The Troy Trojans (5-6, 3-4) struggled their way to a resounding 53-3 loss on the road against the Louisiana Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns (9-2, 6-1) on Saturday, Nov. 23.
Until Saturday, Troy had never been beaten by 50 or more points in a conference game in school history and the last time the Trojans had faced a loss by 50 or more points was against the SEC’s Georgia 66-0 in 2014.
Nothing was working for Troy against ULL as the Trojan defense gave up 598 yards of offense, while the usually potent Troy offense struggled to gain traction for much of the day gaining 359 total yards.
For the first time this season Troy quarterback Kaleb Barker did not throw a touchdown as he went 15-of-32 passing for 178 yards and two interceptions. ULL’s Levi Lewis, on the other hand, shredded the Trojan defense for 273 yards and a touchdown on 21-of-33 passing.
Troy’s DK Billingsley rushed for 68 yards on 10 carries and Kaylon Geiger caught six passes for 44 yards.
After hanging tough with ULL for much of the first quarter, the Cajuns eventually took a 14-3 lead with 55 seconds remaining in the opening period and never loked back.
ULL stretched its lead out to 31-3 at halftime and outscored the Trojans 22-0 in the second half to completely dominate the game and secure the Sun Belt Western Division Championship.
“It was a tough night for us,” Troy coach Chip Lindsey said. “It was one of those situations that every time we took a step forward, we took two steps backwards, but we have a great opportunity to learn and get better next week. We need to have a great week of practice and learn from our mistakes.”
Troy still has one more shot at bowl eligibility but it comes in the form of the No. 22-ranked Appalachian State Mountaineers the day after Thanksgiving on Friday, Nov. 29.
Appalachian State holds a 3-1 record over Troy in FBS (Division IA) play with the Trojans only win coming in 2016. When the two teams played in FCS (Division I-AA), Troy held a 2-1 record against the Mountaineers.
If the Trojans want to extend the 2019 season – and earn a bowl bid – they will have to pick up only the second home win in school history over a nationally ranked opponent.
Troy defeated No. 17-ranked Missouri in 2004 but was defeated by No. 22-ranked Boise State last season in the only two other home matchups against ranked opponents.
The Mountaineers will be coming to Troy without one of their top offensive weapon, however, as senior receiver Corey Sutton tore his ACL last week. Sutton had been leading the Mountaineer passing game with 601 yards and seven touchdowns on 41 catches.
Troy and Appalachian State will kickoff at 5 p.m. on Nov. 29 and the game will stream live on the ESPN+ app. Live coverage of the game will also take place at www.facebook.com/southeastsun.com and www.twitter.com/southeastsun.