Preview 2019: Previewing and looking ahead to the Troy Trojans season with what you need to know.
2018 Record: 10-3 overall, 7-1 in Sun Belt
Head Coach: Chip Lindsey, 1st year
5. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE TROY OFFENSE
– New head coach Chip Lindsey comes in to add even more to the passing game for an attack that was okay, relieved on the defense, and came up with just 389 yards and 31 points per game. It helps to get back eight starters, depth, and …
– The starting quarterback returns. Sawyer Smith hit 63% of his passes with 14 scores and six picks, but he took off for Kentucky now that Kaleb Barker is back. The senior started out red hot completing 73% of his passes for 1,013 yards and ten scores with two picks before suffering a knee injury. He’s back, and 6-5, 220-pound Vanderbilt-then-JUCO transfer Jacob Free steps in as the No. 2 man. But …
– The top three receivers are gone. 6-1, 198-pound junior Tray Eafford has to rise up into the No. 1 job on the outside after making 24 catches for 292 yards and three scores, and then it’s all about the JUCO transfers. 6-4, 227-pound former Tulane Green Wave target Khalil McClain and 6-5, 200-pound former Mississippi State Bulldog Reggie Todd have to shine right away.
The tight ends will be a bigger part of the attack with Sam Letton and Richard Hallman good enough to do more after combining for 12 catches.
– After a mediocre year, the line is at least full of veterans. Four starters return including three all-stars. 6-4, 320-pound Kirk Kelley and 6-4, 336-pound Tristan Crowder are the main men at guard, and JL Gaston is a veteran tackle who’ll likely work on the left side. The size, experience and depth need to be enough to improve and blast away, because …
– The great group of running backs have to take over. BJ Smith ran for 1,186 yards and 13 scores, DK Billingsley is a great-looking young option, and 5-7 speedster Jabir Daughtrey-Frye is back after averaging seven yards per pop and finishing second on the team with 371 yards and two scores.