STATESBORO — For a team racking up rushing yards and points, Georgia Southern’s defense sure put on a show.
Troy accumulated only 83 yards before GSU’s backups came in with less than 6 minutes remaining and the Eagles cruised to a 42-10 win over Troy on Thursday night at Paulson Stadium.
Even without defensive tackles Jonathan Battle and Justice Ejike, the Eagles got five tackles for loss including two sacks and held their opponent to 154 total yards.
“There are a whole lot of people scoring points across America,” Georgia Southern coach Willie Fritz said. “There aren’t a whole lot of people slowing anybody down and getting stops. We’ve done a pretty good job of that this season.”
Troy finally found the end zone with 1:19 remaining when Khary Franklin scored from 3 yards out.
Georgia Southern once again dominated the ground game, rushing for 421 yards and getting three rushing touchdowns from quarterback Kevin Ellison (13 carries, 99 yards).
Favian Upshaw added a second-half touchdown, and LA Ramsby scored twice.
Troy (1-8, 1-4 Sun Belt) was shell shocked from the opening kickoff — literally.
Chandler Worthy fielded the opening kick and returned it to about the 16, when he was hit by Georgia Southern’s Matt Dobson and lost the ball. The Eagles (7-2, 6-0) recovered, setting up a 17-yard touchdown drive.
The only team stopping Georgia Southern was Georgia Southern.
There were no GSU punts in the first half as the Eagles built a 21-3 lead, but a pair of fumbles stopped drives.
“I don’t know if it was our best effort, our best game as far as playing it clean,” Fritz said. “There were some turnovers early in the game, and we were disappointed in those. We might have kind of put the game away earlier, but we’ll take the ‘W,’ no question.”
The Eagles didn’t punt until less than 3 minutes remained in the third quarter.
Meanwhile, the GSU defense held Troy in check to the tune of 64 first-half yards.