TROY – Troy linebacker Carlton Martial had another huge game during a 47-42 loss to Southern Mississippi on Saturday.
Martial recorded a career-high 16 tackles – 10 in the first half – and had 4.5 tackles for loss in the game.
The sophomore almost had a touchdown as well after scooping up a loose ball and running it into the end zone with 12:54 left in the opening period. But after a review, it was ruled the Southern Miss runner was down before the ball came out. The Golden Eagles would proceed to drive the field for the first points of the game on a 5-yard quarterback keeper to culminate a 93-yard, 17-play drive that ate 7:52 off the clock.
Martial had 13 tackles in the opener against Campbell two weeks ago.
It was a good day as well for nose guard Will Choloh, who recorded nine tackles.
Injury: Troy standout running back B.J. Smith was injured midway through the second quarter when he lost his footing trying to make a catch on a reverse pass. Smith was open on the play, but the pass was just over thrown as Smith’s feet appeared to get tangled trying to make a play on the ball. Smith limped off the field and didn’t’ return. He had only one carry for a 2-yard loss before the injury.
They’re gone: Troy’s Reggie Todd returned a kickoff 69 yards for a touchdown with 11:28 to play in the game. It marked the ninth special teams return for a score since the 2015 season, which is the 12th most in the country over that time period. On the ensuing kickoff, Jaylond Adams returned the favor with a 100 yards touchdown return. It was the sixth kickoff return in USM history of 100 yards.
Slinging it: Quarterback Kaleb Barker threw for school-record 504 yards in the game, breaking the mark set by Corey Robinson of 485 during a 2012 game against Louisiana-Lafayette. Barker compiled 213 yards by the first half, marking the first time he has thrown for more than 200 yards in a first half during his career. Barker completed 29-of-43 passes with four touchdowns.
Catching it: Four Troy receivers went over the 100-yard mark in the game – Tray Efford (110), Kaylon Geiger (118), Luke Whittemore (110) and Khalil McClain (104).
Geiger caught a 57-yard touchdown pass in the final minute of the first quarter. It marked the second longest play of the year for the Trojans. It was the first touchdown of the year for Geiger, a junior wide receiver. Efford caught a 25-yard TD strike early in the third quarter. It marked the second shortest scoring catch in his seven-career scores – the shortest being 16 yards. The catch put him over the 100-yard mark for the game, which was the first time he has accomplished that feat at Troy.
And they’re off: Troy’s Jabir Daughtry-Frye returned the opening kickoff 50 yards to the USM 49, and the Golden Eagles were also whistled for being offsides on the kick, as the ball was placed on the 44. The Trojans, however, didn’t take advantage of the good field position as USM held on a three-and-out.
Make it 41: Former G.W. Long standout Zacc Weldon, a senior fullback, started his 41st consecutive game. The streak is currently the seventh longest in the country for starts.
Long drive: When D. K. Billingsley scored on a 2-yard run in the second quarter to complete a 97-yard drive, it marked the fifth time in the last six years the Trojans have had a drive of 97 yards or longer.
Honorees: The 1984 Troy football team, which won the Division II national championship, was honored on field between the first and second quarters.