Troy’s Defense a Key Factor in ‘Under’ Play vs. South Alabama

Troy Trojans players celebrating

Willie Bee

Tuesday, October 10, 2017 5:46 PM GMT

Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017 5:46 PM GMT

Neal Brown and the Trojans have had extra time to enjoy their upset over LSU, and Troy is a sizeable favorite on the NCAA football odds in Wednesday’s battle with South Alabama.

Are the Troy Trojans that good, or is it a case of LSU being that bad? Perhaps it’s a little bit of both, but Troy’s upset of the Tigers in Baton Rouge two weeks ago certainly got the nation’s attention and shot the Trojans to the top of the list as the team to beat in the Sun Belt Conference.

Troy returns to conference play for the first time in a month in a Wednesday night Heart of Dixie showdown with the South Alabama Jaguars. ESPN2 has the broadcast from Veterans Memorial Stadium starting at 8 PM (ET), and the Trojans are giving up 16 at BetOnline where the spread started at -17½. Playing the scoreboard means a decision on a 49½ point total.

 

Defense Has Been Troy’s Strength

South Alabama hits the field for its second consecutive road game after falling 34-16 at Louisiana Tech in Week 5. That loss was preceded by a double-overtime setback against Idaho, the only Sun Belt game the Jaguars have played up to now. Joey Jones’ gang has just the one win over FCS Alabama A&M to their credit, which also was the only contest USA has covered. A big problem has been pass defense, the Jaguars ranking 119th in the country allowing more than 290 yards per game through the air.

Troy’s 24-21 upset at LSU came as a 3-TD underdog on the NCAA football odds to mark the team’s first cover of the season. The Tigers managed to score two late touchdowns to make it closer than the game really was, and they helped the Trojans out by turning it over four times. Jordan Chunn brought the ground game to life with 190 yards rushing, but the strength of Neal Brown’s team this season has been defense. Troy ranks 24th in the nation allowing 18.6 PPG, and 20th in rushing yards allowed (108.8 ypg).

 

Rivalry Trends, Final Thoughts & A Free Pick

Despite sitting in the same state, South Alabama and Troy haven’t gotten together often. Fortunately, the entire history of the rivalry has come in the last five seasons, the Trojans holding a slim 3-2 advantage in those meetings. Last year’s Battle for the Belt took place in Mobile where Troy posted a 28-21 decision, the Jaguars (+9½) covering for the second consecutive year. The final pushed a 49 point total after the previous two clashes stayed ‘under.’

Afternoon showers are in the forecast for the Troy area, but they should clear out by game time. Both teams are healthy, thanks in part of having extra time off, and I’m liking defense to prevail with a free college football pick on the ‘under’

 

Free MLB Pick: Under 49½Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

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