The Troy Trojans (2-1) got back to their winning ways with a 21-9 win over the Southern Miss Golden Eagles (1-2) on the road on Saturday, Sept. 18.
The Trojans held the Golden Eagle offense to just 156 total yards, which is the lowest total the Troy defense has allowed since 2002. Troy recorded nine sacks and 16 tackles-for-loss as a team. The sack total is the most in a single game in school history and the tackles-for-loss is second most in a game in Troy history. The Trojans gave up just 46 total yards in the second half.
Linebacker Javon Solomon was a force in the backfield recording a school-record five tackles-for-loss and 3.5 sacks.
The Troy offense continued to struggle in the first half, unable to score a single point, but came alive in the second half scoring all 21 points in the third and fourth quarters.
Southern Miss opened the game with a 7-play scoring drive that was capped off with a 46-yard field goal but that was the last time the Golden Eagle offense would score a single point. Still, Troy’s offense totaled just 78 yards in the half and Troy trailed 3-0 at halftime.
Troy got things going to open the second half and quarterback Taylor Powell found Dothan receiver Jabre Barber for a 17-yard touchdown pass with 12:53 left in the third quarter to give Troy the 7-3 lead.
Powell scored again on a 16-yard touchdown pass to Deyunkrea Lewis with 41 seconds left in the third quarter to extend the lead to 14-3.
The Trojans scored again on an 8-yard run by Kimani Vidal with 5:49 left in the game to extend the lead to 21-3. Southern Miss managed to get on the scoreboard again when Vidal fumbled and Southern Miss returned it for a touchdown. Troy’s Will Choloh blocked the PAT attempt, however, and the Trojans held on for the 21-9 win.
Solomon led Troy’s defense with nine tackles, five tackles-for-loss and 3.5 sacks, while fellow linebacker Carlton Marital totaled eight tackles, 1.5 tackles-for-loss, one sack and an interception. Richard Jibunor also earned seven tackles, 2.5 tackles-for-loss, 2.5 sacks and his first career interception.
On offense, Powell completed 27-of-39 attempts for 255 yards and two touchdowns, while Tez Johnson grabbed 10 catches for 106 yards. Vidal rushed for 48 yards and a touchdown n 17 carries to lead the Troy running game, which again failed to crack the 100-yard mark.
Troy is on the road again this week against Louisiana-Monroe, which will air at 7 p.m. on ESPN+.