Bowl Eligibility, Palladium on the Line for Troy

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*From Troy Media Relations*

TROY, Ala. – Seeing Middle Tennessee on the other sideline is usually motivation enough for Troy, however the Trojans will have a little extra spark heading into Saturday’s regular season finale, as they will be playing for their football lives.

Troy has won six straight in the “Battle for the Palladium” and it will take running the streak to seven if the Trojans want to have an opportunity to play on into December. Troy heads to Murfreesboro with five wins on the season, just one shy of the elusive six for bowl eligibility.

Kickoff between the Trojans and Blue Raiders is scheduled for 2:32 p.m. from Floyd Stadium in Murfreesboro, Tenn., in a game that will be broadcast live by ESPN3.

“I was hoping they (Middle Tennessee) were going to be bad, but they're not, they're actually pretty good,” Troy head coach Larry Blakeney said. “I looked at the tape toady and they're good on both sides plus they do a lot of good things in the special teams. I really like Rick Stockstill, he's a good man and he's doing a good job up there. They're fighting for a championship and he'll have them ready. We've got to match that, and being on the road, we've got to do even better.”

The Trojans (5-6, 3-4 Sun Belt) are coming off another close loss, this one a 41-34 setback to Arkansas State last weekend. Five of Troy’s six losses this season have come by seven points or less and all six have come by an average of 7.5 points.

Troy brings with it to Murfreesboro on of the nation’s most dynamic offensive attacks. The Trojans rank seventh in the NCAA averaging 336.1 yards through the air and 12th in total offense with 501.2 yards per game; Troy has accumulated 1,836 yards of total offense the past three weeks – the second most in the country behind Clemson.

Chip Reeves provides the big play threat for the Trojan offense. The senior wide out is second in the nation with 13 catches of 30 or more yards and third nationally with five catches of 50 yards or more. Reeves became Troy’s fifth player to top the 1,000-yard receiving mark in a season last week and is 136 yards shy of setting the single-season receiving yards record with 1,170 yards.

What makes the Troy passing attack so dangerous is the addition of Eric Thomas, Jaquon Robinson and Chandler Worthy as the primary targets in the passing game and the two-headed attack of Corey Robinson and Deon Anthony at quarterback.

Robinson leads the league averaging 293.8 yards per game through the air while Anthony leads all Sun Belt quarterbacks with seven rushing touchdowns to go along with eight touchdowns through the air.

The Trojans also have one of the league’s best all-around kickers at their disposal. Will Scott has connected on 12 straight field goal attempts and averages 40.9 yards per punt; the Trojans lead the Sun Belt with a 39.1 net average on punts.

The Blue Raiders (7-3, 5-1) have bounced back nicely from a season-opening loss to McNeese State from the FCS. Middle Tennessee beat Georgia Tech by 21 points earlier in the season and has won four straight league games.

Logan Kilgore has completed 65.6 percent of his passes this season with 16 touchdowns and just four interceptions. Kilgore has a target just like Troy’s Reeves with Anthony Amos on the outside. The Blue Raider receiver has 929 yards on the season and nine touchdown grabs.

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