MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — Gunnar Watson threw for 297 yards and three touchdowns while wearing thick pads to protect fractured ribs and Troy blanked South Alabama 29-0 on Saturday to win the “Battle of the Belt” for an unprecedented third straight time.
Watson threw all three touchdowns in the second quarter — finding Khalil McClain from 15, Kaylon Geiger from 15 and Tray Eafford from 21. Evan Legassey added a 44-yard field goal eight seconds before the half to end the scoring for Troy (5-5, 3-3 Sun Belt Conference).
Neither team had won three straight “Battles for the Belt” since the challenge series began nine years ago.
Troy’s game-opening drive ended with an interception when Tez Johnson’s pass on a reverse was picked off by Dewayne Betts. The Trojan defense forced a three-and-out and Legassey put points on the board with a 22-yard field goal.
South Alabama (4-7, 3-5) was held to 239 yards of offense, 17 first downs and never got into the red zone. Desmond Trotter passed for 144 yards and the Jaguars gained just 57 on the ground.
Trotter threw an interception and lost a fumble after being sacked. Each led to a Troy touchdown.