Scouting Troy Offense

Last Saturday was basically exercise for the Gators and not a whole lot more. The best thing was a lot of young players got a chance to play and as a result we were reminded about how good Jon Bostic is going to be. Johnny Brantley made good use of his time and you can see how the offense will have to be much different with him at the controls.

So now they face Troy which is a tougher test, but we're talking about going from addition to long division not quantum physics. Larry Blakeney has done a nice job building the program and the Trojans love to compete with the big boys. However they are only 1-15 in such games with a 2004 upset over Missouri their lone victory.

Two years ago they came to Gainesville and scored 31 points on the Gators. They also gave up 59 that night. They lost their opener to Bowling Green 31-14 despite taking an early 14-0 lead. They couldn't run the ball at all, gaining just 26 yards on the ground.

Troy runs a spread offense and is led by QB Levi Brown (2,030 15/3 in '08) who threw for 263 yards last week. He's a solid thrower, but a poor runner which makes their version of the spread less dangerous. They have a terrific quick receiver in Jerrel Jernigan who caught 77 passes last year and will run the ball on end arounds and out of the "Wildcat". He caught five passes in the opener and led the team with 30 rushing yards. Opening day saw the emergence of a second threat in the passing game. Tebiarus Gill caught eight passes for 102 yards and a 6-1, 204 gives them a bigger target.

RB DuJuan Harris had a big year in 2008 (1,077, 11 TD) but gained just eight yards on ten carries in their first game. He's better than that and is also a solid receiver (36-216, 3 TD in '08). He's from Brooksville, one of 28 Trojans from Florida.

The OL had to be rebuilt after the departures of All-Conference tackles Dion Small and Chris Jamison and it shows. The tackles are not good enough to have a chance against Florida's defensive ends. Like last week, the middle of the line is solid led by Center Danny Franks, a three-year starter and LG Tyler Clark.

Overall this is a pretty good offense with far more speed than last week's sacrificial lamb. Troy actually led LSU 31-3 after three quarters last season only to see the Bayou Bengals score 37 unanswered points. They also lost a good, competitive game with Southern Miss (30-27). Ohio State (28-10) was the only opponent to hold them down other than a surprisingly tough 17-7 win over Western Kentucky.

Tomorrow we'll assess the Trojans' defense and special teams.


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