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Trojans run away with a 45-21 win over Coastal Carolina

The Troy Trojans returned home after a two-game road trip and gave the fans a reason to celebrate with a 45-21 win over Coastal Carolina on Saturday.

The win for the Trojans improves their record on the season to 4-1 overall and 2-0 in conference play.

“Fun Saturday afternoon,” said head coach Neal Brown. “We were able to jump out to a quick start which is something we really emphasized all week. Quality win for us. It gets us to 4-1, 2-0 in the conference and 1-0 in the division which is critical now.”

The Trojans outgained the Chanticleers 467-317.

“Thought we did some really good things on both sides of the ball,” Brown said. “I thought special teams again for us gave us a big edge. If you look on defense, a lot of pressure on the quarterback.”

Sophomore Marcus Jones put himself on the map a year ago when he returned two kickoffs for a touchdown against Coastal Carolina, one of which was on the opening kickoff. Jones was at it again when he returned the opening kick 96-yards for a touchdown, becoming Troy’s all time leader in kickoff return touchdowns.

“Coach told me at the beginning that they were going to kick it to me,” Jones said. “It was a great feeling. My teammates executed and when my teammates execute, coach just tells me to put the ball in the endzone.”

In all, the Trojans scored 21 unanswered points to take an early comfortable lead in the opening quarter. The Trojans used a little trickery for their second score of the contest. Wide receiver Luke Whittemore caught a pass from quarterback Kaleb Barker and then turned it into a 35-yard touchdown pass to Jabir Daughtry-Frye. It marked the third straight year that the Trojans had a non-quarterback throw at least one touchdown.

The Trojans looked to put the game away early when B.J. Smith lunged his way in for a one-yard touchdown run to go up 21-0. Earlier in the drive, Smith took a handoff 47 yards to the one.

The game moved to the second quarter and the tables were turned. The Chanticleers scored 14 unanswered points to pull to within seven at 21-14.

Coastal Carolina outgained the Trojans in the second half 93-52.

Kicker Tyler Sumpter stopped the building when he nailed career-long 46-yard field goal to put Troy up 24-14 at the half.

The Chanticleers took the second half kickoff, but the Trojans quickly took over when Tyler Murray ripped the football away from a CCU for an interception. The Trojans capitalized with a shuffle pass from Barker to Deondre Douglas to put Troy up by 17 at 31-14.

Smith reached the century mark with a 17-yard touchdown run to give Troy another 17-point advantage at 38-21.

The Trojans added a 74-yard touchdown by Daughtry-Frye.

The Trojans had two players break the century mark in rushing yards. Daughtry-Frye and Smith combined to run for 243 yards. It marked the first time since 2002 that Troy had two players rush  for 100 yards.

“Coach Dawkins always preaches making the most out of our opportunities,” Daughtry-Frye said. “I feel as a group we did just that tonight.”

Daughtry-Frye rushed for a team-high 140 yards, while Smith rushed for 107.

“I didn’t even know that I rushed for over 100,” Smith said. “To do that with Frye is really special. I am proud of him and our offensive line, big hats off to those guys. They did a good job being physical and establishing the run quick. We just go out there and try to make plays.”

The Trojans averaged 9.1 yards per game which was also the most since 2002 against Southern Utah.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Troy defense tallied nine sacks which is tied for the most in Troy’s FBS’ history.

“A lot of those came on third down,” Brown said. “I think it’s good four our confidence. If you’re getting that many sacks that means you are in pretty good position to win the game.”

The Trojans will have a short turnaround this week. They host Georgia State on Thursday beginning at 6:30.

“We still have a lot of work to do,” Brown said. “If you had to grade this game I would say average. We took care of business, but we have a long way to go. We have to get prepared for a Georgia State team that played better against Monroe than we did.”