Troy Slams North Texas in R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl; Trojans Set Scoring Records

By  | 

NEW ORLEANS – Brandon Silvers accounted for five touchdowns and Troy’s defense recorded six sacks as the Trojans systematically dismantled North Texas, 50-30, Saturday at the Mercedes-Super Dome in the R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl.

Troy set the New Orleans Bowl record and the school’s bowl record for points in a game against their former conference foe. The meeting was the first between the two since North Texas left the Sun Belt for Conference USA; the Trojans have now won nine of the 11 meetings between the two schools all-time.

Silvers was named the New Orleans Bowl MVP after completing 24-of-31 passes for 305 yards and four touchdowns, while rushing for another score. Silvers became the school’s all-time leader in career touchdowns responsible for with 87 as he past Corey Robinson’s 84.

Troy (11-2) finished the season with 11 wins for just the eighth time in school history and the first at the FBS level. The Trojans have now won 22 of their last 27 games dating back to the 2015 season and are one of just 10 schools in the country with at least 21 wins over the past two seasons.

The Trojans, who were playing without eight normal players on its two-deep, wasted no time showing the Mean Green (9-5), the C-USA West Division champions, what they were in for Saturday afternoon.

Silvers completed his first 10 pass attempts of the game and Josh Anderson scored twice on the ground in the game’s first five minutes and 39 seconds. Anderson finished with a career-best 113 yards on 22 carries in the game.

His second score followed one of three fumbles recovered by the Trojan defense. Jamal Stadom dropped Mason Fine for a loss 10 yards behind the line of scrimmage and Sam Lebbie fell on the loose ball.

Troy held North Texas (9-5) to -8 yards rushing in the game thanks to the six sacks and 11 tackles for loss – the Trojans finished the season with 112 tackles for loss, a new school record. It marked the eighth time this season that Troy held an opponent under 100 yards rushing, a new FBS record.

North Texas scored two late touchdowns in the second quarter to turn a 15-point deficit into just a 22-20 halftime score. Following a 7-yard touchdown pass from Silvers to Damion Willis, the Mean Green returned a fumble 56-yards for a touchdown and got a late Fine touchdown pass.
That was the last good thing to happen for the Mean Green as Troy came out of the break determined to show its former conference mate what they left behind when they left the league.

Silvers opened the second half scoring with a 2-yard touchdown run and found Tevaris McCormick from 59-yards out – the longest pass in Troy’s bowl history – just over three minutes later to give Troy a 36-20 lead.

The large Troy contingent in the Superdome had more to cheer about on a 20-yard touchdown pass from Silvers to John Johnson with 2:02 to play in the quarter. Willis and Silvers connected again with just over four minutes left to seal the game for Troy.

Willis set a Troy bowl record with 11 catches while his 135 receiving yards were the second most in a bowl game in school history. McCormick added five catches for 107 yards making the pair the first since 2013 to top over 100 yards receiving in the same game.

Fine, the Conference USA Offensive Player of the Year, finished 30-of-54 for 303 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions. Troy held Fine to -58 yards rushing in the game.

Stadom finished with a pair of tackles for loss, while Cedarius Rookard had a game-high nine tackles and two pass break ups. Lebbie added two stops behind the line with a sack in addition to forcing a fumble.

Quotable – Troy Head Coach Neal Brown
"It's a great day not only for our football program, but for Troy University. I'm very appreciative for our administration, our fans, but most importantly, our players. They bought into our process three years ago. Today was a microcosm of our season. This season has been up and down. You grow through hard times. We got off to a fast start, hit a lull, but dominated the second half.

"I think this is a special season, without any doubt. We came here knowing what we were getting. I knew the foundation was firm. I didn't know how fast it was going to happen. Last year was a little bit of a surprise, not that we went to a bowl game but that we won 10 games. I'm proud of our guys; I really am. I'm proud of our staff."

Notable
• Troy’s 11 wins are the most in the school’s FBS history and marks just the eighth time in the school’s history with at least 11 wins (1999, 1996, 1995, 1993, 1987, 1984, 1986)
• Troy improves to 3-1 all-time in the New Orleans Bowl and 4-3 all-time in bowl games at the FBS level.
• Troy has won three of its four bowl games by at least 20 points after today’s victory.
• Troy’s 11 wins are the most in the school’s FBS history and marks just the eighth time in the school’s history with at least 11 wins (1999, 1996, 1995, 1993, 1987, 1984, 1986)
• Troy improves to 3-1 all-time in the New Orleans Bowl and 4-3 all-time in bowl games at the FBS level.
• Troy has won three of its four bowl games by at least 20 points after today’s victory.
• Troy averaged 40.3 points, 426.4 yards of total offense and 6.7 yards per play over the final seven games of the season ... the Trojans averaged 21.3 points, 409.5 yards and 5.8 yards per play the first six games.

Scoring Summary
TROY – Anderson 1-yard run (Sumpter kick), 10:55, 1st 0-7
TROY – Anderson 2-yard run (Johnson pass from Silvers), 9:21, 1st 0-15
UNT – Bussey 12-yard pass from Fine (Moore kick), 0:55, 1st 7-15
TROY – Willis 7-yard pass from Silvers (Sumpter kick), 14:24, 2nd 22-7
UNT – McDonald 56-yard fumble return (Fine rush fail), 5:49, 2nd 22-13
UNT – Lawrence 13-yard pass from Fine (Moore kick), 0:49, 2nd 22-20
TROY – Silvers 2-yard run (Sumpter kick), 13:33, 3rd 29-20
TROY – McCormick 59-yard pass from Silvers (Sumpter kick), 10:28, 3rd 36-20
UNT – Moore 24-yard field goal, 4:26, 3rd 36-23
TROY – Johnson 20-yard pass from Silvers (Sumpter kick), 2:02, 3rd 43-23
TROY – Willis 10-yard pass from Silvers (Sumpter kick), 4:07, 4th 50-23
UNT – Smiley 17-yard pass from Fine (Moore kick), 0:28, 4th 50-30