The 2021 Troy Trojans T-Day Spring game gave the coaching staff and fans a first glimpse at what this upcoming season has in store. On Saturday, the Trojans held their final scrimmage of the Spring inside Veteran’s Memorial Stadium. The end result was a 21-7 win for Team Cardinal over Team White.
This year’s installment of the annual football scrimmage was a complete success in the eyes of the Troy coaching staff. After a 5-6 finish in 2020, Chip Lindsey and the Trojans are ready to bounce back in the Sun Belt. Saturday showcased that the team is in a prime position to make noise this season. While the final was rather a low score, Troy fans saw a few new players take big steps.
2021 Troy Trojans T-Day Recap
All three Troy quarterbacks, Gunnar Watson, Jacob Free and Taylor Powell, saw action in the game. Watson was the starter for Team Cardinal and impressed on the opening drive. The rising junior signal-caller led his team down the field before finding Tez Johnson for a 38-yard touchdown pass.
Powell, a Missouri transfer, earned the start for Team White and improved his chances of giving Watson a run for his money in the quarterback competition. An incoming senior, Powell led Team White on their best drive of the game in the third quarter. He connected with Deshon Stoudemire on a 35-yard pass that set up a touchdown. The end result on that drive was a 15-yard touchdown to Stoudemire for the team’s only score of the game.
Free got in snaps for Team Cardinal and looked solid. On the second possession of the game, he tossed a touchdown to Luke Whittemore to make it a 14-0 game. That would be his only touchdown of the game. However, Free showed the coaches that he can stick around in the competition.
On the receiving end, Reggie Todd caught the game’s longest play of 42 yards in the third quarter.
Running Game Showcase
T-Day 2021 was the perfect opportunity for Troy to showcase a few star running backs. B.J. Smith scored the final touchdown of the day on an eight-yard run in which he made a few defenders miss. This marke his return after he suffered an injury last season. Sophomore Kimani Vidal made noise in the first half as he ran for 42 yards on nine carries. He also caught three passes for 16 yards.
Jamontez Woods had a nice game as he powered his way on crucial downs to gain extra yards. The coaching staff has been really impressed with Woods throughout the Spring so far.
Troy Defense Improved
The Trojans’ defense looked much improved from last season. Luis Medina put on a show on the defensive line. He had two sacks and was getting pressure on the quarterback the entire time that he played. Richard Jubinor, Elgin Griffin, Antonio Showers, Shakel Brown and Dawson Foster also recorded a sack on Saturday.
After a struggle in 2020, the defense was an area of concern heading into the 2021 season. But Saturday proved that the unit has improved drastically since season’s end. Terence Dunlap recorded an interception that resulted in a 23-yard return on a pass from Powell.
2021 Troy Trojans T-Day Final Thoughts
Overall, the 2021 edition of T-Day showed improvements across the board for the Trojans. With the Spring now gone, the team will shift their focus to the Fall and the upcoming 2021 season. Troy hosts Southern on September 4 at Veteran’s Memorial Stadium.
As for the quarterback competition, Lindsey stated earlier in the week that a decision will be made when the coaches are ready to make that decision. T-Day gave the staff a broader outlook on the competition, but all three quarterbacks played well.
Main photo courtesy Phillip Jordan.