Robinson leads Troy to OT win over UAB
TROY – Corey Robinson broke an 18-year old NCAA record and Will Scott booted a 30-yard field goal in overtime as Troy rallied for a dramatic 34-31 victory over UAB on Saturday night in the season opener for both schools at Veterans Memorial Stadium; the victory was Troy’s third straight in the series.
The win marked Troy’s first victory in an overtime game since joining the Football Bowl Subdivision in 2001.
Robinson completed 30-of-32 passes for 319 yards and a 93.8 completion percentage, which broke Steve Sarkisian’s record (minimum of 30 completions) of 91.2 percent set in 1995.
Troy won the overtime coin toss and held UAB on three straight plays to open the extra session. The Blazers muffed the hold on the field goal attempt and came away with no points.
Deon Anthony, who finished with 119 all-purpose yards, rushed for 16 yards on Troy’s first play of overtime and Scott connected on his second career game-winner three plays later.
The overtime victory capped a thrilling fourth-quarter comeback by the Trojans, who entered the final quarter trailing 31-14.
True freshman running back Jordan Chunn started the charge with an 11-yard touchdown run with just over 11 minutes to play in the game. Chunn led the Trojans (1-0) with 65 yards on 10 carries.
Chunn opened Troy’s game-tying drive with a 19-yard run up the middle. Later in the drive facing a fourth-and-three, Robinson threw a 31-yard strike to Chandler Worthy to set up the Trojans with a first-and-goal at the UAB 2-yard line. After a UAB penalty moved the ball to the 1-yard line, Anthony punched it in from there to tie the game with 3:17 to play.
Robinson’s record-setting performance did not end with the NCAA completion percentage mark. The senior also set the Sun Belt Conference career records for passing yards (10,577) and completions (924). Robinson completed 20 straight passes at one point in the game to tie Sim Byrd’s school mark.
Troy opened the game with an impressive seven-play, 82-yard drive to jump out to a 7-0 lead. Anthony took a screen pass from Robinson 52 yards on the first play of the game and Brandon Burks capped the drive with a 10-yard run for his first career touchdown.
The Blazers (0-1) scored the game’s next 17 points on touchdown catches by Jamarcus Nelson (21 yards) and Jamari Staples (42 yards) and a 50-yard field goal by Ty Long. Nelson finished with 10 catches for 199 yards and two scores.
The Trojans found their offensive rhythm early in the second half with a 7-play, 71-yard touchdown drive on their first possession after the break. Chunn had three carries for 25 yards on the drive and Eric Thomas caught a 23-yard strike from Robinson for his 18th career-receiving touchdown.
Thomas finished with five catches for 69 yards while Bryan Holmes had five receptions for 32 yards.
The buzz in Veterans Memorial Stadium was quickly transferred to the visitor’s side as Nelson returned the ensuing kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown.
Scott pulled the Trojans within seven, 24-17, with an 18-yard field goal, but the Blazers quickly answered on a 62-yard touchdown reception by Nelson to give UAB its 31-17 lead heading to the fourth quarter.
Austin Perry completed 19-of-29 passes for 301 yards and three touchdowns for UAB while Darrin Reaves rushed for 110 yards on 23 carries. Staples also had a big night for the Blazers with six catches for 103 yards.
Troy returns to Veterans Memorial Stadium next Saturday when it plays host to Savannah State. The game is scheduled to kickoff at 6 p.m. and will be broadcast live on ESPN3.