Ricky’s Sun Belt Conference NCAAF pick for 2017 is the Troy Trojans.
In 2016, the Trojans enjoyed a fine campaign from QB Brandon Silvers who threw for over 3,100 yards and 23 TD’s while garnering 1st Team Sun Belt accolades. Silvers is back for his senior season and has a loaded and experienced WR corps to rely upon. Essentially the entire group is back including two players (Emanuel Thompson, Deondre Douglas) who bagged a combined 140 receptions. The pass protection last season was out of this world as they allowed an FBS-low eight sacks all season even though they threw the ball almost 500 times. They lost their fantastic LT to the NFL and only have a pair of starters returning on the offensive line. We can probably expect Troy to allow more sacks, but do not forget, this team has not given up 25+ sacks in any of the past seven seasons.
Let’s get to some more good news. The RB group returns all the key members and features 1st Team Sun Belt performer Jordan Chunn (1,288, 16 TD, 30 receptions). This offense has the potential to be fantastic if the revamped offensive line can develop quickly.
Troy has made a dramatic improvement on defense over the past couple of seasons under DC Vic Koenning and they held their opponents to just 22.1 points per game last year (28.3, 36.2, 35.9 previous three years). The Trojans return six starters to the unit and look particularly strong on the DL and in the secondary. The weakness may be at LB where only they only have one returning starter. We like the look of the defense and feel that they are definitely good enough to support a run at a Sun Belt title.
There is a bit of uncertainty here as the Trojans need to break in a new P and PK with the departure of Ryan Kay. The return units look to be in good shape.