Carter, Nutter lead Troy State to top spot in I-AA

Demontray Carter made a statement and so did the Troy State Trojan football team.

As a result, TSU was rewarded for its 34-28 win Saturday over nationally ranked Appalachian State in Boone, N.C. The Trojans (2-0) bypassed defending champion Georgia Southern (1-1) and now sit at the top of the I-AA rankings.

"We are excited about being ranked number one, but we realize that we still have a long way to go to be as good as we want to be," TSU head coach Larry Blakeney said at his weekly press conference. "The honor is nice, and I'm sure it makes our players feel really good about themselves and the direction we are going. It adds a bull's eye to your chest, though, so now we need to go back to work and try and make ourselves even better."

Demontray Carter made a statement and so did the Troy State Trojan football team.

As a result, TSU was rewarded for its 34-28 win Saturday over nationally ranked Appalachian State in Boone, N.C. The Trojans (2-0) bypassed defending champion Georgia Southern (1-1) and now sit at the top of the I-AA rankings.

"We are excited about being ranked number one, but we realize that we still have a long way to go to be as good as we want to be," TSU head coach Larry Blakeney said at his weekly press conference. "The honor is nice, and I'm sure it makes our players feel really good about themselves and the direction we are going. It adds a bull's eye to your chest, though, so now we need to go back to work and try and make ourselves even better."

Not only did the win in Boone impress the pollsters, but so did how the Trojans won.

TSU rode the versatility of Southland Football League Player of the Week Demontray Carter and the right arm of junior quarterback Brock Nutter.

Carter had 309 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns against the Mountaineers. Carter had 102 of the Trojans 143 yards rushing and scored on a 31-yard run. The Auburn transfer also caught TD passes of 78 and 67 yards. For the season Carter is averaging 195 all-purpose yards.

"His versatility adds a lot to our offense," Blakeney said. "We wanted to find ways to get him the ball. The Astro Turf suited his speed. It was the type of game he likes."

Nutter completed 16-of-26 passes for 332 yards as the Trojans overcame a 16-14 deficit with 17 straight points in the second half. The Mountaineers added a pair of late touchdowns but couldn't catch the Trojans' run to the number one ranking. "It was a tough trip and tough place to play," Blakeney said of the trip to then-fourth-ranked Appalachian State. "We battled through adversity in a hostile atmosphere against a quality opponent. I was extremely proud."

Georgia Southern still garnered more first place votes (39) than the Trojans (34). But TSU edged out the Eagles in points 2,020 to 1,991. UMass remained number three, while Hofstra replaced Appalachian State at the number four slot. The Mountaineers dropped to seventh.

The Trojans open their home season Saturday night at 6 p.m. at Scrushy Field against in-state rival Alabama State (1-1). The Hornets defeated Alcorn State 35-28 last week.

"We're going to be ready for a typical TSU and Alabama State game," Blakeney said. "Coach L.C. Cole will have his team ready to play."

The Trojans have won eight straight meetings with ASU, but have survived in several close games including last year's 27-20 win at Cramton Bowl.

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