Troy Head Coach Chip Lindsey Knows, Inspired By BYU Football History
PROVO, Utah – BYU’s home opener against the Troy Trojans out of the Sun Belt will be anything but normal as this matchup came out of necessity due to COVID-19 forcing so many schedule changes and each team needed to add games.
Plus, there was the bad news that LaVell Edwards Stadium will no longer have 6,000 fans in the stands due to a COVID-19 spike in Utah County.
Teams have to be nimble this year to get football games played and the good news is that this game is going to be played and that is how Troy head coach Chip Lindsey feels about adding a quality opponent in BYU.
Lindsey joined KSL Unrivaled and despite all of the changes to his team’s schedule – the Trojans are 1-0 on the year after defeating Middle Tennessee State last week – the team is ready for the challenge of facing the Cougars in Provo.
“I guess the best approach I’m taking is we got our hands full with the guys that are on the field we are going to play against. If you think about it, it’s no different than going to practice or a scrimmage, in a stadium during fall camp,” Lindsey said. “I don’t think it’s as big a difference. Last week, we played on the road and it was a really light crowd and I am not even sure what the restrictions were. For our players, you got to bring your own energy and treat it like maybe a scrimmage in the stadium.”
That home-field advantage is basically gone for BYU with no fans able to cheer and be as loud as that 6,000 could have been in a stadium that can hold 63,725. Troy still has to travel a long way and play at altitude but Lindsey is correct in saying that playing in front of no fans is like a scrimmage.
Troy Coach Knows His BYU History
Most college football coaches know at least some history about BYU, whether it be LaVell Edwards, the 1984 national title, the passing offense, or the Heisman trophy that Ty Detmer won in 1990.
Coach Lindsey knows and respects what BYU means to college football and his Trojans offense is somewhat mirrored after the Cougars pass-happy offense that Edwards pioneered.
“I know me growing up in the state of Alabama, just keeping up with the LaVell Edwards teams and all the great quarterbacks there like Robbie Bosco, Jim McMahon, and Ty Detmer,” Lindsey said. “I always admired that those three I was a receiver growing up and people that threw the ball in the late 80s and early 90s I made sure I’d watch those guys.
“So it’s kind of the home of the air raid original air raid offense, which is what we do, and it’s something I’ve been doing for a long time. So I’m excited and looking forward to it. I know it’s a big challenge for us. They got a really good football team and we’ll have our hands full. But I know our players are really excited about the opportunity to play them.”
With that history, he knows what BYU can bring to this game even though the offense is a bit different now compared to the Edwards years but Lindsey respects the Cougars and knows they are a tough team after watching the BYU vs. Navy game.
Expect Trojans To Sling The Ball
Coach Lindsey mentioned his affinity for the Cougars passing attack and his offenses over the years have taken on a similar approach with a wide-open passing game. That is what BYU defense should expect this Saturday, and Troy is led by Gunnar Watson who was making his first start.
In that start, he completed 26 of 37 passes to 11 different receivers for 248 yards, two touchdowns with just one interception.
“He’s never played before, so it was exciting to get a start under his belt, and I thought he played pretty good for a first start,” Lindsey said. “Obviously some things we’ve got to clean up, but I was just really pleased with how he handled himself. I know our team believes in him and he’s an awesome kid, great kid, hard-working, tough guy. He has all the intangibles and I think he’s going to get better and better each week and hopefully he’ll continue to play well this weekend.”
This will be an offense that will be a challenge and quite different compared to what BYU faced a few weeks ago against Navy which uses the triple-option and runs the vast majority of its plays. Not only does Troy throw the ball well they ran it 55 times with four touchdowns in the opener, so the Cougars need to be prepared for a more balanced attack.
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