MTSU quarterback Dwight Dasher returned from a four-game suspension Tuesday night in front of the second largest crowd in Floyd Stadium’s history, but the celebration was short-lived for Blue Raider fans as Troy handed them a 42-13 loss.
The Blue Raiders went three and out on their first possession and were unable to stop the Trojans from going 55 yards on their first drive that was capped off by a three-yard touchdown pass from Jamie Hampton to Jerrel Jernigan.
In Middle Tennessee’s next possession Dwight Dasher would leave the field with a separated pinky finger. Dasher returned in the second quarter, but not before backup quarterback Jeff Murphy fumbled the ball on the MTSU 17 setting Troy up for their second score in the quarter.
After jumping out to a quick 21-0 lead, Troy was able to keep the Raiders from ever climbing back in despite amassing 107 penalty yards throughout the game.
Middle Tennessee failed to convert on their first six third-down attempts before Dasher completed a nine-yard pass on third and six to set up a one yard rushing touchdown for the Blue Raiders’ first score making the game 21-7 and giving Raider fans a glimmer of hope for the second half.
It seemed as if MTSU would build momentum in the second half when, following a dropped pass on third down, Middle Tennessee’s Jamari Lattimore blocked Troy’s field goal attempt. However, the Raiders’ third-down woes would continue on the ensuing drive when Dasher was sacked on third and long.
Despite the loss, Dasher did show flashes of what makes him such a threat for the Blue Raiders. He led the team in rushing with 26 yards with two touchdowns, the second coming late in the game, and completed 22 of 37 passes for 173 yards.
His one big miscue came on an interception by Troy’s Jacory Thomas on a tipped pass. Despite low numbers, he accounted for nearly every one of MTSU’s 206 total yards on offense.
While Dasher’s return was less than stellar, Troy quarterback Corey Robinson did his part in making Trojan fans forget about quarterback Levi Brown who was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the seventh round of the 2010 NFL Draft.
Robinson completed 27 of 38 passes for 266 yards and three touchdowns. He also had a pass dropped in the corner of the end zone.
MTSU was never able to develop a running game against Troy, rushing for only 26 yards as a team, the lowest total for the team this season. This marks the second time this season the team has failed to rush for 100 yards. The team also finished only four for 15 on third down.
Troy’s situational quarterback Jamie Hampton was carted off the field in the second quarter with a serious leg injury.
Middle Tennessee’s next game is Oct. 16 at Georgia Tech.