Homecoming spoiled: Troy upsets No. 25 LSU in Death Valley

Homecoming spoiled: Troy upsets No. 25 LSU in Death Valley
(Source: Troy Athletics)

BATON ROUGE, LA. (WSFA) - After two previous failed attempts, the Troy Trojans finally got their upset victory in Death Valley over LSU. The Trojans improved to 4-1 with the 24-21 win over No. 25 LSU Saturday night.

Blace Brown sealed the deal, intercepting Danny Etling's pass with 11 seconds to play. Prior to this, Troy never trailed the Tigers in Baton Rouge, forcing a turnover on the game's first play from scrimmage. Cedarius Rookard forced the fumble, and Kris Weatherspoon recovered deep in LSU territory.

Brandon Silvers scored on a quarterback keeper from the one-yard line. Silvers proved to be poised and calm in Saturday night's game completing 16-of-28 passes for 157 yards. He was also key in the turnover department in which he had none.

On the ensuing LSU drive, the Trojans bent but didn't break, forcing a turnovers on downs. Both teams from that point on traded punts and a missed field goal by each team until just before halftime.

After LSU missed from 35 yards out, Troy put together an 11-play, 62-yard drive encompassing two minutes and 32 seconds, the final 2:32 of the half. It didn't come without controversy however. With 7 seconds remaining in the half, Brandon Silvers connected with Josh Johnson on a 20-yard pass to the LSU 20. Officials ruled that time had expired in the half but after further review, it was confirmed that Johnson hit the ground with 2 seconds remaining. The game clock started on the whistle and Troy got off an important field goal to take a 10-0 lead into halftime.

Troy's 10-0 lead was the first time LSU had been shut out at the half since Nov. 5 of last year. It was also the first time the Tigers had been shut out at the half against a non-conference opponent since Louisiana Tech led the Tigers by 3 in 2009.

Troy opened the second half with the ball, and scored on the opening drive. The drive was helped by a 74-yard rumble from Jordan Chunn. Chunn carried the Trojan rushing game on the night, finishing with 191 yards on 30 carries, and a touchdown. That touchdown came on 4th-and-goal of the same drive as his 74-yard run.

Troy's defense forced a total of four turnovers including one in the third quarter with LSU on the TROY 9. Two plays later however, LSU would get the ball back on a Jordan Chunn fumble and converted it into points.

The Tigers looked have gained the momentum after the Chunn fumble but the Trojans were not rattled. They intercepted LSU on their drive after a Troy punt, and turned that interception by Marcus Jones into a 64-yard touchdown drive. That drive was capped with a Josh Anderson 7-yard touchdown rush, increasing the lead to 24-7 in the fourth quarter.

Now in the final 15 minutes of football, LSU answered with a 3-play drive to cut the lead to 10. Danny Etling found Russell Gage for a 34-yard strike to pull the Tigers back to within 10. Troy coughed it up on the next possession after looking poised and ready to put the game away. Jordan Chunn rushed for 44 yards on that drive putting the Trojans on the LSU 15, but fumbled for the second time in the game.

LSU turned that fumble into more points off turnovers, driving 92 yards in less than two minutes to close the gap to 24-21. The Trojans were now trying to fight off Deja vu from 2008 and 2004 when the Trojans had fourth quarter leads in both games but let them slip away.

Troy recovered LSU's onside kick attempt, but could only gain a single yard in three plays. Forced to punt to the Tigers, LSU was out of timeouts, but with the ball and 0:18 seconds to play.

LSU's first play was a 27-yard completion between Danny Etling and D.J. Chark. That moved the ball to the LSU 36 with 0:11 seconds to play. The next play, however, didn't go the Tigers' way. Etling was intercepted by Blace Brown, thus sealing the Trojan upset, and erasing past demons.

Saturday night's loss was LSU's first home loss to an unranked non-conference opponent in the last 50 games. It was also Troy's first win over an AP top 25 team since 2004, when the Trojans defeated No. 17 Missouri.

Troy will not play next Saturday, but will prepare for a  mid-week Sun Belt Conference match up with South Alabama. It will be the third Battle of the Belt contest, kicking off from Troy at 7 p.m. on ESPN2.

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