TROY, Ala. – Saturday will be special for many reasons, but most importantly, it will be the final game at The Vet for 10 Troy seniors. Saturday’s contest against App State marks the home finale for the 2021 season; kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. and ESPN+ has the broadcast.
Jordan Anthony, Dylan Bradshaw, Kyle Coale, Cherokee Glasgow, Elgin Griffin, John Hines, Cameron Kaye, Kyle Nixon, B.J. Smith and Reggie Todd will be honored before the game.
“Those guys all made decisions to stay. In this day and age, that’s pretty special,” head coach Chip Lindsey said. “They could’ve left, and they decided they love Troy and wanted to finish their careers at Troy – which I think is pretty neat.
“These are all the kinds of kids you want in your program,” Lindsey said. “Some of them have had to wait for their time to play more. Some have fought through injuries and got back healthy. That’s a hard thing to do in itself.”
Troy (5-5, 3-3 Sun Belt) still has a lot on the table to play for with bowl eligibility only one win away and the Trojans are still alive in the Sun Belt East with a win over App State (8-2, 5-1). The Trojans have alternated wins their last four games and are coming off a 35-21 loss to Louisiana in a game that was much closer than the score led on.
The Trojans outgained their counterparts from Louisiana, but three turnovers on their final three possessions of the game turned the tide in the Cajuns’ favor.
Saturday’s matchup pits two of the league’s and the nation’s top defenses against each other. Troy enters the weekend second in the Sun Belt in total defense and third in rushing defense while leading the country in tackles for loss and ranking third in sacks. App State is third in the league in scoring defense and second in rushing defense.
Know Your Foe
With two regular-season games left, App State leads the Sun Belt’s East Division as the only East team with one conference loss — and it has head-to-head wins over two-loss squads Georgia State and Coastal Carolina. A win Saturday clinches the East title for the Mountaineers. The Mountaineers were second in the league (seventh nationally) at 78 tackles for loss and tied for second in the Sun Belt at 26 sacks entering this week. In the last two games, App State has totaled 21 TFLs, six sacks, five interceptions and just 120 rushing yards allowed (or 1.97 yards per carry).
• Troy has targeted its tight ends 23 times through seven games with 21 receptions; in the previous seven seasons COMBINED, Troy’s tight ends had been targeted 18 times with 12 receptions.
• Troy is 13-20 during Chip Lindsey‘s tenure on coin tosses and 5-5 this season. Troy has received the opening kickoff in 23-of-33 games under Lindsey and has scored on 14 of those possessions. The Trojans have elected to kick just three times when winning the coin toss.
• Troy’s win over South Alabama was its first in the Chip Lindsey era when the Trojans were outgained by its opponent … the Jags outgained Troy 335-308; Troy is now 1-14 in such games.
• Troy is 10-2 when winning the time of possession battle under Chip Lindsey … the Trojans have won twice this season (Ga. Southern, USA) when losing the TOP battle.
• Troy held the ball for just 23:25 in the victory over South Alabama, it was its lowest TOP output in a victory since 2018 — 19:51 vs. Coastal Carolina.
• Tez Johnson’s 59 receptions are the fifth most by a Trojan since at least 2000 through the first 10 games of a season.
• In Al Pogue‘s last four seasons coaching Troy’s cornerbacks (2016-18, 21), Troy has ranked 5th, 15th, 5th and 2nd nationally in interceptions.
• Troy’s 31 points in the opening half against South Alabama was the most against an FBS opponent since the Trojans also scored 31 points against Arkansas State in 2019.
• Dell Pettus ranks seventh nationally among safeties per PFF (min. 350 snaps) with an 87.7 tackle grade.
• Cameron Kaye was named a semifinalist for the Patrick Mannelly Award, for the nation’s top long snapper.
• Carlton Martial is one of three finalists for the Burlsworth Trophy, which is presented to the nation’s top player who began their career as a walk-on.