Troy tops WKU
Troy became bowl-eligible Saturday afternoon with their 17-7 Homecoming victory over Western Kentucky University at Movie Gallery Veterans Stadium.
The win marked the sixth victory for Troy and it also marked the return of wide receiver Jerrel Jernigan. Jernigan had missed the Trojans’ 31-30 road loss to ULM because of a knee injury, but he caught six ball for 88 yards in the win Saturday.
“He ignites us and he makes everyone out there better because of the production we know we can get from him,” Troy head coach Larry Blakeney said.
Jernigan was just happy to get back out on the field after having arthroscopic knee surgery a little more than a week ago.
“I am feeling a little pain in it and I didn’t think I would play today, but (head trainer) Chuck (Ash) and his trainers are amazing,” Jernigan said. “They got me ready to go this week and it felt real good to get out there and help my team after last week’s heartbreaker. I was just glad to make some plays out there.”
Troy quarterback Levi Brown had another near 300-yard performance against WKU. Brown threw for 298 yards on 30-of-46 passing with two touchdowns and one interception, but he said the offense still has some things to work on.
“That is not how we want to perform on a regular basis, but a win is a win and we will take that over what we did last week,” Brown said. “But there were a lot of points left out there. We had over 400 yards, but only 17 points. We had no points on many occasions in the end zone and that is something we need to work on.”
Part of that 400-yard output was Andrew Davis, who for the second straight week caught a touchdown from Brown. Davis caught five balls for 101 yards including a 58-yard touchdown grab on Troy’s opening drive of the game.
“I have always been there, it has just been whether the quarterback could see me,” Davis said. “I am only 5-foot-9-inches and it is hard to see me sometimes.”
But Davis has a different connection with Brown than any other receiver on the team. Davis and Brown are roommates and Davis said that may play a part in his resurgence as of late.
“Being roommates has helped us out a lot,” Davis said.
Brown was just happy to translate that connection off the field to on-field success.
“Andrew has had two big games in a row and it makes me happy to find him on the field because we are roommates,” Brown said. “We are finally getting that roommate connection going.”
Troy scored the first 14 points on the 58-yard strike from Brown to Davis and on a nine-yard touchdown pass from Brown to Gerald Tate with 7:21 to play in the first half. But the Trojans could not get it going in the second half and looked stalled the entire half.
“I expected this to be a tough game because two years ago we did the same thing against them,” Blakeney said. “We scored 14 points on them quick and then they turned it into a war. We just couldn’t get the big play, but it was a win, win, win on Homecoming, Homecoming, Homecoming and I was happy, happy, happy.”
WKU trimmed the Trojan lead to 14-7 with a 20-yard scramble from quarterback Brandon Smith with 9:28 to go in the third quarter and Sam Glusman scored the final points of the game with a 34-yard field goal with 7:12 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Glusman had another tough night just one week removed from having a 56-yard attempt bounce off the crossbar. He was 1-of-4 on field goal attempts in the game.
The Trojans hit the road for Baton Rouge, La. for a matchup with the reeling LSU Tigers. LSU dropped an overtime game to Alabama Saturday, 27-21.
Troy and LSU kickoff at 7 p.m. in Death Valley.
Click here for photo gallery from the Homecoming game