Troy didn't travel to Oxford, Miss., for a moral victory. So, there was disappointment for the Trojans following a season-opening 28-10 loss to 21st-ranked Ole Miss on Saturday at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.
"I'm really disappointed in the loss," Troy head coach Jon Sumrall said. "Our goal was come in here and win the game. We will improve from this and have a lot of growth from week one to week two. I can promise you that. Our guys are in the frame-of-mind, a growth mindset, not a fixed mindset."
Troy fell into a 21-0 hole midway through the second quarter and trailed, 28-3, heading into the fourth quarter. The Trojans' lone touchdown came on a 3-yard pass from Gunnar Watson to RaJae' Johnson in the fourth quarter.
Gunnar Watson was 34 of 47 passing for 275 yards with one touchdown and one interception for the Trojans. He was sacked four times.
Key stat: Mix in the yards lost to sacks, and Troy managed just 60 yards on the ground.
Player of the game: Troy safety Craig Slocum had 10 tackles, a fumble recovery and pass breakup.
SOUTH ALABAMA 48, NICHOLLS STATE 7: Carter Bradley was efficient in his Jaguar debut, and running back La'Damian Webb came up just short of the 100-yard mark in the easy win for South Alabama.
Bentley, a transfer from Toledo, was 17-of-25 for 260 yards with three touchdowns. Two of his touchdown passes went to Jalen Wayne, and the other went to Braylon McReynolds. Webb carried the ball 18 times for 98 yards with touchdown runs of 15 and 2 yards.
The Jaguars' defense shut down a good running attack. Nicholls State had just 79 yards on 27 carries.
"I told (offensive coordinator Major [Applewhite) at halftime to put the pedal to the metal," said South Alabama head coach Kane Wommack. "We wanted to establish a run game. I don't think that we played [with] the consistency that I wanted to see from the offense, defense, and special teams in the first half. I challenged those guys to play with more physicality across the board, to play with more consistency in running the football and taking shots to keep them off-kilter."
Key stat: South Alabama finished with 338 yards passing on 35 attempts.
Player of the game: Carter Bradley was excellent in his first start at South Alabama.
ALABAMA STATE 21, MILES COLLEGE 13: The Hornets got their scoring out of the way early, finding the end zone three times in the first quarter, and held on for the win in the Labor Day Classic.
The touchdowns came on a 14-yard pass from starting quarterback Dematrius Davis, a 28-yard pass from backup quarterback Myles Crawley to David Arrington, and a 36-yard run by Santo Dunn. Davis left the game with a shoulder injury in the first half. Crawley finished 9 of 18 passing for 162 yards.
Miles College didn't go away, hitting a pair of field goals and getting a 15-yard scoring pass from Jacob Millhouse to Collin Woods to trim the deficit to one score with 2:54 left.
"We started off fast but had a lot of mental mistakes that we need [to] work on, but you never apologize for winning," said Alabama State head coach Eddie Robinson. "So, we'll correct those mistakes, but the good thing is we got the win in front of the fans. We just need to get better every week. It all starts and ends with the offensive line and some tough running. It didn't end quite like we wanted to, but the defense came out and made some plays."
Key stat: The Hornets came up with five sacks, which put the Miles College offense in difficult situations.
Player of the game: Senior defensive lineman Brandon Gaddy had 10 tackles, three tackles for loss and two sacks.
Almost! Alabama State holds on to defeat @miles_football 21-13 in the Labor Day Classic. @MilesCollege Coach Sam Shade talks about his team’s effort. @TheSIAC @HBCUGameday @BlackCollegeExp @BlackBallSports @BobbieKnight @MilesBhamAlumni @MilesStudents pic.twitter.com/diPvivtT84— Miles Golden Bears (@GoldenBearsofMC) September 4, 2022
BIRMINGHAM-SOUTHERN 26, McMURRY 9: Looking for a quick start? The Panthers' offense scored on a 75-yard run by Jon Lewis on their opening snap of the season. The Panthers' defense scored on a safety on its opening possession. Those things propelled the Panthers to the win at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Birmingham-Southern was playing in its first game after the graduation of All-American running back Chris Shufford. His replacements did just fine. Lewis rushed for 199 yards on 31 carries, Grayson Stacey had 58 yards and a touchdown, and quarterback Matt McClary rushed for a touchdown. As team, they finished with 283 rushing yards.
Key stat: McMurry had just two yards net in rushing. Birmingham-Southern had 11 tackles for loss and two sacks.
Player of the game: Birmingham-Southern defensive lineman Arthur Marsden had nine tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and one quarterback hurry.
LINFIELD (ORE.) 41, HUNTINGDON 34: Both passing games were clicking as seventh-ranked Linfield found a way to win on the road.
Huntingdon quarterback Landon Cotney was 20-of-41 passing for 349 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions. Conner Bradford had three catches for 138 yards with touchdown receptions of 82 and 39 yards. Tyler England had five catches for 113 yards with touchdown receptions of 60 and 5 yards.
Key stat: The Linfield offense was close to 50 percent (10 of 21) on third and fourth down.
Player of the game: Landon Cotney nearly passed the Hawks to the win.
To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don't miss out! Subscribe to our newsletter and get our top stories every weekday morning.