Back Troy Secondary Impresses in Loss

Troy Secondary Impresses in Loss

By BJ Bennett
SouthernPigskin.com
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Even in defeat, the highly-touted Trojan secondary showed why it is one of the best units in all of college football.

Troy came up just short in a hard-fought showdown at Boise State on Saturday, pulling within four points in the fourth quarter before a late touchdown put the game out of reach. Even in defeat, the highly-touted Trojan secondary showed, once more, why it is one of the best units in all of college football.

After ranking second in the nation in interceptions last season, Troy opened this year by holding talented quarterback Brett Rypien to 13-of-23 passing for 160 yards, with zero touchdowns and one pick, an interception which Blace Brown returned 53 yards for a score. That performance is arguably the worst of Rypien's Bronco career, the lone game where he has thrown for less than 200 yards with an interception.

Boise State's 210 team passing yards are its third-fewest since the opening game of 2015 against Washington.

Brown, a former walk-on, tied for seventh in the country with six interceptions a year ago. He picked up right where he left off, jumping a Rypien out-route late in the second quarter and taking it back for a touchdown; the pick-six was the first score of his career. On a unit that deserves national attention, Brown has to be considered an elite cover-corner.

The Trojans can take major defensive positives away their trip out west, but have work to do on offense and special teams. Troy mustered just 205 total yards and allowed an 81-yard punt return for a touchdown to open the afternoon. In two weeks, the Trojans will start Sun Belt play with a road game at New Mexico State.

As Troy moves on from an opening defeat, they will do so with the talent to make another run at a conference championship; the secondary is a big reason why.

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is SouthernPigskin.com's founder and publisher. He is the co-host of "Three & Out" with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the "Southern Pigskin Radio Network". Email: bj@espncoastal.com / Twitter: @BJBennettSports