Troy Trojans Preview 2022: Previewing, predicting, and looking ahead to the Troy season with what you need to know and keys to the season.
Troy Trojans Preview
Head Coach: Jon Sumrall, 1st year at Troy
2021 Preview: Overall: 5-7, Conference: 3-5
Offense, Defense Breakdown | Keys To The Season
Season Prediction, What Will Happen
Troy Top 10 Players | Troy Schedule
Troy Trojans Preview 2022
There are lots of good teams in the Sun Belt this year. Even with a new head man, Troy has no excuse not to be in the mix among the best.
Most of the time a new head coach steps in and has to change everything up. At the very least, he has to take a little time to implement all he wants to do and tweak the program to make things better.
In the case of Troy’s new head coach Jon Sumrall, his job is to take all the veteran talent he’s inheriting and make it all work immediately.
Sumrall comes in with a defensive mindset after working in the SEC over the last few years as a linebackers coach and the co-defensive coordinator at Kentucky, but he knows the program – he was with Troy as an assistant for three years in the mid-2010s.
He gets an offense that should return ten starters, one of the most star-studded defenses in the Sun Belt with the league’s best pass rush, and now he and the new staff have to get this team to a bowl game.
Troy won 21 games in two years, and then slogged through three straight losing seasons with late season fails turning what should’ve been bowl campaigns into three straight five-win runs.
There’s no grace period with the first time head man here – Troy needs to go bowling with this bunch.
Troy Trojans Preview 2022: Offense
The new coaching staff and offense will try to crank up the passing game a bit. Last year’s offense was 109th in the nation averaging just 338 yards and 23 points per game, with the biggest problems the lack of a steady running attack and a downfield passing game that wasn’t there.
Offensive coordinator Joe Craddock will do more with the tight ends, will look to get more out of the line, and it should all kick in with ten starters expected to be back and part of the mix.
Can Gunnar Watson start to push the ball down the field more? The quarterback gig is all his with Taylor Powell transferring to Eastern Michigan, but he has to do a whole lot more after throwing eight touchdown passes and four picks in the rotation.
The top deep threat Luke Whittemore is gone, but leading receiver Tez Johnson is back after making 67 catches for 735 yards and four scores, to go along with Jabre Barber and Deshon Stoudemire back in the mix, too.
Again, the tight ends should be more involved. Seven are on the roster with Deyunkrea Lewis the leader of the lot with three touchdown catches last year.
The offensive line wasn’t all that awful in pass protection, but it has to be far, far stronger for the running game. Four starters are back with Logan Self expected to step in at center after serving as the top backup last year. Left tackle Austin Stidham is the best all-star blocker of a deep group.
The running backs are there. Kimani Vidal led the team with 696 yards and five scores averaging 4.6 yards per carry, and Jamontez Woods is a good back around the goal line averaging over five yards per carry with a team-high six touchdown runs.
Troy Trojans Preview 2022: Defense
The defense did what it could to keep the team in games. The pass rush was the best in the Sun Belt, the turnovers followed, and the D overall finished as the second-best in the league.
Seven starters and plenty of all-stars are in place for new defensive coordinator Sheil Wood, who comes in from Army – his main job is to not screw everything up.
The main pass rushers are back. Javon Solomon is back after coming up with 11 sacks and 17 tackles for loss, and backup Bandit Richard Jibunor was second on the team with eight sacks and ten tackles for loss. They’re on the outside, and Second Team All-Sun Belt star Will Choloh is back as a dangerous veteran interior pass rusher.
The pass rush also comes from the linebacking corps. Carlton Martial continues to be one of the best all-around players in the Sun Belt – he led the team with 127 tackles from his spot in the middle – and KJ Robertson came up with 65 stops on the outside. The Trojans also get plenty of plays from …
The secondary can hit. There aren’t the all-stars like there are on the front six, but TJ Harris and is a good tackler at the Spear position – he earned Third Team All-Sun Belt honors finishing third on the team in tackles – and the corners are deep and good enough.