I’m not being hyperbolic or overstating things when I say this: the Troy offense will be the best offense the Tigers have seen so far this season and will (probably) be the best offense on the schedule until Georgia. In fact, Troy currently ranks 32nd, which is only 10 spots lower than Florida at 22nd. Whatever your opinions on Missouri and Troy as individual programs, this will be an excellent test of the elite Tiger defense and a good measuring stick to see if this version of the Odom/Walters partnership has produced a truly dominant product.
Kaleb Barker - SR: 108-166 (65.1%)/1,367 yards/13 TDs/2 INTs/4.6% sack rate/7.6 ypa
Gunnar Watson - FR: 2-2 (100%)/1 yard/0.5 ypa
The stat: passing downs
Troy isn’t necessarily dominant through the air, but Kaleb Barker is an experienced senior that is the engine of the Troy attack; the senior’s yards per attempt is good and has a 65% completion rate, but it relies more on explosive gains rather than efficiency. However, during passing downs, the Trojans’ personality skyrockets to the extremes: 15th in success rate, FIFTH in explosiveness, 102nd in efficiency, 92nd in sack rate. A big play happens on Trojan passing downs, essentially, and it’s either an explosive play or a huge loss. It is pertinent that Missouri makes sure it’s more of the latter than the former.
D.K. Billingsley - SO: 63 rushes/330 yards/4 TDs/5.2 ypc/4.73 HLT/47.6% OPP/44.4% success
Trevon Woolfork - FR: 21 rushes/100 yards/0 TDs/4.8 ypc/2.39 HLT/57.1% OPP/47.6% success
The stat: those damn explosive plays
On standard downs, the Troy offense is much more comfortable, keeping opponents guessing and finding lots of success with decent efficiency on both the run and the pass. The run, in particular, is its most efficient on standard downs and has excellent explosiveness and does a great job of preventing negative plays. This will be a good test of Bash Brothers, Cale Garrett and Nick Bolton; if they’re not cleaning up anything missed by the line, the Trojan backs have a tendency of taking it a long way.
Reggie Todd - JR: 24 targets/11 catches (45.8%)/239 yards/1 TD/21.7 ypc/10 ypt
Luke Whittemore - SO: 24 targets/17 catches (70.8%)/204 yards/1 TD/12 ypc/8.5 ypt
Kaylon Geiger - JR: 30 targets/26 catches (86.7%)/388 yards/2 TDs/14.9 ypc/12.9 ypt
Sam Letton - JR: 6 targets/2 catches (33.3%)/21 yards/10.5 ypc/3.5 ypt
A.J. Lewis - FR: 1 target/1 catch (100%)/8 yards/1 TD/8 ypc/8 ypt
The stat: disrupting the passing game
Between Barker and the top three receivers, if the ball is in the air it’s typically being caught by a Trojan receiver. Whittemore and Geiger, in particular, combine for an 80% catch rate. Missouri’s secondary has held their first four opponents to a 44% completion rate over 116 passes. We’ll see how disruptive Acy, Holmes, and Ware can be and hopefully keep the passing attack inefficient.
Austin Stidham - SO
Kirk Kelley - SR
Dylan Bradshaw - JR
Tristan Crowder - SR
J.L. Gaston - SR
The stat: surviving standard downs, punishing pass downs
The Troy offensive line is heavy on experience on talent, with Stidham, Kelley, Crowder, and Gaston all earning All-Sun Belt honors last year. They are dominant on standard downs, ranking Top 25 in creating line yards for the backs, limiting run stuffs, and preventing sacks. That all changes on passing downs when they sink to 102nd in line yards and 92nd in passing downs. Troy is scary on passing downs, but the line - oddly enough - becomes a total liability in those situations. If the Tigers are capitalizing on this weakness, they’ll limit the Trojans’ biggest advantage over the Missouri defense.