UMass vs. Troy Prediction, Game Preview


UMass at Troy prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins the game between the Minutemen and Trojans.


UMass at Troy Game Preview

When: Saturday, November 5 – 3:30 p.m. ET
Where: Veterans Memorial Stadium, Troy, AL
Broadcast: ESPN3

For the second straight week, one-loss Troy gets a break from conference action. Last Saturday, Neal Brown’s team was off. This week, it hopes to use a first-ever meeting with UMass as a tune-up before hosting Appalachian State in what figures to be the 2016 Sun Belt Conference game of the year. The Trojans and Mountaineers are two of the league’s three teams without a conference loss. The 2-7 Minutemen took a break from FBS play last Saturday, earning a confidence-builder at the expense of Wagner. It was the team’s first win since beating Florida International on Sept. 17.

What To Know About Massachusetts

Mark Whipple’s Minutemen have played their final home game of 2016, and will spend November on the road at Troy, BYU and Hawaii. It’s been a predictably rough year in Amherst for a program that’s struggling on and off the field, and has missed star LB Shane Huber since his season-ending injury last month. Facing Wagner did afford UMass an opportunity to showcase one of its strengths, sophomore QB Andrew Ford and TE Adam Breneman, a Penn State transfer who’s caught a team-high 52 balls for 622 yards and six touchdowns.

What to Know About Troy

The Trojans have lost just once this year, by six points to No. 3 Clemson. Troy is getting it done on both sides of the ball, which is making it difficult to exploit a specific weakness. The offense is balanced with RB Jordan Chunn and QB Brandon Silvers and protected with a line that’s allowed just one sack all year. The D is allowing just under 20 points per game, while leading the Sun Belt with 18 takeaways. Plus, with two bye weeks in October, the team ought to be as healthy and rested as it’s been since the summer.

Advantages

Offense: Troy. Not only are the Trojans superior in all phases, save for tight end, but top Massachusetts back Marquis Young is dealing with an injury.

Defense: Troy. The Trojans lead the Sun Belt in run defense and takeaways, and senior DE Rashad Dillon is really coming on as a pass rusher.

Special Teams: Troy. The Trojans are even tight on special teams, thanks to Ryan Kay, who’s 13-of-16 on field goals and averages 41.5 yards a punt.

Coaching: Push. Brown is on a rapid ascent, but Whipple is an outstanding coach with a long track record of success at Massachusetts.

Intangibles: Troy. The Trojans are recharged, home and motivated, though they better be careful about looking ahead to next week.

Matchup To Watch

Chunn vs. Massachusetts LB Steve Casali

Chunn gives the Trojans a much-needed presence between the tackles, rushing for 816 yards and seven touchdowns on 156 carries. His foil on the UMass side of the field will be Casali who has stepped up in Huber’s absence to post a team-high 77 tackles, 6.5 stops for loss, 2.5 sacks and three fumble recoveries.

Massachusetts at Troy Betting Odds

Spread: Troy -21.5
Over/Under: No line as of post

Massachusetts at Troy Prediction

The Trojans match up well with the Minutemen, but will still have to be careful this week. They have the bye week behind them and Appalachian State up ahead. It would not be a surprise if Troy didn’t deliver its best game of 2016 in Week 10. Still, its superiority on both sides of the ball will be more than sufficient to dispose of UMass and carry a six-game winning streak into next week’s showdown with the Mountaineers.

Massachusetts at Troy Score Prediction: Troy 37, Massachusetts 17

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