Surging Troy upsets No. 25 LSU 24-21 at Death Valley
BATON ROUGE, La. —
Jordan Chunn ran for 191 yards and a touchdown, Troy's defense forced four turnovers and the surging Trojans upset No. 25 LSU 24-21 on Saturday night.
Troy, which celebrated wildly with traveling fans in largely empty Tiger Stadium as time ran out, became the first team from outside the Southeastern Conference to win in LSU's Death Valley since UAB in 2000. They snapped the Tigers' streak of 49 straight home victories over non-league opponents.
Although the Tigers (3-2) were three-touchdown favorites, the result wasn't entirely unfathomable. LSU had looked vulnerable in a tense victory over Syracuse a week earlier, while Troy came in on a three-game winning streak and is among the favorites to win the Sun Belt Conference after a 10-victory 2016 campaign.
Troy (4-1) raced to leads of 17-0 and 24-7 before Danny Etling's fourth-quarter touchdown passes to Russell Gage and Foster Moreau got LSU as close as a field goal with 1:59 left. But after failing to recover an onside kick, LSU had only 23 seconds to get into field goal range, and any hope of that ended when Blace Brown intercepted Etling's pass on the Troy 42 with 11 seconds to go
Entering the third quarter with a surprising 10-0 lead, Troy continued to widen the gap. Chunn slipped a tackle near the line of scrimmage and broke loose for 74 yards, setting up his touchdown on fourth-and-goal from the 1.
LSU appeared to squander a scoring chance when receiver Derrick Dillon fumbled on the Troy 7. But LSU's defense got the ball right back inside the Troy 10 on Chunn's fumble, and backup quarterback Myles Brennan found tight end Foster Moreau for a 7-yard TD pass, making it 17-7.
Brennan marched LSU into Troy territory again, but his pass was intercepted by Marcus Jones at the Troy 26. The Trojans then drove for Josh Anderson's 7-yard TD run.
Etling, who'd left the game after being shaken up late in the first half, returned to pull LSU to 24-14 on a 34-yard scoring pass to Russell Gage with 7:41 left.
After Chunn's second fumble of the game on the LSU 11, Etling drove LSU 92 yards for another touchdown on a 20-yard pass to Moreau. But with one timeout left, LSU was unable to recover an onside kick, allowing Troy to run the clock down to 23 seconds before punting.
Etling finished 17 of 25 for 198 yards.
Troy's Brandon Silvers was 16 of 28 for 157 yards without an interception.
LSU turned the ball over on its first play from scrimmage, when running back Nick Brossette was stripped by Troy safety Cedarious Rookard and fellow defensive back Kris Weatherspoon recovered at the Tigers 30. Five plays later, quarterback Brandon Silvers scored on a short keeper to make it 7-0.
Both teams missed field goals of about 35 yards in the second quarter, and it appeared the score would be 7-0 at halftime when receiver John Johnson was tackled at the LSU 20 as time ran out. But officials reviewed the play and determined there should be 2 seconds left. Troy capitalized with Evan Legassey's 37-yard field goal to make it 10-0.
Tory: Since falling 24-13 at Boise State to open the season, the Trojans have been steadily progressing. A road win over a Power 5-conference team should infuse Troy with confidence heading into the meat of its Sun Belt schedule. Another bowl bid, if not another season with double-digit victories, looks well within reach.
LSU: The Tigers will fall out of the AP Top 25 Poll this week and there's no telling how rough this season could get with seven more SEC games on the schedule.
Tory hosts South Alabama in a Wednesday night game on Oct. 11.
LSU travels to Florida for the first of seven straight games against SEC opponents to close the regular season.