NEW ORLEANS LA - DECEMBER 18: Jerrel Jernigan #3 of the Troy University Trojans scores a touchdown over Donovan Fletcher #29 of the Ohio University Bobcats during the R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl at the Louisiana Superdome on December 18 2010 in New Orleans Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

New Orleans Bowl, Ohio Vs. Troy: Trojans Skin Bobcats, 48-21

Trojans cap off a day of bowl blowouts with a New Orleans Bowl-record 27-point thumping of Ohio.

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New Orleans Bowl: Troy 48, Ohio 21 (FINAL)

It was probably a fitting nightcap for a day of lopsided bowls; counting the outcome in New Orleans, the average margin of victory in Saturday’s opening round of bowl games was 26 points. But the offensive fireworks put on by Troy in the New Orleans Bowl was maybe the most impressive showing of the day.

The Trojans rang up 606 yards of total offense against a defense that gave up a little more than half that on average during the regular season. Corey Robinson was 32-of-42 passing for a bowl-record 387 yards and 4 TDs. DuJuan Harris had 105 yards and a touchdown on 14 rushes. Seven receivers caught at least three passes, including Tebiarus Gill (4 catches, 80 yards, 3 TD) and Jerrel Jernigan (7 catches, 48 yards). Troy punted twice in the biggest blowout in the bowl’s history.

The Ohio offense, meanwhile, muddled through the first half before the Bobcats finally scrapped a quarterback rotation and put Boo Jackson in charge. Jackson ended the day 14-of-21 for 209 yards passing, three touchdowns and an interception. But by the time he was getting consistent playing time, the game was out of reach.

For Troy, the win adds a positive ending to a season that’s known too many low points. The Trojans lost to UAB, Louisiana-Monroe and FIU this year, taking away what could have been a campaign featuring double-digit victories. An easy bowl win is a solid consolation prize.

Meanwhile, Ohio’s season ends after two disappointing showings. The Bobcats lost by three touchdowns to Kent State at the end of the year. Now, Frank Solich’s bunch got clobbered in their postseason game. Eight wins is nothing to scoff at for Ohio, which still put together just its third winning campaign of the last ten seasons. But it faces as many "what-ifs" as Troy, and has one fewer reason to forget about them.


New Orleans Bowl, Ohio Vs. Troy: Game Slows Down a Bit, But Trojans Still Cruising After Third

The Troy romp has continued through the third quarter, though the pace of scoring has slowed down a bit. In fact, the Trojans have scored a pedestrian 10 points in the third, their lowest output of any frame so far.

Troy scored on another Michael Taylor field goal, this one from a mere 33 yards out, and a touchdown run by DuJuan Harris, who rushed for 65 of the drive’s 83 yards. The longest play of that drive was Harris’ 50-yard run.

The team is blowing by several milestones en route to a win that becomes more likely by the minute. The 48 points scored so far would already be the most in the decade-long history of the New Orleans Bowl and is a season-high for Troy. Corey Robinson’s 366 yards passing is also a bowl record. The Trojans passed the 500-yard mark of total offense in the third quarter.

Ohio seems to be finding an offensive rhythm of its own after deciding to stick with Boo Jackson at quarterback. Jackson was 3-of-5 for 50 yards and a touchdown and rushed for another 23 yards on the Bobcats’ scoring drive. Ohio had five first downs in the third quarter, more than they had in the entire first half.

But it’s still almost certainly going to be too little, too late. Although we should note that Troy has now punted for the first time.


New Orleans Bowl, Ohio Vs. Troy: Trojans Rolling, 38-7, As Game Hits Halftime

Halftime is probably too early to rule any team out of a game, but it's looking very much like -- barring a miracle comeback from Ohio in the second half of the New Orleans Bowl -- the search for a competitive bowl game is going to stretch into Tuesday.

In the second quarter alone, Troy has scored on:

  • A 16-yard pass from Corey Robinson to Jerrel Jernigan, his second touchdown, the end of a 66-yard drive;
  • A 50-yard field goal from Michael Taylor, following a 36-yard drive;
  • A 16-yard pass to Tebiarus Gill, his second touchdown reception of the game, finishing an 80-yard drive; and
  • A 26-yard touchdown strike to Gill for his third score of the game, capping a 55-yard drive.

Ohio has not been quite as successful. And by that, we mean that they haven't picked up a first down since their second possession of the game. The Bobcats quarterback rotation strategy of having Phil Bates take most of the snaps and then running Boo Jackson onto the field for obvious passing downs is not really tricking anyone.

Troy has now outgained the Bobcats 371-79; Robinson is 23-of-29 for 285 yards and 4 TDs. Ohio, meanwhile, has yet to stop the Trojans in any meaningful way and is not really equipped for a big comeback; the Bobcats have the 105th-ranked passing offense in the NCAA.


New Orleans Bowl, Ohio Vs. Troy: Trojans Notch Another Touchdown, Take Over With 14-7 Lead

Eight plays covering 76 yards in just a shade over three minutes. That’s what teams have to contend with when facing Troy, as Ohio is now finding out.

The Trojans take over after Ohio’s touchdown and go to work on another relatively quick scoring drive. Corey Robinson goes 4-of-5 for 50 yards, including a 31-yard touchdown strike to Tebiarus Gill, and the Trojans have once again taken a lead.

Back to the Bobcats. Ohio gets the ball at its own 18-yard line and goes with three straight rushes — two of them for losses — and ends up gaining just two yards in a three-and-out. The quarter ends with the Bobcats preparing to punt to Troy, something that will not end well for them if the game so far is any indication.


New Orleans Bowl, Ohio Vs. Troy: Bobcats' Passes Set Up Early Scores For Both Teams

Ohio is not known for its passing game, so the Bobcats try to confound Troy’s expectations by going deep on the second play of the game. And Phil Bates connects with Jimmie Anderson on a beautiful catch at the Trojans 22. The only problem is that Anderson is not a member of Bates’ team, and Troy takes over.

Watching Troy’s offense is somewhat exhausting in its own right; the Trojans are known for the hurry-up rhythm that has become more famous at schools like Oregon. And they zoom down the field on 10 plays, with a 12-yard touchdown run by Jerrel Jernigan capping off the drive. Jernigan runs for 25 yards total on the drive, and Corey Robinson is 4-for-4 for 22 yards.

But Ohio rebounds, this time leaving the deep pass to Boo Jackson. Jackson hits Steven Goulet for a 34-yard scoring strike, the only pass of the drive, and the Bobcats have gotten things even again.

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