At the time no one gave it much of a thought other than it was a nice way to end a disappointing season, and a good start to the off-season and recruiting.
It was unimaginable to think Georgia Southern’s 28-24 win over Troy last December would be the last in Coach Tyson Summers’ career with the Eagles.
Summers was fired after Georgia Southern’s `55-20 loss at Massachusetts last Saturday, and replaced by Chad Lunsford on an interim basis.
Lunsford and the winless Eagles (0-6, 0-2 Sun Belt Conference) will be looking not only to pick up their first win of the season, but to extend a four-game win streak over the Trojans who will be celebrating their Homecoming in the 3:30 p.m. matchup Saturday at The Vet.
Troy (5-2, 2-1) will be looking to become bowl eligible and stay alive in the Sun Belt race behind Appalachian State (5-2, 4-0) and Arkansas State (4-2, 3-0).
After pulling off the biggest win in school history when they posted a 24-21 win at LSU the Trojans followed up by playing their poorest game of the season in losing to South Alabama, 19-8.
Last week Troy pounded Georgia State, 34-10, and Brown knows with the next four games against sub .500 teams — Georgia Southern, Idaho, Coastal Carolina and Texas State — an excellent season is there for the taking.
The Trojans are a 25-point favorite, but Coach Neal Brown is taking nothing for granted.
“South Alabama was 1-4 before we played them, and they kicked our tail,” Brown said. “The mentality has to be who we got this week.
“Some of those teams have played ridiculous schedules. South Alabama played Oklahoma State and Ole Miss. I think you just play who you got. We have Georgia Southern this week and we have to be 1-0.”
Despite its success against Troy the last three years Georgia Southern finds itself playing under an interim coach against a team looking to gain a measure of revenge.
The last time the Eagles played at Troy they pinned an embarrassing 45-10 loss on the Trojans, and the loss last December cost them the Sun Belt Conference championship.
Troy is led by senior quarterback Brandon Silvers who is having an outstanding season although his number of touchdown passes are dramatically off.
After leading the SBC with 23 touchdown passes last year Silvers has only four this year despite completing 167-of-263 passes for 1,839 yards. Silvers had 335 yards and two touchdowns last week against Georgia State as he hit 25 of 35 attempts.
Silvers has 9,233 yards for his career with 853 completions in 1,324 attempts good for 58 touchdowns. He has been picked off only 26 times.
The Trojan running game is spearheaded by 6-1, 235-pound Jordan Chunn who will return this week after not playing against the Panthers because of injury.
Chunn ran for 191 yards at LSU, and has 581 this season after gaining 1,288 last year. He needs 136 yards to hit the 3,000-yard mark for his career.
The Trojans have five players with 20 or more receptions led by Deondre Douglas with 30 for 374 yards.
Defensively the Trojans lead the nation in red zone defense, have the top rushing defense in the Group of Five and seventh best in FBS as it allows only 92 yards per game, 50.3 against SBC teams.