At this point, anything less than a
championship is an utter failure. The program has become too good, and the team
is too talented, to shoot for anything lower.
Nov. 21 vs. Middle Tennessee. The showdown against Florida Atlantic is always
vital in the Sun Belt race, that comes on October 10th, but Middle
Tennessee is loaded and could end up being the biggest threat to the throne.
It’ll be the last home game of the year for the Trojans and it could be a must
win to repeat as champions.
2008 Fun Stats:
- Scoring after three quarters: Troy 352 – Opponents 154
- Sacks: Troy 37 for 271 yards – Opponents 13 for 88 yards
- Fourth down conversions: Troy 16-of-23 – Opponents 8-of-28
2009 Troy Offense
2009 Troy Defense |
2009 Troy Depth
2007 Troy Preview |