While the name Troy does not instill fear the way Appalachian State does, Troy is a Sun Belt opponent whom Clemson should not overlook. Troy recruits Alabama primarily, Georgia, and Florida heavily with a few South Carolina and Mississippi guys on the team. Troy finished a paltry 4-8 record last year; playing some teams better than you think they would (such as Appalachian State and Wisconsin) but dropping some headscratchers like a 19-16 loss at home to Idaho. Oftentimes Group of Five teams have the ability to play tight for the first half because they have good football players, coaching, and inspiration. Oftentimes the powerhouse will pull away in the second half, but the Sun Belt performed well last weekend (South Alabama beating Mississippi State and App St almost beating Tennessee). But can Troy replicate their success?

Their recruiting classes have been ranked at 90th or below since 2010 and in 2014 it was a horrendous 130th, meaning that some FCS schools recruited better than Troy.  The Trojans have some experienced players in their starting 22 but the depth drops off after that, particularly on offense where freshmen are the backups on eight of eleven positions. There is a healthy mix of JUCOs and regular recruits on the roster. While upsets do happen and recruiting doesn’t mean everything, this Troy roster does not have the depth to compete with Clemson for four quarters. The few three and mainly two star prospects are going to struggle against the sheer depth of the Tigers.

What I am looking for today is for Clemson’s offense to be more aggressive, our pass defense to hold up against Troy’s aerial attack, and for the special teams to be vastly improved. Troy is a team that needs to be respected, but if the Tigers have kept their focus after a narrow escape against Auburn this should be a solid win for the Tigers. It should also be noted that this year is the 50th anniversary or Howard’s Rock as well as the Athletic Team recognition day. Prediction: Clemson 45 Troy 20