TROY, Ala. – Troy quarterback Corey Robinson broke five school records in Saturday’s home opener against Louisiana-Lafayette, but the Cajuns took advantage of three Trojan turnovers to come away with a 37-24 victory at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
Robinson broke the Troy career records for total offense (7,591), passing yards (7,786) and passing attempts (1,103), while setting single-game marks for completions and passing yards. Robinson finished 46-of-70 for 485 yards and two touchdowns against the Cajuns; his passing total ranked as the third highest in Sun Belt Conference history and the most in the NCAA this year.
Robinson hit nine different receivers on the night with Chandler Worthy’s nine catches for 154 yards leading the way. Eric Thomas also had nine catches for 55 yards and a touchdown, while Jaquon Robinson had six catches for 79 and a touchdown.
The Trojans (1-1, 0-1 Sun Belt) pulled within three, 20-17, on a Will Scott 33-yard field goal with 9:50 to play in the third quarter, but the Cajuns (2-0, 1-0) scored the game’s next 17 points to stake a 37-17 lead.
Terrance Broadway needed just five plays following the Scott field goal to put the Cajuns back on the board as he hooked up with Harry Peoples from nine yards out for his only touchdown pass of the game. ULL’s backup quarterback opened the drive with a 32-yard run and had a 23-yard completion to Darryl Surgent.
Broadway finished 10-of-16 for 143 yards through the air and rushed for another 43 yards on eight carries. Alonzo Harris led the Cajuns with 137 yards and a score on 21 carries.
Brett Baer hit his third field goal of the night with 3:54 to play in the third quarter and Harris capped the Cajuns’ scoring with a 2-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter.
Troy ran a mind-boggling 102 plays in the game and racked up 588 yards of total offense. Troy backup quarterback Deon Anthony rushed for a touchdown and was 4-of-5 for 43 yards through the air. The Trojans held the Cajuns to 389 yards of total offense in the game.
Louisiana-Lafayette built a 20-7 lead midway through the second quarter as they took advantage of a Troy turnover and a pair of big plays.
Anthony put the Trojans on the board with an electrifying 11-yard touchdown run on Troy’s opening drive of the game. Anthony set up his touchdown run with a 21-yard pass to Justin Albert two plays prior.
Working on a short field, the Cajuns marched 55 yards capped by a 10-yard Blaine Gautier touchdown run to tie the game at 7-all; however the score was costly for ULL as Gautier was injured and did not return to the game.
The Trojans looked as if they were going to answer the score with three first downs on the ensuing possession, but Jermario Moten returned a Worthy fumbled 56 yards for a touchdown to give the Cajuns a 14-7 lead. Baer hit a pair of 25-yard field goals on ULL’s next two drives; one was aided by a 50-yard run and the other by back-to-back passes that covered 21 and 32 yards.
Another opportunity for the Trojans to cut into the lead was thwarted by the Cajun defense when Corey Robinson’s pass to Jaquon Robinson fell incomplete on fourth-and-2 on the ULL 9-yard line.
The Troy defense held its ground on Louisiana-Lafayette’s ensuing possession by forcing a three-and-out to give the Trojan offense the ball back on the ULL 47-yard line.
Worthy atoned for his earlier turnover with a tightrope catch on the sideline that covered 29 yards. Facing third-and-goal from the 5-yard line, the Troy Robinson duo hooked up for the touchdown to pull the Trojans within six, 20-14, heading in the break.
Eric Thomas capped the scoring with a 5-yard touchdown reception from Robinson with just over three minutes to play in the game. It was the first touchdown of the season for Thomas after he caught a Sun Belt best nine touchdowns last season.
The victory by ULL was the first home opening loss for Blakeney in his Troy career (22 years) and snapped a streak of 25 straight home-opening victories for the Trojans.
The Trojans will make history next week when they host Mississippi State in Veterans Memorial Stadium. The visit by the Bulldogs will be the first-ever to Troy by a member of the Southeastern Conference. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. and the game will be broadcast live by ESPN3.
TROY – Anthony 11-yard run (Scott kick), 12:15, 1st 7-0
ULL – Gautier 10-yard run (Baer kick), 3:37, 1st 7-7
ULL – Moten 56-yard fumble return (Baer kick), 1:31, 1st 7-14
ULL – Baer 25-yard FG, 13:18, 2nd 7-17
ULL – Baer 25-yard FG, 7:35, 2nd 7-20
TROY – J. Robinson 5-yard pass from C. Robinson (Scott kick), 0:52, 2nd 14-20
TROY – Scott 33-yard FG, 9:50, 3rd 17-20
ULL – Peoples 9-yard pass from Broadway (Baer kick), 8:16, 3rd 17-27
ULL – Baer 32-yard FG, 3:54, 3rd 17-30
ULL – Harris 2-yard run, 9:14, 4th 17-37
TROY – Thomas 5-yard pass from Robinson (Scott kick), 3:12, 4th 24-37
Troy Head Coach Larry Blakeney
“I would certainly like to be in here under different circumstances, but all is not lost. We played a pretty good team tonight. I think they’ve got a chance like us to get better as the season goes on. If we’d just taken care of a few things a little bit better. I think it looks like to me it boils down to rushing the football. Even though we threw it pretty readily, they’ve always be a team that bends and let you have stuff and have stuff.”
“Both teams played awfully hard. Both teams kicked it pretty good. It’s a game if we would have played a little bit better and made fewer mistakes that we could have been in the hunt to win it. We couldn’t get it done and you have to give them credit.”
On ULL’s Jemarlo Moten’s second quarter 56-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown
“That was de-ja-vu. We had it reviewed and though he (Moten) might have been out of bounds before he fumbled but the review proved it was a legal play. That’s a tough, tough chain of events. We’re headed down the field moving the ball pretty good and all of a sudden, bang, it’s the other way for six.”
On Troy’s running game against ULL
“We weren’t doing a lot of different things so it had to be the team play we were playing. I don’t think there was a whole lot of difference. I’m not sure if we would have changed any approach. It looked like to me we were that close to breaking a bunch of runs and there was someone hanging on the edge or we didn’t get the outside backer blocked. Basically, we didn’t block them enough. I believe we just didn’t quite get it schemed up right or we didn’t block them fundamentally enough.”
On how Troy’s turnover affected the game
“I think we probably shot ourselves in the foot with mistakes, missed assignments, and turnovers. Penalties, you could certainly break us down. It’s normally mistakes, penalties, and missed assignment.”
On the frustration of turnovers and mistakes
“It was difficult for old coaches to, I don’t know about the players. You’ve got to be able to be able to work your way through that. That’s coaching, that’s learning. All of that is part of football. It’s the ebb and flow of football. Don’t get to high when it’s good; don’t get to low when it’s bad. We’re all humans and everyone handles that heat differently. Sometimes the guy that you least will think will make a mistake, makes a mistake. It’s the human element of this game.”
On preparation for Mississippi State
“We are going to go back to work tomorrow night. We’re going to try to find a way to get better and see if we can get through a game and do some of these things that you have to do right. You may not be able to beat a team, but you sure can’t beat a team if you’re giving them turnovers, penalties, and that kind of frustration is really tough on you. We’re a little bit behind the eight-ball right now, but you’ll never know when we’ll peak out from behind it.”
Troy Player Quotes
Linebacker Dimitri Miles
“We got some good character guys in there, I feel like we can bounce back. It’s a tough loss but I feel like we can come back. This one game doesn’t determine the conference so I feel like we can come back and make some plays and do some good things.”
Quarterback Corey Robinson
On school records
“It’s hard to talk about those after a game like this. I guess it’s cool to have done this stuff, but I haven’t done it alone. I want to thank first off all the offensive lines I’ve played behind the last three years, as well as all the running backs and receivers who have caught the balls. I want to again thank all my teammates and coaches.”
On matchup next week
“We wanted this one real bad. We’re not very big fans of each other (us and Lafayette). There’s a lot of stuff that happened tonight that we all want back but I know we can’t get it back. We got to move forward and get ready for an SEC opponent coming into our stadium. We’ve got to get a lot better if we want to compete with them and that’s what we’re going to try and do this week.”
On shovel pass interception
“I pitched it to Shawn just like you saw all night, it was crowded and they brought 6 or 7 guys and got us on the call. I pitched it, he kind of got hit and he bobbled and it was a freak accident. He landed on the defensive guys back for a second and the guy grabbed it. You can’t control that kind of stuff but we’ve got to correct the stuff we can fix.”
On going down with shoulder injury
“I was rolling out to my left and my shoulder got pushed out of place but they popped it back and I went right back in so it was ok.”
Wide Receiver Chandler Worthy
On the fumble in the first half
“I just didn’t have good ball security. He got it perfectly and ripped it out and I have no excuse for it.”
Going forward after loss
“We’ve got to come back and hit the weight room hard. We saw a lot that we can improve on. I honestly feel like we hurt ourselves. We’ve got to come back and work hard and it’s going to be a great season.”
Coach Mark Hudspeth quotes:
On his Defense/Turnovers/Troy's Offense:
"We talked about it before the game. I told our guys, I guaranteed them that if we won the turnover battle, we'd win the game. I told them I'd walk home if we didn't. I think it was three to zero (turnovers). Defensively, we've got to get a better rush on the quarterback. We bent but didn't break at times. Played well at times, at times gave up some big plays. They've got some big-play playmakers. That quarterback's (Robinson) very talented, so they're a very good offense."
On QB Broadway:
"Terrance prepares like he's the starter. This is two years in a row we've had to come in here and play Troy without our starting quarterback and that's hard. Terrance was prepared, I thought he made some great decisions and took care of the football. "
Winning two straight versus Troy:
"It's important to us. We're just trying to make our mark and we're a work in progress. We're not there yet. We're just tyring to take it one game at a time. And this place here in Troy, and Coach Blakeney's got so much tradition. They do such an unbelivable job and it's very hard to come in here and win in Troy"
Health of Gautier:
"Don't know. We'll run some x-rays on his ribs when we get back but we think everything's going to be fine."
On whether Gautier's injury leads to more playing time for Broadway:
"It depends how he bounces back from practice. We'll determine that when we get back and evaluate him but he's moving around pretty well right now, so we'll see."
On his late-game antics:
"It's hard to beat these guys and I just thought some things got out of hand late. I was just fighting for my guys and we've got to learn to keep our composure at times. It was just a hard-fought game between two teams that really wanted to win the game. "
On whether this win signals changing of the guard in conference:
"I don't know about that. There's a lot of good teams in this conference. It's been a long time since UL's beaten Troy two times in a row, and I know to beat them at home, it's been 24 years. We're just very proud to come over here and win in a place that's tough to come in and win."
On status of player ejected, will he play next week:
"I don't know. We'll have to find a ruling on that. I was disappointed in that, I thought it was sort of provoked. I thought it should have been handled differently but that's neither here nor there. We'll have to wait and see on that."
Troy vs Louisiana-Lafayette Notes
· Captains for Troy were OL Kyle Wilborn, LB Brannon Bryan, RB Shawn Southward and DL Tony Davis.
· Louisiana-Lafayette won the toss and deferred until the second half.
· Quarterback Corey Robinson moved into first place on Troy’s career passing yard list with 485 yards in the game. He now has 7,786 career passing yards.
· Quarterback Corey Robinson also moved into fourth place on the Sun Belt career passing yards list with 7,786 career passing yards
· Quarterback Corey Robinson set a Troy school record with 485 passing yards, passing the mark of 477 yards set by Levi Brown against Florida Atlantic on Nov. 21, 2009.
· Quarterback Corey Robinson had 485 passing yards, marking the 14th 300-yard performance in his 27 career games and the second 400-yard performance of his career.
· Quarterback Corey Robinson set career highs with 46 completions, 70 attempts and 485 passing yards.
· Quarterback Corey Robinson set a Troy school record with 46 completions, breaking the previous record of 40 set by Levi Brown against North Texas on Oct. 25, 2008.
· Quarterback Corey Robinson moved into first place in Troy history with 1103 career passing attempts. Robinson’s 70 attempts in the game moved him past Brock Nutter (1997-2001) who had 1,037 career attempts.
· Quarterback Corey Robinson became Troy’s career leader in total offense with 474 yards in the game (485 pass, -9 rush). He now has 7,591 yards in his career, surpassing the mark of 7,373 yards set by Sim Byrd (1966-68).
· Wide receiver Eric Thomas moved into 15th place on the Troy career leaderboard with 85 career receptions. Thomas caught nine passes on the day after entering with 76 in his career.
· Wide receiver Eric Thomas moved into a tie for 15th place on the Troy career leaderboard with 11 career receiving touchdowns after catching one today.
· Wide receiver Eric Thomas surpassed the 1,000 receiving yard milestone in the first quarter with his four-yard catch. Thomas entered the game with 999 career receiving yards and finished with 1,054 after picking up 55 on nine catches.
· Wide receiver Eric Thomas has now caught a pass in 15 consecutive games. That streak dates back to the 2010 R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl.
· Quaterback Deon Anthony picked up his first career touchdown with 12:15 remaining in the first quarter. Anthony’s 11-yard touchdown rush put the Trojans ahead 7-0.
· Wide receiver K.D. Edenfield’s first career catch came in the second quarter, going for 12 yards and a first down.
· Wide receiver Chandler Worthy recorded 154 receiving yards, marking the second different Trojan to eclipse the 100-yard mark in two games this season. Chip Reeves recorded 125 yards last week at UAB.
· Troy’s loss in their home opener snapped a streak of 25 consecutive wins in home openers. The streak was the fourth longest in the nation behind Ohio State (36), Oklahoma (30) and Nebraska (28).
· The loss also broke a streak of seven consecutive victories in Sun Belt openers for the Trojans, the longest streak in the league’s history. Troy is now 7-2 all-time in Sun Belt openers.