Middle Tennessee State Tops Troy 24-21 for Palladium Trophy

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- Carlos Lopez kicked three field goals and Kevin Byard returned an interception 77 yards for the game-winning touchdown as Middle Tennessee took down Troy 24-21 Saturday in a Sun Belt Conference game.

Lopez converted field goals of 37, 26, and 21 yards. His 26-yarder put Middle Tennessee (8-3, 6-1) ahead 13-7 at halftime while his 21-yarder helped the Blue Raiders retake the lead, 16-14, late in the third quarter.

Troy (5-7, 3-5) reclaimed the lead, 21-16, by taking advantage of a Reggie Whatley fumble and driving 56 yards for the score. Deon Anthony capped the drive with his 6-yard touchdown run.

Troy forced another turnover on Middle Tennessee's next possession, intercepting Cameron Deen and returning it to the Blue Raiders 47, but Byard made his game-winning interception return six plays later to seal the win.

Corey Robinson completed 22 of 36 passes for 183 yards and a touchdown for Troy but his lone interception proved costly.

An injury to Middle Tennessee linebacker Craig Allen stopped play for 16 minutes following Byard's interception return. Allen, who was carried off the field on a backboard, was taken to a local hospital to be evaluated.


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