Didn’t have a ton of space in Friday’s paper due to high school football previews but HERE is the short story I wrote on Troy’s 31-26 loss to Western Kentucky.
HERE is the link to Eric Thomas’ touchdown catch that made ESPN’s Top Ten Plays.
FACTS and STATS
The top story from this game is not that Troy lost the game, but the future of Corey Robinson. Troy’s star QB was carted off the field on the final play of the second half after taking a shot from Western Kentucky linebacker Bar’ee Boyd. Robinson was taken to Troy Regional Medical Center for evaluation. The injury was described as an “above the shoulder injury.” Here’s what head coach Larry Blakeney had to say after the game about Robinson:
“My thoughts and my heart is out to Corey. I want to make sure he’s OK as soon as we can and get him well. I’m really concerned with his injury.”
“It was a scary deal because it looked like he was out. We’ve got to be sure with those kind of things (head injuries).We don’t fool with that here and never have. It’s certainly not any leeway to fool with it anyway but do the best you can to take core of him and get physically well. That will be our No. 1 goal with Corey.”
“He got knocked out. Either he got hit somewhere that made him lose consciousness it seems. I stood close enough to see he wasn’t moving. He’s fine now, we’ve just got to make sure we get him back to his normal health.”
Blakeney went on to talk about Deon Anthony…
“We’ve got a lot of confidence in ole Deon. These guys have all been around him and know he’s a real calm guy, very talented guy. I think they all jumped right in the bandwagon and helped him the best they could. It was a team thing that happened to us and I thought the whole team responded.”
Troy’s offense has been ravaged with injury this season. The Trojans have lost Zach Johnson and Chris Hawkins for the season on the offensive line. Right guard Jimmie Arnold did not play against WKU with a sprained ankle. Running back D.J. Taylor missed the first four games after suffering heat related issues during fall practice.
Anthony, who threw for 147 yards and a touchdown, will be the obvious first option to fill in during Robinson’s absence. Dallas Tidwell will back him up.
The Trojans have nine days before they host Florida International.
Troy had three different players throw touchdown passes in the game. Corey Robinson found Chip Reeves for a 38-yard strike in the first quarter. Deon Anthony hooked up with Eric Thomas on a circus catch that was ESPN’s No. 7 Top Play of the night. That happened at the end of the third quarter. Jaquon Robinson, who is the holder on extra points and field goals, shoveled the ball to D.J. Taylor in the second quarter for a 1-yard TD pass.
Tony Davis turned in a career night with two sacks, both forcing WKU quarterback Kawaun Jakes to fumble. The Hilltoppers recovered both fumbles, however.
WKU attempted more passes than Troy (31-28) while Troy had more rushing attempts than Western Kentucky (40-35).
It’s obvious that Corey Robinson’s injury could have a dramatic impact on Troy’s offensive production. Deon Anthony has the tools to be a quality quarterback in the Sun Belt though. Heck, if you listened to the TV folks when practice opened this season, you would have thought Brett Farve had stepped on campus and Corey had never completed a pass before.
Troy has slowly worked Deon more and more into the gameplan. He will now get his chance. Anthony reminds me of Aaron Leak. Mobile enough and accurate enough.
The defense showed that it still has problems, especially with allowing big plays and bad times. WKU missed several opportunities whne they had one-on-one coverage with linebacker Tyler Roberts. Kanorris Davis looked lost dropping back at times as well.
The Trojans look a season away from being a legitimate contender in the Sun Belt, but this year’s team has already proved it is a drastic improvement from the 2011 product.