MOBILE, Ala. -- — 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.
More AP college football: https://apnews.com/tag/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP--Top25
Caden Sterns' NFL draft profile
Check out the best highlights from Texas S Caden Sterns' college career.
Najee Harris on how Megan Rapinoe inspires him
As Alabama RB Najee Harris prepares for the NFL draft, he describes his friendship with soccer superstar Megan Rapinoe.
Jay Tufele's NFL draft profile
Check out the best highlights from USC DT Jay Tufele's college career.
Kenneth Gainwell's NFL draft profile
Check out the best highlights from Memphis RB Kenneth Gainwell's college career.
Ifeatu Melifonwu's NFL draft profile
Check out the best highlights from Syracuse CB Ifeatu Melifonwu's college career. (edited)
Demetric Felton's NFL draft profile
Check out the best highlights from UCLA RB Demetric Felton's college career.