NEW ORLEANS BOWL: Troy romps over Ohio 48-21
AP Sports Writer
NEW ORLEANS (AP) – Corey Robinson threw for 387 yards and four touchdowns, and Troy set a New Orleans Bowl scoring record with a 48-21 victory over Ohio on Saturday night.
Robinson completed 23 of 29 passes for 285 yards and four TDs in the first half alone, when Troy (8-5) raced to a 38-7 lead, and was 32 of 42 overall.
Tebiarus Gill had a New Orleans Bowl-record three touchdowns, all on receptions in the first half.
Troy finished with 602 offensive yards – also a New Orleans Bowl record.
The Trojans had a 371-39 advantage in offensive yards through the first two quarters, by which time it was apparent Ohio (8-5) was going to drop to 0-5 in its bowl history.
The Bobcats’ Boo Jackson passed for 209 yards and three TDs.
So dominant were the Trojans that they didn’t punt until the fourth quarter and even outrushed Ohio, which runs a variation of the option Bobcats coach Frank Solich used when he was at Nebraska from 1998-2003. Troy finished with 220 yards on the ground while the Bobcats had 99.
Troy’s Dujuan Harris ran for 105 yards and a score.
Troy, which has won or shared the past five Sun Belt Conference titles, is 2-3 in bowl games since becoming a full member of the Football Bowl Subdivision in 2002. Both wins came at the New Orleans Bowl, where the Trojans have played three times.
Leading up to the game, Trojans players expressed hope that a bowl victory on national television might bring them a little more recognition.
At the very least, fans across the country saw that the Trojans have a talented young quarterback with the potential to rack up a ton of yards through the air by the time his college career is done.
Robinson, named the New Orleans Bowl MVP, connected four times with Gill for 80 yards, four times with Jason Bruce for 59 yards and seven times with Jerrel Jernigan for 48 yards.
Robinson finished his freshman campaign with 3,726 yards and 28 TDs.
The Bobcats, who finished second in the Mid-American Conference’s East Division, came in knowing they’d be in trouble if they didn’t play well on defense and control the ball on offense. They struggled on both counts.
Solich started Phil Bates at quarterback after Jackson had missed recent practices while clearing up academic matters.
Bates’ first pass was intercepted deep down the sideline by Troy’s Jimmie Anderson. Troy then marched 78 yards in 10 plays, with Jernigan scoring on a 12-yard run out of the wildcat formation to make it 7-0.
Jackson entered the game during Ohio’s second offensive season and soon after completed a 34-yard touchdown pass to Steven Goulet. That tied it at 7, but the game ceased to be competitive thereafter.
Tory went right back in front when Robinson lofted a 31-yard timing pass down the left sideline to Gill.
Jernigan capped Troy’s next series with a 16-yard TD catch on which the receiver took a short pass near the 10 and left three tacklers grasping at air as he darted across the field.
Michael Taylor’s New Orleans Bowl-record 50-yard field goal nudged Troy’s lead up to 24-7.
Robinson then connected on a 17-yard scoring pass over the middle to Gill, who took on several tacklers as he stretch the ball across the goal line. That made it 31-7, marking the first time a team had scored that many points in a half of any of the 10 New Orleans Bowls.
Troy wasn’t done, though. The third Robinson-to-Gill TD connection, covering 26 yards, came in the final minute of the second quarter.