TROY, Ala. - One week removed from a near upset at Tennessee, the Troy football team must regroup and quickly switch gears as a historical matchup with Navy awaits on Saturday in Veterans Memorial Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:34 p.m. and the game will be broadcast live on ESPN3.
The Trojans' matchup with the Midshipmen will be the second meeting between the two schools, but the first visit by a Service Academy to Veterans Memorial Stadium. The game will also take place on the 237th birthday of the United States Marine Corps.
Troy led Tennessee 48-41 with just over three minutes to play in Neyland Stadium last Saturday before the Volunteers rallied with two late scores to escape with a 55-48 victory. The Trojans shredded the Vol defense to the tune of 721 yards, 30 first downs and eight scoring drives.
It was the most yards ever allowed by a Tennessee team and the second most yards by a Troy team in school history.
"We did everything on the sheet and nothing really worked," Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley said. "We couldn't slow them down and we really didn't have an answer for anything."
Troy's two-headed quarterback machine of Corey Robinson and Deon Anthony was well oiled against the Vols. Robinson completed 30-of-46 passes for 393 yards and a touchdown, while Anthony was 8-of-12 for 103 yards and two scores through the air while rushing for 51 yards and a touchdown.
Shawn Southward rushed for 101 yards and two touchdowns, while the wide receiver combo of Eric Thomas and Chip Reeves gave the Tennessee secondary nightmares all game long. Thomas had six catches for 147 yards and two touchdowns and Reeves caught five balls for 144 yards and a touchdown.
Fast-forward to this weekend and you have a major contrast in styles on the field with Troy's wide-open spread attack against Navy's triple option.
The Trojans enter the week ranked 15th in the nation in both passing and total offense in addition to having the 50th-ranked rushing attack. On the other side, the Midshipmen are seventh in the NCAA averaging 267.2 yards per game on the ground, but rank 118th netting just 111.2 through the air.
Robinson ranks 21st nationally as he averages 270.9 yards per game through the air while Southward is 47th in rushing with 88.1 yards per contest and Reeves is 23rd nationally averaging 89.3 receiving yards per game. Reeves has turned into one of the nation's top deep threats as he ranks fourth nationally with 10 catches of 30 yards or more.
The Midshipman use a balanced rushing attack that features four players averaging over 41 yards per game. Gee Gee Greene and Noah Copeland led the ground game averaging 58.8 and 51.6 yards per game, respectively. After starting the season 2-3, the Midshipmen turned to true freshman quarterback Keenan Reynolds to take control of the offense. Navy has won five straight games overall and four straight with Reynolds under center; the Midshipmen have not won six straight games since 1979.
Fans are encouraged to arrive at Veterans Memorial Stadium early to witness the pregame festivities.