The Troy Trojans have won 4 in a row. They’ve won games in bunches all season. It’s only that the competition seems to keep getting weaker.
Consider the Trojans’ last 4 opponents – Georgia State (not bad), Georgia Southern (currently blowing-up the program), Idaho (bleh) and Coastal Carolina, the “Hulk Hogan” of all cupcake teams. As in, the one everyone remembers and who never lets us down.
Still, Troy could be on the cusp of a Sun Belt title, facing Arkansas State for the crown on December 2nd.
The Trojans are unlikely to get a Group-of-5 New Years’ bid even if they win out, so is there a “trap” factor in a Thanksgiving-hangover match with the Texas State Bobcats? After all, the ‘Cats just played Arkansas State on the road and bothered the powerful Red Wolves for 3 quarters, finally losing 30-12.
Odds-makers do not think so. And the already-hefty line is moving slightly in the Trojans’ direction.
Who: Texas State Bobcats at Troy Trojans
When: Friday, November 24th, 4 PM EST
Where: Veterans Memorial Stadium, Troy, AL
Lines: TXST (+25) at Troy (-25) / O/U Total (49)
The Trojans are built around their ground game, which has been prolific at times, and yet badly ineffective at crucial moments in ’17. Troy gained only 30 rushing yards in a miserable, surprising loss to South Alabama on October 11th.
Yes, the team was hung-over after having beaten LSU – the strongest team on the schedule, though the Trojans also played and lost to Boise State – in Baton Rouge by the score of 24-21. The shining hour came with a price – however, it’s hard to blame bangs, bruises and bar bashes for not getting some 1st downs against flippin’ South Alabama. USA simply wasn’t afraid of Brandon Flowers, the Trojans’ wayward QB, through the air.
Flowers has improved since that outing. But the team’s touchdowns-per-play average (with only 8 TDs through the air) is sorely lacking for a possible conference-winner.
The only remarkable thing about the 2-9 Bobcats is how much they have improved over the past 4 games, which include a win over Coastal Carolina. Texas State was competitive against Georgia State and New Mexico State, and held Arkansas State to less than 4 yards per carry. Senior QB Damian Williams will be having his last hurrah, and has thrown almost twice as many TDs as his counterpart.
Go with the underdogs all the way here. Troy will try to shorten the game and rest the defense for next week, which could play into the Bobcats’ hands (or paws) and provoke a surprisingly tense 3rd quarter.