Sun Belt Showdown: Troy Trojans vs. Boise State Broncos
This is the very first meeting between Troy and Boise State, and it may be the juiciest Sun Belt vs. Mountain West regular season showdown OF ALL TIME!
Last year, the Boise State Broncos caravanned to hot and muggy Lafayette to dispatch the Louisiana Ragin Cajuns 45-10, which wasn’t a good look for the Sun Belt. This season, the Broncos host the Trojans of Troy, a different Sun Belt animal all together. Do Neal Brown and his wall build’n Trojans have the firepower to take down Bryan Harsin and the hard charging Broncos?
SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 2ND, 2:45PM ON ESPNU @ Albertsons Stadium, Boise, ID
Three Reasons Why This Game Is So Bad Ass
1. Sheriff-on-Sheriff Violence!
For the better part of the Two Thousand and Zeros, the Troy Trojans were the Sheriff’s of the Sun Belt. From 2006 to 2010, Troy won or won-a-share of the Sun Belt championship. Over in the wild west, Boise State has become a standard for Group of Five Programs, routinely besting P5 teams and earning ESPN airtime. Boise State doesn’t often win the Mountain West, but they’re certainly the conference Sheriff.
2. Battle of Elite Signal Callers
Broncos QB Brett Rypien (6-2 205) is the Mountain West’s top passer. His 2016 stat line is as gaudy as Trump Hotel lobby: 3,646 yards, 24 TDS, 61.9% completions. Meanwhile, the preseason 1st Team All Sun Belt QB is Brandon Silvers, who put up some obscene numbers too: 3,180 yards, 23 TDs, 63.7% completions. Just let these guys air it out. It’ll be great.
3. Rising Superstar Coaches Face Off
Both Neal Brown and Bryan Harsin finished 2016 at 10-3. Brown is in his third year at Troy, having resurrected a program that seemed mired in its past. Harsin took the reigns of a team running on every cylinder, and he hasn’t lost much steam. Both coaches are routinely mentioned in off-season coaching searches. Both are young dudes with tons of coaching ahead of them. It’ll be fun to see which coaches Xs out-manages the other’s Os.
Last year, the Broncos were undefeated at Albertsons Stadium, which included a win against Washington State. Troy isn’t bad on the road (they nearly upset Clemson at Clemson Memorial), but there’s no place like home, right?
Still, Neal Brown tasted both the Sun Belt Championship and the AP Top 25 last year before allowing both to slip from his grasp. He’s a year wiser and too ambitious to be intimidated by the Broncos on Saturday. I see Troy, with its menagerie of offensive weapons, corralling Harsin and the Broncos.
45-28, Troy Trojans
A former notary public, Jeremy Harper is a professional writer and Chief Instigator for Storm the Castle Creative. He spends much of his free time staring blankly into space.