NEW ORLEANS, LA (WSFA) - The Troy Trojans have notched 11 wins for the first time in its FBS history following a 50-30 win over North Texas in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl Saturday.
Troy, now 11-2 got off to a lightning-quick start jumping on top of North Texas 15-0 to open the game. Josh Anderson got the first two scores for the Trojans and eclipsed 100 yards rushing for the first time in his career by the game's end.
Brandon Silvers connected with Damion Willis for a 7-yard touchdown to increase the lead to 22-7. The Trojans got a career day from Willis as well. The junior East Mississippi Community College transfer caught 11 passes for 136 yards and two touchdowns, all career highs.
Silvers started the game completing his first 11 passes for 111 yards.
Up 22-7, Troy looked poised to add on to its lead, but things began to turn in favor of the Mean Green. With 5:49 to play before the half, a high snap went over the head of Silvers and North Texas picked it up and returned it for the score.
On the very first play of Troy's next possession, Silvers' pass was intercepted by Kishawn McClain. The Mean Green were forced to punt on their offensive drive but the defense had now found new life.
After forcing a Troy punt, the North Texas offense went back to work, down 22-13 with 2 minutes and 11 seconds remaining before halftime. In just six plays, the Mean Green charged 41 yards and pulled to within two points after wide receiver Michael Lawrence made a diving catch in the end zone.
Up 22-20 at half, the Trojans would come out a completely different animal in the third quarter. North Texas opened the second half with the ball and just three plays in, Troy forced a turnover by way of a Hunter Reese interception.
The Trojans quickly turned that turnover into points. A 3-play drive ended in a touchdown run from Silvers.
On Troy's next possession, Silvers connected with Tevaris McCormick on a seam route that resulted in a 59-yard touchdown. The lead had ballooned to 16 with just 10:28 remaining in the third quarter.
Troy forced another turnover, this time a fumble later in the third quarter that turned into more points. It was wide-receiver John Johnson turning a screen pass on first-and-goal from the 20-yard line into six points. The Trojans were now rolling,
The defense forced its third turnover of the second half on the first play of the fourth quarter when North Texas quarterback Mason Fine was intercepted on fourth down by Adarius Wesley.
That forced turnover didn't turn into points but the next one did. The Trojans turned another Mean Green fumble into a record. After Brandon Silvers hit Willis on a slant pattern for six, Troy eclipsed their previous FBS bowl game record for points. The previous record was 48 points set in the 2010 New Orleans Bowl against Ohio. Troy now had 49 points and it became 50 after the extra point.
Silvers set the Troy all-time record for most touchdowns responsible for in a career at 85 with his touchdown pass to McCormick in the third quarter, but turned that into 86 with his fourth quarter touchdown pass to Willis.
Troy's 11 wins this season make back-to-back 10-plus win seasons for the Trojans after going 4-8 in 2015, Neal Brown's first season as Troy's head coach.