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Troy Football - A Trojan War Party on the Gridiron


2022 was a banner year for the Troy Trojans under newly-appointed general Jon Sumrall. After a 1-1 start, the Trojans would face Appalachian State in week 3. The Mountaineers secured an improbable defeat over the Trojans by a mere four points. In that game, App State scored the winning touchdown on a 53-yard Hail Mary pass with 0:00 left on the clock. That defeat sparked the Trojans reeled off 12 straight victories to finish the season 12-2, earning both the title of Sun Belt Champions and victors of the Cure Bowl over #22 UTSA. The Trojans would be ranked #20 in the final USA Today/Coaches Poll, the highest ranking in school history.


Troy returns 12 starters from that army and looks to bring a war to the Sun Belt Conference in 2023.


On the War Path

When the Trojans are on the offensive, they will be led on the field by an experienced leader in QB Gunnar Watson. Watson threw for 2818 yards, 14 touchdowns, and 12 INTs, completing 61% of his passes. In addition, he added two rushing touchdowns. Watson passed for over 300 yards in three consecutive games last season:

  • 351 yards vs Alabama A&M

  • 302 yards vs Appalachian State

  • 321 yards vs Marshall

In the Sun Belt Conference Championship Game vs Coastal Carolina, Watson completed 12 of 17 passes (71%) for 318 yards and three touchdowns, as the Trojans secured a 45-26 victory. For his efforts, Watson was named the game’s Most Valuable Player.

The rushing attack is in the capable hands of RB Kimani Vidal. Vidal ran for 1180 yards and scored 10 touchdowns. He rushed for over 200 yards twice: 208 yards vs Arkansas State and 242 yards vs Louisiana-Monroe.


Watson will have a dependable target to throw to in WR DeShon Stoudemire, who caught 41 passes for 507 yards and 2 touchdowns.


In Defense of Troy

Troy’s defense is crucial if this campaign is to be successful. Leading this defense is a contingent of experienced and highly-decorated warriors, consisting of:

  • DE T.J. Jackson: 55 tackles, 15 tackles for loss, 8 sacks, 2 forced fumbles. All-Sun Belt selection.

  • LB Richard Jibunor: 41 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles. All-Sun Belt selection.

  • DE Javon Solomon: 44 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, and 4.5 sacks. All-Sun Belt selection.

  • CB Reddy Steward: 63 tackles, 3 INTs, 12 pass breakups. All-Sun Belt selection.

  • CB Oshai Fletcher: 40 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 8 pass breakups, 1 forced fumble.

  • S Dell Pettus: 66 tackles.

This merry band of battle-tested destroyers ranked #8 in the FBS in scoring offense last season, as they allowed just 17 points per game.

The 2023 Schedule

The Trojans will march through their gauntlet of opponents in 2023, going 8-4. Their victories will be against Stephen F. Austin, JMU, Western Kentucky, Arkansas State, Louisiana, Georgia State, Texas State, and Louisiana. Their defeats will be against Kansas State, Army, Southern Miss, and South Alabama.


The Trojans will begin this campaign at home on September 2nd against Stephen F. Austin.


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