O. B. native Brandon Silvers helps Troy to monumental road win at LSU
Gulf Shores grad making most of his fourth year as starting quarterback
By Fran Thompson
Troy head football coach Neal Brown told ESPN it was the biggest win since the school moved up to play D-1 sports back in 2001. His team, led by quarterback Brandon Silvers of Orange Beach, had just beaten LSU 24-21 in Death Valley, and the game was not as close as the score.
Not only did Troy beat the pants off LSU in front of a national TV audience, the Trojans earned a reported $985,000 for its athletic programs while taking it to the home team. It’s reasonable to assume LSU was expecting a Homecoming win against the now 4-1 Trojans. They were favored by 20 and riding a 49-game winning streak against nonconference opponents, a streak which dated back to 2000.
“That wasn’t a fluke win,” Brown said. “We played physical, we ran the football, we ate up clock, our defense tackled. We swarmed to the football. I’m really proud of our guys.”
“I can’t speak for the other team, but I feel like we wanted it more the entire game,” said Brandon, an Orange Beach native and Gulf Shores High grad. “One of the last drives, we were just pounding them.”
Brandon is the only GSHS footballer to play D-I football in the school’s 17 years. His parents both graduated from Foley High and still live in Orange Beach (Dad Jeff is the sales manager for Swift Supply on Canal Rd. and is on the O.B. City Council. Mom Rae Ann is a CPA. Brother Chase is a GSHS senior).
A four year starter, Brandon was already on the Maxwell Award, Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award and Davey O’Brien Award watch lists entering this season. He was also the pre-season pick to repeat as the Sun Belt All-Conference First Team Quarterback.
He led Troy to its first 10 win season since joining the FBS last fall and will leave the program owning multiple Troy passing records and at least one national record – He is the current NCAA record holder with his 69.5 completion percentage as a freshman.
Brandon was named the Sun Belt Conference Offensive Player of the Week after completing 25-of-40 passes for 286 yards and rushing for the game-winning touchdown in Troy’s 27-24 victory at New Mexico State in its Sun Belt opener.
While his stats were not as gaudy against LSU, 157 yards on 16-of-28 passing, he did not have a turnover and managed the game with poise and confidence.
“He’s always had that ability to remain calm and remain loose,’’ his dad said on the eve of Troy’s home game against visiting South Alabama on Oct. 11.
“If you watch him in media interviews, he gives all the credit to the Troy team and that coaching staff,’’ added Jeff, who has not missed any of his son’s games behind center. “And he should. Defense. Offense. What a job they did. It all came together.’’
Brown said he knew Troy running back Jordan Chunn, a 2-star recruit, was potentially the best player on the field. And he was. Chunn ran for 191 yards and a touchdown on 30 carries.
Troy stunned the crowd of more than 99,000 in Tiger Stadium as it built a 17-0 lead in the third quarter and held off the Tigers for the program’s second-ever victory over a ranked opponent (No. 17 Missouri, 2004). Troy’s 10-0 lead at the half marked the first time since 2009 that LSU was held scoreless in the opening half of a non-conference game.
Brandon, who has already graduated with a degree in sport & fitness management, entered Troy as a legacy athlete. His uncle, Carey Christensen, played quarterback on Troy’s 1984 national championship squad.
He did not need to be part of the historic win at LSU to cement his own legacy at Troy. His 4-year resume speaks volumes. Still, a convincing win in Death Valley does add a bit of lagniappe to it all.
“Walking off that field, man, and seeing the fans in the stands who made the trip, to be able to send them home with a win is fantastic,” said Brandon.
Pictured: Brandon Silvers celebrating with his teammates, his dad and his coach after Troy’s historic win at LSU on Sept. 30.