Know the Foe - 1
History of MSU vs. Troy
Well, in 2001, Troy (State, at the time) came to Starkville and took what was left of our hopes and dreams that season and flushed them down the toilet. It was their first year in Division 1-A, and they beat MSU 21-9.
The above game was played after a tornado, and in a downpour. The 2002 game was humid and miserable as Mississippi State eked out an ugly 11-8 victory at home.
That's all there is - the series is tied 1-1. This will be the first game between the two played in Troy. This will be their first time hosting a SEC team. For more background on the first two matchups, check out Justin's and Joe's history segment from the Daily Grind.
More info about this year's squad after the hump...
Our summer preview of Troy is HERE. They were projected to be one of the better teams in the Sun Belt this year, returning 15 starters from a 3-9 team in 2011.
The Trojans are 1-1 so far this year, winning at UAB 39-29 and losing vs. ULALA 37-24.
Quarterback: Corey Robinson, has had a pretty good career. He is a junior, but has been starting since his freshman year and maintained pretty much the same production. How about this for consistency...
This year he has 4 TD and 1 INT, and his completion % is right back there at 63.3....he also has a 136.4 QB rating.
Receiver: Eric Thomas had great numbers last year: 67 catches, 875 yards and 9 TDs. He's gotten off to kind of a slow start in 2012 with 10 catches for just 59 yards and one TD.
Chip Reeves and Chandler Worthy do have impressive numbers at the WR position this year, however. Both have over 150 yards receiving and are averaging 16+ yards per catch.
Running back: Shawn Southward has started off with a bang this year: 44 carries for 237 yards and 3 TDs. That's 5.9 yards per rush. Not bad.
Offensive line: The only two players Troy had to replace on offense from last year were at LT and C. That LT was all-Sun Belt, but they are are pretty experienced group with 66 career starts among the five.
Defensive line: The Trojans have given up 176 yards rushing per game through the first two games against mediocre competition.
Linebacker: I guess you could call this their best unit, but I don't feel too confident about that statement. They have a lot of experience and some Juco transfers playing.
Secondary: Given up 248 passing yards per game this year. Not too good. But three out of four are seniors.
Troy's offense will be their strength, specifically their passing offense where they rank 8th in the country at 359.5 yards per game. This will be the toughest test so far for the Bulldogs' experienced secondary....and they should be up to the challenge. The question will ultimately be how long can Troy's O-line hold off State's impressive D-line and possibly forcing Robinson into some bad throws.
Tyler Russell should be able to have another solid game this week. If Chris Wilson wants to play a soft zone again this could devolve into somewhat of a shootout - and by that I mean 35-21 or so, provided the offense is clicking. MSU is definitely better at almost every position for the 3rd week in a row and should win this game handily. But of course, beware of the letdown.