THE TROY TROJANS: Troy should be well rested and hoping to spring an upset Saturday when the Trojans hit the turf at Reynolds Razorback Stadium following last weekend’s Week 2 open date. Troy coach Larry Blakeney and his staff will have had two weeks to make corrections from the Trojans’ season-opening 43-19 loss at Clemson.
While the Tigers ultimately overwhelmed the 2010 Sunbelt Conference co-champion, Troy led Clemson 16-13 at halftime. Clemson’s depth and speed took hold in the second half, but Blakeney saw some good thing from his football team.
“I’m not saying we should have beaten these guys,” Blakeney said, according to Troy press release, “but there were some thing that we could have done better that would have given us the chance to be in the game at the end.”
OFFENSE: The Trojans rolled up impressive numbers for a season-opening road contest out of its one-back, spread attack, rushing for 165 yards and passing for 258 for a total of 423 yards against the Tigers. However, two fumbles and an interception kept Troy of making the most of their production.
Quarterback Corey Robinson completed 24 of 42 passes for 258 yards, a touchdown and an interception with his longest pass going for 44 yards and another going for 39. Robinson sprinkled passes to 11 different receivers with Justin Albert leading the way with 6 receptions for 45 yards. B.J. Chitty and Eric Thomas are threats who can stretch the defense and make tacklers miss after the catch.
The Trojans’ rushing attack was by committee with D.J. Taylor gaining 63 yards on 5 carries. Shawn Southward had 13 toes for 47 yards and Chris Anderson carried 10 times for 40 yards
DEFENSE: The Trojans’ base defense is a 4-3, but it can easily convert to a 4-2-5 in an attempt to slow a strong passing attack like the Razorbacks. After a slow start, Clemson was able to mount a balanced attack against Troy’s defense, rushing for 197 yards and passing for 228 for a total of 468. Clemson actually had better field position in the second half, but had two 80-yard drives for touchdowns in the third quarter to salt the game away.
Safety Brynden Trawick led the Trojans in tackles with nine. Left defensive end Jonathan Massaquoi (6-2, 250) and defensive tackle Emanuel Dudley (6-1, 305) are stout performers on Troy’s defensive front.
SPECIAL TEAMS: The Trojans surrendered a 75-yard kick-off return to Clemson early in the fourth quarter. Punter Will Goggans averaged 42.2 yard on eight punts, and Michael Taylor connected on both of his field-goal attempts from 21 and 20 yards.
Red Zone Perfection: The Hogs have not wasted any solid scoring opportunities through two games this season. The Razorbacks are 10 for 10 on scoring, once reaching the opponent’s 20-yard line. And while the Hogs have given up 10 points this season, they have held opponents to 0 for 1 once reaching the red zone this year.
Making the Stops: The Razorbacks’ top three tacklers through two games are all linebackers or linemen — Jerry Franklin (14 tackles), Ross Rasner (9), Alonzo Highsmith (9) and Byran Jones (9). That’s a marked changed from the past. While Franklin has been the Hogs’ leading tackler the past three years, generally Arkansas’ safeties came in next in the tackle totals. The high tackle totals by linebackers shows that the Razorbacks have had better control of the line of scrimmage than in years past through two games.
League and National Numbers: The Razorbacks are leading the Southeastern Conference and ranked third in the nation in scoring offense at 51.5 ppg. and in kick-off returns at 40.67 ypr. Arkansas leads the SEC and is ranked eighth in the nation in passing offense with 368.5 ypg. The Hogs are ranked second in the SEC and fourth in the nation in scoring defense a 5.0 ppg. Arkansas is second in the SEC and eighth in the nation in total offense 549 ypg. Of course, stats are skewed by Arkansas’ early season competition.
Arkansas Razorbacks (2-0) vs. Troy Trojans (0-1)
When: 6:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Reynolds Razorback Stadium, Fayetteville
Radio: Arkansas Radio Network
This Week’s SEC Games
Thursday, September 15 (Central Time)
LSU at Mississippi St. 7 p.m. ESPN
Saturday, September 17 (Central Time)
Ole Miss at Vanderbilt 11:15 a.m. SEC Network
Auburn at Clemson 11 a.m. ABC
Coastal Carolina at Georgia Noon PPV
Tennessee at Florida 2:30 p.m. CBS
Navy at South Carolina 6 p.m. ESPN2
Louisville at Kentucky 6 p.m.
North Texas at Alabama 6:30 p.m. FSN
Troy at Arkansas 6:30 p.m. CSS