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November 23, 2012Tweet Follow @GoMiddle Follow @Derrick_Griggs
While the majority of the United States might be thinking about turkey and dressing this weekend as they celebrate Thanksgiving with their families, the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (7-3, 5-1) will have a different kind of hunger in their bellies as they prepare to face off against the SBC rival Troy Trojans (5-6, 3-4).
Defensively, the Trojans have one of the worst products on the field as they rank 100th in the nation, giving up 454 yards per game - 265 passing and 188 rushing - while also giving up 31 points per game.
The Blue Raider offense should be able to exploit the Trojan defense in every aspect of the game. Kilgore, who is having a career year, should be able to find his favorite target Amos early and often in the game. To date, the two have hooked up for nine of Kilgore's 16 touchdown passes. In the running game, freshman Jordan Parker should continue running against a below-average run defense. Parker has averaged over 150 yards rushing in the last two games.
If the Trojans want to slow down the Middle Tennessee offense they will have to rely on senior DB Brynden Trawick, who leads the team with 81 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, two interceptions, four pass breakups and six deflections. If he can lock down Amos, it will help the Trojans chances tremendously.
On the season, the Trojans rank 12th in the nation, averaging 501 yards of total offense - 336 passing and 165 rushing - while putting up 31 points per game. MT's defense will certainly have their hands full as they have struggled at keeping high powered offenses in check. They go into the game ranked 85th in the nation allowing an average 430 yards per game - 251 passing and 179 rushing.
The Blue Raiders will have to focus on stopping the passing game as it is the strongest part of the Troy offense. The defense will have to step up though on the outside after one of their top corners, Kenneth Gilstrap, was lost for the season due to a leg injury.
The player to watch on the Trojan offense would have to be QB Corey Robinson. Robinson is 235-for-353 for 2938 yards and 11 TD's on the season. However, he has proven to be a bit of a gunslinger at times, recording eight interceptions on the season. Last week he threw for over 400 yards against the Arkansas State defense.
A big focus area will be on which defense will bend but will not break. MT has done a lot of that lately, holding teams to FG's in the red zone. Troy's offense, like the Blue Raiders, has had problems stalling out in the red zone - so look for the offense that converts the most red zone trips into touchdowns to take this game.
Look for Kilgore to continue his hot streak as he throws for around 300 yards and three touchdowns. Amos will once again dominate the opposing secondary and will go over 100 yards receiving with at least one touchdown. Jordan Parker will, once again, go over 150 yards rushing and reach pay dirt twice. The Blue Raider offense could easily go over 500 total yards in this game.
The defense will struggle but like they have all season, they will do just enough to help the offense win the game. Robinson has a tendency to force passes and if the Blue Raiders can force a couple of turnovers, this game will be theirs for the taking.
One red mark on head coach Rick Stockstill's resume at MT has been the inability to beat Troy - well I believe that the time has come for Stockstill to strike that red from his ledger.
Middle Tennessee NEWS