Bowl Season

TROY (7-5) VS OHIO (8-4)
Troy destroys Ohio 48-21
3 Stars
1. Troy QB Corey Robinson- The redshirt freshman was 32 for 42 for 387 yards and 4 touchdowns.
2. Troy WR Tebiarus Gill- He had 4 receptions for 80 yards, and 3 of those went for touchdowns.
3. Troy WR Jerrel Jernigan- The explosive receiver had 7 catches for a touchdown and also ran for another.

Troy looked very good. Look for big things from Corey Robinson in the future.


C-USA vs. Sun Belt                                                          New Orleans
                                                         Louisiana Superdome
                                                     Dec. 18
                                                     9 p.m.

New Orleans Bowl Preview
The Bobcats will show off its pistol offense against the Troy defense. Ohio has never won a bowl game and QB Boo Jackson looks to change that. Boo is a decent runner and will take shots. He is Ohio's all time leading TD passer, but also throws his fair share of interceptions. He has 2 running backs over 500 yards in Vince Davidson and former QB Phil Bates. The Bobcats will need successful running to set up the play action and misdirection. Jackson's top receiver is Terrance McCrae.
The Troy offense, which has improved in the second half, has the 7th ranked passing offense in the country, led by redshirt freshamn QB Corey Robinson. Robinson has passed for 3339 yards for the prolific offense. His top target is Jerrel Jernigan, who has an astounding 1981 all-purpose yards, including over 700 through the air. He will also look to Jason Bruce. The great passing game hasn's stopped RB's Shawn Southward and DuJuan Harris from having big years. In other words, the Ohio defense will have trouble stopping the Trojans.

The Trojan defense has given up 31 points a game, and injuries have plagued them, particularly in the secondary. The best defensive player is DE Jonathan Massaquoi, who has 11 sacks and 68 tackles. LB Mario Addison had 9 sacks and Xavier Lamb is the team's leading tackler at LB. Despite the troubles, the Troy defense has seemingly turned the corner, giving up only 7 points in the last 6 quarters.
The Ohio defense has been solid, particularly against the run. However, Troy will be throwing the ball a lot.  There have been some struggles in the secondary lately, and CB Julian Posey has been targeted. Steven Jackson and Donavan Fletcher are 2 ball hawking safeties who will try to slow down the Trojan attack. Up front, NT Marcellis Williamson will try to stop Troy when they do run in between the tackles.

The pick: I like Troy to win this game. The Trojans are too good offensively and I think Ohio may struggle to move the ball. Look for Corey Robinson to lead the Trojans to victory.
This pick has been made by and therefore will be correct.
 But if you disagree or agree with me send and email to saying who you think will win and why and I'll post it.....

Jason Arkley, of the Athen Messenger shared his thought on the Ohio Bobcats.

BS: Ohio had a strong 8-4 season. How important is a bowl victory seeing the Bobcats have never won a bowl?

Jason Arkley: A bowl win would save the season for the Bobcats. Ohio had designs on the MAC Championship this season but fell short of the conference title game with a dismal loss at Kent State in the regular season finale. Ohio is 0-4 all-time in bowl games, and 0-6 in postseason games (two losses in the last five years in the MAC Championship game).
Frank Solich has worked the Bobcats into a contender, but they have to take that next step. A win in a bowl game would be a huge step in the right direction.

BS: The offensive philosophy is rushing the ball. Talk about the backfield and the efforts of Senior QB Boo Jackson.

Jason Arkley:
Ohio's offense is build off the run, play-action and misdirection. Ohio is in the shotgun, or pistol, 100 percent of the time most often in 1-back sets. Cats run some option, several different looks, and stretch the field vertically usually only off a play-fake. Ohio prefers the short routes in the air.
Boo Jackson has been decent this season. Started the year with a weak throwing arm after surgery in 2009, but rounded into shape. Not a blazer, but decent speed and shifty when he keeps the ball. Can make plays with his legs and escape pressure. His drawback however, is he will take chances on throws. He's Ohio's all-time leader in touchdown passes, but has too many interceptions for his number of attempts.

BS: The defense has had a strong year. Who are the key players and what is the overall defensive philosophy?

Jason Arkley: Ohio's 4-3 defensive scheme is designed to take away the ground game, and will use a variety of blitzes and coverages.
Up front, NT Marcellis Williamson has been a good run stopper in the middle. At linebacker, the Bobcats are average with Eric Benjamin and Chad Clemens usually among the leading tacklers. In the secondary, senior safeties Steven Jackson and Donovan Fletcher are good at the point of contact and in closing on the ball.
Ohio doesn't get a ton of pressure without blitzing. DE Stafford Gatling is Ohio's best 1-on-1 rusher. The corners are just ok, not great. Senior CB Julian Posey has been targeted often in the last couple of games.

BS: If you had to choose one player to have a breakout performance in the bowl game, who would it be?

Jason Arkley: Breakout player? My guess would either be junior QB Phil Bates or senior RB Vince Davidson. I expect Ohio to really test Troy on the ground and will want to play ball-control offense to keep the Trojan offense off the field. When eating clock, Bates and Davidson wil get a lot of opportunities.
If Ohio can't run the ball effectively, then WR Terrence McCrae will have to provide some big plays in the passing game.

Thanks a lot to Jason Arkley, of the Athens, Ohio Messenger
Greg Rossino, of the Troy Messenger, was nice enough to answer some questions about the Trojans.

BS: The Trojans went 1-3 against a difficult non-conference schedule and could have gone 3-1. Overall, they finished 7-5. How would you compare this season to preseason expectations?

Greg Rossino: Coming into the season, the Trojans were looked at by many as a rebuilding team thanks to the departures of key members from the 2009 squad. If you look at the numbers, Troy lost to Oklahoma State and UAB on the road by a combined four points. Both really should have been victories, but I think a big key to those games was inexperienced player at key positions. It was not until the later part of the season where both the defense and the offense knew exactly what it had to do and who had to be on the field. When those two key elements took place, the Trojans were able to bounce back and finish the season on a two-game winning streak.

BS: How good has unheralded freshman QB Corey Robinson been for Troy, which is ranked 9th in the country in passing? Who are his top weapons and how has a great passing game helped the running game?

Greg Rossino: There were a lot of questions surrounding who was going to be the quarterback for Troy in the offseason. Robinson beat out senior and previous starter Jamie Hampton, along with junior college transfer Greg Jenkins for the job, and really came into his own ever since. Anytime a red-shirt freshman is starting for a team, it makes the fans a little uneasy, however, Robinson calmed those nerves passing for 3,339 yards, with a completion 62.4 completion percentage and 24 touchdowns. But those numbers are easy to get to when you have one of the best wide receivers and all out athletes in the country in senior Jerrel Jernigan. Jernigan was the main target this season and was nothing short of phenomenal finishing with 1,981 all-purpose yards, 774 of which came through the air. As far as the rushing game goes, the passing attack is Troy’s main option, but that didn’t stop Shawn Southward and DuJuan Harris from big contributions again this season. Southward led the way again, following up Freshman of the Year in the Conference last year with 548 yards and seven touchdowns. Harris wa snot far off with 498 yards and five touchdowns.

BS: The defense hasn't been very good, giving up 31 points a game. What have been the problems and who are the key players on defense?

Greg Rossino: Injuries have been a big problem for the Trojans’ defense, especially in the secondary. However, Jonathan Massaqoui had a big season for the Trojans, finishing with 11 sacks, which is one of the highest in the nation. He also finished with 68 tackles in his first year as a full-time starter. To compliment the defensive end, linebackers Xavier Lamb and Mario Addison had big seasons. Addison, who broke his hand against UAB, finished second on the team in sacks with nine and Lamb was the leading tackler with 87. The defense has also come around in the last two games of the season. After giving up 121 points to FIU and South Carolina, the Trojans finished the season giving up just 21 points over the last two games and will enter the New Orleans bowl giving up just seven points in the last six quarters.

BS: If you had to choose one player to have a breakout performance in the bowl game, who would it be?

Greg Rossino: Besides Jernigan, I think a player to watch in the bowl game is true freshman Jamel Johnson. This season, he has 20 receptions for 222 yards and three scores. He has made some big plays for the Trojans this season and I think that will hold true for the rest of his career. While the Ohio defenders will target Jernigan, among others, Johnson will have a great opportunity to make some big plays in the biggest game of the season for Troy.

Thanks a lot to Greg Rossino of the Troy Messenger.

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