Here you go...
Game story HERE (Troy's turnovers were the difference)
Notebook HERE (leading with short convo with John Hartwell)
Jon Johnson's column HERE (some words from MSU coaches about Troy)
**I came out of this game with a much different feeling about Troy than I did after the ULL game. Like coach Larry Blakeney said after the game, I think it CAN end up being a pretty good team and it might be a deal where the only other Sun Belt loss is against Western Kentucky. But, if they turn the ball over 4 times against even North Texas next week, the Trojans will be 1-3.
I saw Omar Haugabook after the game. He looks like a linebacker now and I'd never want to run into him in a dark alley. We laughed about the time he threw four interceptions against North Texas in 2007, and Troy had 7 turnovers in that same game, but still won 45-7. The talent gap in the Sun Belt is that where no one can turn it over that many times, or half that many times, and expect to win. He's doing well and coaching in Houma, La.
I also talked to running back D.J. Taylor after the game briefly on the field. He looks like he's ready to get back in the games and he says he's going to play this week at North Texas. I don't know if we can set that in stone yet but Troy certainly needs him in short-yardage situation because he's a bigger back than Shawn Southward.
I thought Troy was the best team on the field tonight - doesn't mean they were more talented than Mississippi State, but they moved the ball at will. If they have 1 or 2 turnovers, they win that game - or if they get a touchdown on that drive at the end of the first half, they win. MSU's defense couldn't stop Troy for the most part. Troy's defense was better against MSU than last week, but MSU's quarterback, running back and wide receiver (Bumphis) are better than anyone Troy will see in the Sun Belt.
So, it should be an interesting season going forward. Troy can play itself into an 8-win regular season with the right breaks or go 4-8 with the wrong breaks.
This was like a moral victory, though you don't want to hear it. This was like when Troy played Florida State real close. Troy has gone a couple of years from playing those teams real close, like FSU, Georgia Tech, Georgia, LSU, to getting blown out (South Carolina, Oklahoma State in '08, Florida, Arkansas in '09) to getting back competitive. Road games at Tennessee this year and at Ole Miss next year are definitely winnable.