What you need to know: Troy

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Quarterback Nick Mullens runs after the snap against Savannah State on Sept. 10, 2016.

Troy visits “The Rock” after putting the college football world on notice by taking No. 2 Clemson to the wire in South Carolina. Southern Miss on the other hand, gave Savannah State all it had in a 56-0 shutout victory.

Both teams are in a similar place. Two mid-major programs vying for respect on the national scale.

Offensive potency

The Troy offense put up 24 points on the No. 2 team in the country, showcasing what they could do when they put the ball in the air. To better the Trojan case for a big day through the air, Southern Miss has given up an average of 9.03 yards per passing attempt.

With junior Brandon Silvers at the helm for Troy, his offense may put up numbers on the Golden Eagle defense. But, their offensive line is another question entirely when going up against the likes of Xavier Thigpen, Dylan Bradley and others.

Southern Miss is fourth in team sacks in the nation, while Troy has only allowed one sack for eight yards all season. Against Clemson, the Troy offense allowed one sack.

Defensive breakdown

Led by junior Kris Weatherspoon who leads the team with 11 tackles, the Troy defense ranks 50th in the nation allowing 4.51 yards each play. Weatherspoon also leads the team with 2.5 tackles for loss and two pass break-ups from the safety position.

The rest of the defense though, will be put to a major test against the Southern Miss offense. Nick Mullens has thrown four interceptions on the season, but, he has always bounced back during the contest to the tune of 237 yards passing through the air per game.

With a bevy of offensive weapons at his disposal, Mullens should pose a mighty threat to the Trojan passing defense.

Player to Watch

Senior Dylan Bradley should have a big day going up against the Troy offensive line. Although he may not get to the quarterback for sacks on the day, he can still be a disruptive force up front.

It is to be seen if Jerry McCorvey can rejoin Bradley along the defensive line. But, if Xavier Thigpen and the linebacker corps can play their part, Bradley should have a productive day.

Prediction: Southern Miss 34, Troy 20