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|Troy hands ULM first loss in Sun Belt play|
TROY, Ala.-Levi Brown threw for 378 yards and Jerrel Jernigan caught 13 passes for 203 yards and a touchdown to lead Troy to a 42-21 victory over ULM in a battle of Sun Belt Conference unbeatens Saturday night at Movie Gallery Stadium.
Troy (6-2, 5-0 Sun Belt), who extended its win streak to six games, scored 14-unansewered points at the beginning of the first and third quarters to pull away from the Warhawks (4-4, 3-1).
Brown completed 28-of-41 passes and threw for four touchdowns, while ULM's Cody Wells completed 23-of-36 passes for a career-high 279 yards and a career-high three touchdowns in just his second collegiate start. Wells' favorite target of the night was LaGregory Sapp who caught seven passes for 107 yards - his second straight game with over 100 yards receiving. Wells threw touchdown strikes to Darrell McNeal and one to Alvin Jordan.
The story of the game for ULM was similar to the one at Kentucky last week. The Warhawks were able to move the ball on the Trojan defense, but were unable to take advantage of its scoring opportunities. ULM had the ball on the Troy side of the field eight times on the night and was able to score on just three of those chances. Last week at Kentucky the Warhawks were 2-of-5 inside the red zone.
The total yardage for both clubs was near even with the Trojans holding a slight 428-396 advantage, however the Warhawks turned the ball over four times to just one by Troy.
The opening quarter played out like a nightmare for the Warhawks as they squandered a pair of scoring opportunities and the Trojans jumped out to a 14-0 lead.
Troy scored on its first two possessions of the game totaling 166 yards in the process. DuJuan Harris scored the first touchdown on a 2-yard run and Brown hooked up with Josh Jarboe for a 16-yard touchdown strike for the second score.
On their third possession of the game the Warhawks marched down to Troy's 25-yard line, but Wells was intercepted by Bryan Willis in the end zone to kill the drive. The Warhawks next possession reached the Troy 8-yard line, but Radi Jabour missed a 27-yard field goal as time expired in the opening quarter.
ULM found the end zone for the first time as Wells and McNeal hooked up for a 7-yard touchdown pass with just under eight minutes to play in the half. Frank Goodin set up the scoring drive with a 38-yard run down to the Troy 12-yard line on the first play of the drive -- Goodin finished the game with 94 yards on 20 carries.
After being held to just seven yards on its three possessions following its opening two scoring drives, Troy was forced to dig deep into the playbook to pull out a flea-flicker which resulted in a 33-yard touchdown pass from Brown to Chip Reeves. The drive was set up by a Jernigan 41-yard kickoff return to the ULM 49-yard line.
Momentum took a huge swing going into the break as the Warhawks scored right before the half on a 3-yard touchdown pass by Wells to Jordan. The score capped a five-play drive after a special teams mishap by the Trojans gave the Warhawks the ball on the Troy 33-yard line with 1:46 to play in the half.
After being stopped on three straight plays at the 50-yard line, Troy punter Will Goggans could not handle the snap from Wes Henry and in his attempt to make a play he threw the ball forward and was intercepted by Aaron Morgan.
The Warhawks opened the second half with a promising drive that reached the Troy 37-yard line, but two incomplete passes and a 1-yard gain stalled the drive. Troy killed any halftime momentum the Warhawks had with a 7-play, 87-yard drive capped by a 22-yard touchdown pass from Brown to Andrew Davis. On the drive Brown was 5-for-5 for 76 yards.
ULM again drove the ball into Troy territory reaching the 29-yard line after converting on a 4th-and-4 thanks to a Wells to Sapp completion. However, the Warhawks lost 15 yards on the first-down play and were unable to recover.
The Trojans extended their lead to 35-14 thanks to a little luck on the ensuing drive. Facing a 3rd-and-5, Brown threw a ball that was tipped by a ULM defender, but Jernigan was in the right place at the right time and hauled in the free ball and took it 41 yards for a score.
The Warhawks answered as Wells completed all four of his pass attempts on the next drive, including a 21-yard completion to Jordan that was ruled incomplete on the field but overturned by replay. On the next play, Wells threw his second touchdown pass of the night to McNeal, this one from 26 yards out.
Troy capped the scoring as Boris Lee intercepted Wells and returned it 30 yards for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter.
The Warhawks wrap up their three-game road swing with a trip to North Texas (2-6, 1-4) next Saturday. Kickoff from Fouts Field is scheduled for 3 p.m.
TROY - Harris 2-yard run (Taylor kick), 12:48, 1st 7-0
TROY - Jarboe 34-yard pass from Brown (Taylor kick), 7:48, 1st 14-0
ULM - McNeal 7-yard pass from Wells (Jabour kick), 7:59, 2nd 14-7
TROY - Reeves 33-yard pass from Brown (Taylor kick), 6:56, 2nd 21-7
ULM - Jordan 3-yard pass from Wells (Jabour kick), 0:07, 2nd 21-14
TROY - Davis 22-yard pass from Brown (Taylor kick), 9:09, 3rd 28-14
TROY - Jernigan 41-yard pass from Brown (Taylor kick), 2:35, 3rd 35-14
ULM - McNeal 26-yard pass from Wells (Jabour kick), 0:00, 3rd 35-21
TROY - Lee 30-yard interception return (Taylor kick), 1:20, 4th 42-21
ULM Football Notes vs. Troy (October 31, 2009)
Tonight's contest was the 12th all-time meeting between the two schools. Troy now leads the series 8-3-1.
Tonight's ULM game captains are junior quarterback Trey Revell, senior defensive back James Truxillo, senior punter Scott Love and senior linebacker Josh Thomas.
Greg James extended his team-high consecutive start streak out to 40 games,
Greg James and Cardia Jackson have now started a team-high 41 career games.
Redshirt freshman Cody Wells made his second collegiate start at quarterback.
Wide receiver Darrell McNeal extended his consecutive games with a reception steak to 30 games - it ranks as the 13th longest active streak in the NCAA.
Running back Frank Goodin moved within 244 yards of fourth place on the ULM career rushing list after totaling 94 yards on 20 carries
ULM held Troy to just three rushing yards on 13 carries in the opening half and 50 yards on 25 carries for the game.
Aaron Morgan's interception in the second quarter was the first of his career.
Cardia Jackson moved within 21 tackles of becoming the Sun Belt Conference's all-time leading tackler. He finished the game with 12 tackles - his fourth straight game with 10+ tackles.
Cody Wells' three touchdown passes set a new career-high.
LaGregory Sapp has 25 catches for 454 yards over the past five games - 90.8 yards per game
(Report courtesy of ulmwarhawks.com)