Antione Barker, Troy defense set to face talented New Mexico State offense | – Connecticut News

Antione Barker, Troy defense set to face talented New Mexico State offense | – Connecticut News

Troy coach Neal Brown looks at New Mexico State and sees headaches.

Trojan backup defensive end Antione Barker looks at the Aggies and sees opportunity.

“We’ve really struggled stopping them the last two years. We’ve almost given up 1,000 total yards of offense in those two games,” Brown said this week, adding that he felt the Aggies could be the most improved team in the Sun Belt this season and he hasn’t seen anything in their first two games that would change his mind.

He credited NMSU coach Doug Martin and his staff and noted similarities between Aggies quarterback Tyler Rogers and Troy QB Brandon Silvers.

“He gets the ball out of his hand fast,” Brown said. “I think he threw for 445 yards here (in 2016). We were able to come out with the win because he threw some interceptions in the red zone.”

Turnovers helped the Trojans crush New Mexico State 52-6 last season. The year before, Troy went to Las Cruces, N.M., and won 52-7. The Trojans lead the series 3-1 with victories the past three seasons.

Turnovers may play a big role in Saturday night’s contest. Troy (1-1) has lost the turnover battle in each of its first two games – 3-2 against Boise State and 1-0 to Alabama State.

Its 34-7 victory over the Hornets marked just the sixth time in 30 games since 2004 – when Troy joined the Sun Belt – it won without forcing a turnover.

That’s why Barker knows his job will be to harass Rogers whenever possible.

“Just get to the quarterback so I can help my DBs out, so they don’t have to cover so long,” said the 6-3,…

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