Archive | MTSU Football

MTSU Football picked to finish 5th in C-USA

MTSU Football picked to finish 5th in C-USA

Posted on 15 July 2015 by Allen

Head coach Rick Stockstill

Middle Tennessee was picked to finish third in the East Division of C-USA in the 2015 Preseason Media Football poll released by the conference office Wednesday.

The poll was conducted by a panel of media members that cover C-USA schools.

Middle Tennessee was selected third in the East behind favorite WKU and Marshall. Florida Atlantic was picked fourth, followed by FIU, Old Dominion and Charlotte.

Louisiana Tech was the favorite of media voters to reach the C-USA title game for the second straight year. The Bulldogs were picked ahead of second-place Rice and UTEP. Southern Miss, North Texas and UTSA rounded out the media poll.The league’s 11th annual Championship game, pitting the champions of the East and West divisions, will be held Saturday, Dec. 5. The Blue Raiders will open the 2015 season at home against Jackson State Sept. 5. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 PM.

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MTSU-Bama to air on SEC Network

MTSU-Bama to air on SEC Network

Posted on 18 June 2015 by Allen

Bama1

Middle Tennessee’s non-conference football game at Alabama, Sept. 12, will be televised on the SEC Network with a 4 p.m. kickoff, as announced on the SEC Network Thursday.

Nine of the Blue Raiders’ 12 games are currently slated for television with the non-conference game at Illinois also expected to be aired.

Middle Tennessee also has four games scheduled to be televised on FoxSports, three on American Sports Network (ASN) and one on CBS SN.

All seats for the game in Tuscaloosa are $55. Tickets will be sold to the general public beginning Monday (June 22) through Wednesday, July 1. After July 1, tickets to the game will not be available through the Blue Raider Ticket Office.

The Raiders will likely be a pretty big underdog in Tuscaloosa but it should be a fun game.

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Three new bowl games to debut after 2015 College Football Season

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Three new bowl games to debut after 2015 College Football Season

Posted on 06 May 2015 by Allen

MTSU logo

Do you love college football? If so, you are in luck. The NCAA has approved three new bowl games. The Cure Bowl, Austin Bowl, and Arizona Bowl will all feature teams outside the “Power Five Conferences” next year. The only local team that could eventually play in one of these games is Western Kentucky or MTSU who play in Conference USA.

The Cure Bowl will be held in Orlando on Dec. 19, 2015. With the Cure Bowl Orlando is home to three bowl games. The game will draw attention to cancer awareness and feature teams from the American Athletic and Sun Belt conference. The Cure Bowl will air on the CBS Sports Network.

The Austin Bowl, which will probably get renamed will host American Athletic and Sun Belt conference teams in Austin, Texas. The date is not yet known and it’s thought that the game will not air on ESPN, but another network like NBC Sports or Fox Sports 1.

The Arizona Bowl, or Tucson Bowl will be held on Dec. 29th. The game will feature Conference USA and Mountain West teams. If a Conference USA or Mountain West school do not have enough teams eligible the Mid-American Conference will be considered for a team to fill-in. Arizona will host four postseason games next year with the addition of the Arizona Bowl (Fiesta Bowl, Cactus Bowl, College Football Playoff Championship).

Last season 5 new bowl games were added. Many believe the bowl games are getting watered down with 42 games being held. But if you are a college football fan more football is a good thing. But it is hard to get excited for two 6-6 programs playing each other that you haven’t really heard of.

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MTSU Football Tickets Now on Sale

MTSU Football Tickets Now on Sale

Posted on 13 April 2015 by Allen

MTSU logo

Coming off its third straight bowl eligible season, Middle Tennessee football is set for an exciting 2015 schedule that will kick-off at home on Sept. 5 and season tickets are on sale now. The Blue Raiders return 45 lettermen and 16 starters, including all-star candidates Kevin Byard and T.T. Barber.

The Blue Raiders will host Jackson State, Charlotte, Vanderbilt, FIU, Marshall and North Texas at Floyd Stadium. The Commodores will be coming to Murfreesboro for the first time in 95 years, Charlotte will be making their first-ever trip to Floyd Stadium, and the last time Marshall played in the ‘Boro fans were treated to a 51-49 last second win by the Raiders.

Season tickets can be ordered on-line at www.GoBlueRaiders.com/tickets or by calling the ticket office at 1-888-YES-MTSU or 615-898-5261.

Pricing for the 2015 season includes:
$125 for Sideline Reserved
$160 for Chair backs (requires BRAA donation)
$365 for Jeff Hendrix Stadium Club (requires BRAA donation)
$90 for Upper End zone General Admission
$99 for Group Sideline Reserved (+20)
$90 for Group Upper End Zone General Admission (+20)

Being a season ticket holder will provide the customer a significant discount on sideline reserved seats, postseason bowl game priority, and the ability to renew your seats every year. If you are a BRAA member you will also gain priority points for purchasing season tickets. There are also payment plans available including a six month option that starts April 15.

Invoices for 2015 football season tickets were mailed in early April and past season ticket holders can expect to receive them any day.

For more information or to purchase tickets contact the Blue Raider Ticket Office today. The ticket office is open Monday-Friday from 8:00 AM until 5:30 PM.

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Stockstill announces spring, camp dates

Stockstill announces spring, camp dates

Posted on 28 February 2015 by Allen

Head coach Rick Stockstill

As the 2015 season approaches, Middle Tennessee Head Coach Rick Stockstill has announced his spring practice and summer camp dates.

The Blue Raiders are currently in week two of mat drills. The 5 AM workouts, which comprise of agility and mental toughness drills, got underway Feb. 16. The team holds the workouts every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for three weeks beginning at 5:25 AM with the last one scheduled for March 6.

After a two-week break, Middle Tennessee will put the pads back on as spring practice will begin on March 20. The 15 practices will conclude with the annual Blue-White Spring Game on April 18 at 1 PM inside Floyd Stadium.

Following are the spring practice dates: March 20, 21, 24, 26, 28, 31, April 2, 4, 7, 9, 11, 14, 15, 16, and 18. Scrimmages will be held on April 4, 11, and of course 18. Also, don’t forget the annual Lettermen’s Golf Tournament that will take place on April 17 at Indian Hills.

Stockstill welcomes back 45 letterman, 16 starters, and six new mid-term signees. The Blue Raiders return eight starters on an offense that ranked 30th nationally in rushing and 32nd in third down percentage.

Defensively, Middle Tennessee has eight starters back including senior stars T.T. Barber and Kevin Byard. Barber, despite battling injuries, led the team in tackles with 72 stops, while Byard added 66 and a team-leading six interceptions.

Stockstill also released his summer camp schedule for 2015 and attending is easy by signing up online at CoachStockstillCamps.com. Following are this year’s dates:

Elite Camps: May 31st, June 6th & 7th
Youth Camp: June 1st – 4th
Friday Night Lights Skills Camp: June 5th
Big Man & Kicking Camp: June 12th
QB/WR: June 13th
Friday Night Showcase: July 17th
7-on-7 Passing Camp: July 18th
OL / DL Camp: July 18th

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Raiders ink 24 on National Signing Day

Raiders ink 24 on National Signing Day

Posted on 04 February 2015 by Allen

MTSU logo

Middle Tennessee head football coach Rick Stockstill announced today the signing of 24 players to scholarship agreements on National Signing Day.

“We filled our needs with 12 defensive players, 11 offensive guys and a punter,” added Stockstill. “We went into this being able to sign 21 and then we had some spots open up and we were able to bring in 24. I wish we would have signed another linebacker but I am very pleased with this class because we are bringing in some talented guys.

“We have a great product to sell at Middle Tennessee. We graduate 97 percent of our players, go to bowl games, and play on television basically each week. You can do it all at Middle Tennessee which makes getting a class like this a lot easier.”

The Blue Raiders inked players from eight different states with nine coming from Georgia, five from Tennessee, three from Mississippi, two from Florida and Alabama, and one each from South Carolina, Illinois and Michigan. Overall, 18 signees come from the high school ranks, five are junior college transfers, and one is a four-year transfer.

Stockstill and his staff signed 11 players on offense. The Blue Raiders added four linemen, three wide receivers, three running backs, and a quarterback.

Defensively, the Blue Raiders stocked up on linemen and secondary help among the 12 players signed. The staff inked three defensive ends, three cornerbacks, three safeties, two linebackers and a defensive tackle.

“We needed an experienced pass rusher and Peter Bailey gives us that. Defensive end was an immediate need as was cornerback where I thought we added some length, size and speed.”

Middle Tennessee also signed a punter in Matt Bonadies who is rated among the best in the nation.

The Blue Raiders, who return 16 starters next year, will begin spring practice on March 20 with the Blue-White Spring Game set for April 18. Mat drills will get underway on Feb. 16.

SIGNEE BIOS

DESMOND ANDERSON
Running Back, 5-10, 174, Fr.
Pacolet, SC (Broome HS)

High School: Lettered in football, basketball, and track at Broome High School … Named the Region 3-AAA Player of the Year in 2014 while also earning all-state honors … Voted the team’s Offensive Player of the Year as a senior … Was among the state’s rushing leaders with over 2,100 yards and 28 touchdowns (10.7 yards a carry) … Named the Spartanburg Herald Journal and the WSPA Channel 7 Player of the Week against Chester High School when he returned a punt for a touchdown and rushed for 349 yards and six touchdowns … Crowned the state long jump champion in 2014 … Was all-state in track in 2013 and 2014 while earning all-region honors in 2012, 2013, and 2014 … Played football for Coach Jett Turner.

Personal: Desmond Ronnell Anderson … Parents: Demetrius and Anita Anderson … Born: 4/28/97 … Cousin Charone Peake is a wide receiver at Clemson.

PETER BAILEY (@_JustDoIt22)
Defensive End, 6-4, 255, Jr.
Kissimmee, FL (Hinds CC)

Hinds CC: Rated a three-star recruit by 247Sports … Earned first team all-state honors after collecting 61 tackles, seven TFLs, 6.5 sacks and a forced fumble in 2014 … As a freshman he turned in 38 tackles, including two sacks, nine TFLs and a forced fumble … Named to Who’s Who among student’s in American Community and Junior Colleges.

High School: Played at Osceola High School.

Personal: Peter A. Bailey … Parents: Peter Bailey Sr. and Kimberly Cone … Born: 12/17/93.

NICK BEASLEY (@HumbleBeas_11)
Safety, 6-2, 205, So.
Canton, MS (Copiah-Lincoln CC)

Copiah-Lincoln: Redshirted in 2013 and started in 2014 at Copiah-Lincoln … Registered 44 tackles, a sack and one interception in 2014 … Had 11 tackles in win over Jones County.

High School: Lettered in football, baseball, and basketball at St. Joseph Catholic … Ended his career with 216 total tackles, 14 interceptions, six fumble recoveries and three fumbles … As a senior he had 72 stops and five interceptions, while adding 66 tackles as a junior to go with five interceptions … Also rushed for 733 yards on 64 carries and nine touchdowns his last two years combined … As a junior he tallied 1,163 receiving yards on 57 catches and 12 scores, then had 19 receptions for 535 yards as a senior.

Personal: Nicholas Brandon Beasley … Parents: Stan and Melba Beasley … Born: 5/22/95.

MATT BONADIES (@matthewbonadies)
Punter, 6-1, 195, Fr.
Buford, GA (Buford HS)

High School: A three-year starter for Buford High School where he was part of three straight state championships … 2014 Class AAA first team all-state … Owns the school scoring record, longest made field goal (48) and best average kickoff yardage … Selected as one of two kickers for the 2013 Georgia Rising Seniors Junior Bowl, recognized as 2012 Region Specialist of the Year, 1st Team All Region, 2013 2nd Team All-State, Gwinnett All-County Team Kicker, Class AAA 1st Team Offense Kicker in the State of Georgia, National Kickoff Champion Class of 2015 (Chris Sailer), Georgia Nike Camp Kickoff Champion (Chris Sailer), Georgia Nike Camp Finalist (Chris Sailer), 2013 Vegas Event Last Man Standing Field Goal Champion Class of 2015 (Chris Sailer), and 1st Place Punter Class of 2015 (Kornblue Kicking) … As a senior he made 5 of 7 field goals, had a punting average of 47.8 yards and 88 percent of his kickoffs were touchbacks … Hit a 43-yard field goal to help Buford win the 2012 state championship over St. Pius, and hit a 48 and 42-yard field goal in the third round of the playoffs that season … Also lettered in soccer at Buford … Played football for Coach Jess Simpson.

Personal: Matthew Gregory Bonadies … Parents: Gregory and Debbie Bonadies … Born: 12/23/96.

CHANDLER BREWER (@CBrew_97)
Offensive Line, 6-6, 310, Fr.
Florence, AL (Florence HS)

High School: A three-year letterman and starter in football … Helped lead Florence High School to an 11-3 record and a spot in the semifinals of the state championship his senior year while earning second team all-state honors by the ASWA … Was also first team all-region in 6A … Earned honorable mention all-state recognition as a junior … Garnered first team all-region and all-county honors in 2012 and 2013 … Played for Coach Jason Wallace.

Personal: Chandler Wade Brewer … Parent: Darrell and Sue Anne Brewer … Born: 6/12/97.

KHALIL BROOKS (@khalil_brooks7)
Cornerback, 5-11, 185, Fr.
Atlanta, GA (Benjamin E. Mays HS)

High School: Lettered in football and track at Benjamin E. Mays High School … Earned first team all-region honors as a senior after registering 92 tackles, three interceptions, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries … Had 76 tackles as a junior on way to earning second team all-region honors … Was a state participant in the 4×100 in track … Member of the Beta Club, National Honor Society and Top 10 Percent.

Personal: Khalil Hasaan Brooks … Parent: Mary Brooks … Born: 7/7/97.

ROD DUCKSWORTH
Wide Receiver, 6-0, 175, Jr.
Taylorsville, MS (Jones County JC)

Jones County: A two-year starter at Jones County … Had 50 receptions for 851 yards and seven touchdowns as a sophomore (17.0 yards a catch) on his way to earning first team all-state and first team all-region honors … Finished runner-up in the Player of the South voting … Registered 20 catches for 346 yards and a touchdown as a freshman.

High School: As a senior at Taylorsville High School, he had 84 receptions for 1,857 yards and 14 touchdowns while averaging 22.1 yard a catch … Earned first team all-state honors and played in the North-South Mississippi All-Star game.

Personal: Rodregus Deshad Ducksworth … Parent: Mary Ducksworth … Born: 9/3/93.

MARTEZ DURRAH (@coo_as_koolAid)
Safety, 6-1, 182, Fr.
Chattanooga, TN (East Hamilton HS)

High School: Lettered in football, basketball and track at East Hamilton High School … As a senior he tallied 65 tackles, four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries for touchdowns and an interception … Voted first team all-region and all-area … Was rated No. 6 on the Times-Free Press Preseason Dynamite Dozen Team … Had 37 tackles, including seven TFLs as a junior … Played for Coach Ted Gatewood.

Personal: Martez DeShean Durrah … Parents: Joseph Durrah and Nicole Bradley … Born: 5/31/96 … Nickname: Tez.

JOSH FANNIN (@JoshFannin78)
Offensive Line, 6-3, 310, Fr.
Hoschton, GA (Mill Creek HS)

High School: Four-year letterman in football and wrestled for two years at Mill Creek High School … Started two years in football … Named first team all-county and first team all-region his junior year and helped lead his team to a state quarterfinal appearance as a sophomore … Competed in the National Underclassmen All-American Game in Myrtle Beach, SC … Played for Coach Shannon Jarvis.

Personal: Joshua Ryan Fannin … Parents: John and Natalie Fannin; Paula Fannin (mother) … Born: 1/24/96.

DEANDRE FORD (@TheReal_Ford)
Offensive Line, 6-6, 340, Fr.
Chicago, IL (Creekside (GA) HS)

High School: Lettered three years in football, wrestling and basketball at Joliet Catholic Academy in Chicago then lettered in football his only season at Creekside High School … Earned first team all-state, all-region and all-county honors in 2014 … Posted 60 pancakes and allowed just one sack in helping lead Creekside to the second round of the state playoffs … Played for Coach Olten Downs.

Personal: DeAndre Nathaniel Ford … Parent: Kevin and Shannon Ford … Born: 9/16/97.

RUBEN GARNETT (@RubeG_D1)
Running Back, 5-9, 175, Fr.
Hepzibah, GA (Aquinas HS)

High School: Rated a three-star recruit by 247Sports and Rivals … Was the 2014 FFN All-CSRA Offensive Player of the Year after compiling over 2,000 rushing yards (27 touchdowns) and earned Class A first team all-state honors … Rushed for 1,928 yards and 22 touchdowns, and was tabbed the Player of the Year and first team all-state by the Georgia Sports Writers Association as a junior … Finished his career with 5,465 all-purpose yards and 62 touchdowns to go with 171 tackles, 12 TFLs, five interceptions, and six fumble recoveries on defense … Played for Coach James Leonard.

Personal: Ruben Cornelius Garnett … Parent: Pamela Garnett … Born: 9/24/96.

MYLES HARGES (@MylesHarges)
Linebacker, 6-2, 220, Jr.
Grenada, MS (Itawamba CC)

Itawamba: A two-year starter at Itawamba … As a sophomore he turned in 73 tackles, 12 TFLs, seven sacks and two pass breakups … Earned second team all-state accolades and first team all-region recognition in 2014 … Finished with 52 tackles, five TFLs, and two sacks as a freshman.

High School: An all-state performer at Grenada High School where he registered 95 tackles, nine sacks, and 15 TFLs as a senior.

Personal: Myles Harges … Parent: Johnnie and Latonia Johnson … Born: 6/16/94.

DONTAVIOUS HEARD (@D_heard3times)
Cornerback, 6-1, 190, Jr.
Atlanta, GA (Phoenix College)

Phoenix College: As a sophomore he played cornerback and also saw some time at wide receiver for Phoenix … Finished with 32 tackles and nine pass breakups on defense and had four receptions for 82 yards and two touchdowns on offense … Was a backup free safety and started one game at receiver in 2013 before ending season with a hand injury in early October … Attended Iowa Western in 2012 and redshirted.

High School: Attended Martin Luther King High School in Atlanta, GA where he lettered in football.

Personal: Dontavious Heard … Grandparents: Boyd and Catherine Heard … Born: 11/15/92.

MALIK MANCIEL (@Manciel93)
Defensive Tackle, 6-3, 265, Fr.
Detroit, MI (Florence (AL) HS)

High School: Rated a three-star recruit by Rivals … Registered 99 tackles his senior year at Florence High School to go with 29.5 TFLs, 7.5 sacks, nine pass breakups and 19 pressures … Named Class 6A first team all-state in 2014 … Ended his career with 231.5 tackles, 67.5 TFLs, 19 sacks, 30 pressures, 10 pass breakups, three blocked field goals, and an interception … Played for Coach J.B. Wallace.

Personal: Malik Rashod Manciel … Parent: Mechelle Manciel … Born: 2/15/97.

I’TAVIUS MATHERS (@I_Train5)
Running Back, 5-11, 190, r-Jr.
Murfreesboro, TN (Blackman HS)

2014: Played in 12 games and had one start … Was third on the team in rushing with 290 yards to go with three touchdowns … Also added six catches for 49 yards … Rushed for a season-high 57 yards each in wins over Louisiana and Memphis … Had 48 yards on the ground and a touchdown against Auburn, while adding 38 rushing yards against LSU.

2013: Played in 12 games with one start at running back … Led the team with 563 rushing yards … Fourth on team with three rushing TDs … Also caught 10 passes for 83 yards … Earned second letter … vs. Southeast Missouri (9/7/13): Saw his first action of the year and rushed four times for 56 yards and his second career TD … at Texas (9/14/13): Rushed four times for 14 yards … at 1 Alabama (9/28/13): Rushed twice for 8 yards … at Auburn (10/5/13): Rushed four times for 28 yards and caught a pass for -1 yards … vs. 9 Texas A&M (10/12/13): Carried the ball eight times for 31 yards and caught a pass for 21 yards … vs. 6 LSU (10/19/13): Rushed 12 times for 51 yards and caught a pass for no gain … vs. Idaho (10/26/13): Set career highs in rushing attempts (14) and yards (138), highlighted by a 64-yard TD jaunt … vs. Arkansas (11/9/13): Made his first career start and rushed 12 times for 44 yards … vs. Troy (11/16/13): Rushed eight times for 59 yards, including a 45-yard run … vs. 8 Missouri (11/23/13): Rushed seven times for a team-high 66 yards, including a 45-yard TD, and had two catches for 14 yards … at Mississippi State (11/28/13): Ran the ball seven times for 10 yards … Music City Bowl vs. Georgia Tech (12/30/13): Gained 58 rushing yards on 13 carries and posted career highs in receptions (5) and receiving yards (49) … Did not play in the season opener while recovering from an ankle injury … Spring 2013: Received the Eli Manning Award, presented to the most improved offensive player of the spring.

2012: Played in every game as a backup RB and on special teams … On the season, had 208 rushing yards on 27 carries with one TD and returned three kicks for 20 yards … Earned first letter … vs. Central Arkansas (9/1): Rushed four times for 20 yards in his college debut … vs. UTEP (9/8): Rushed for 26 yards on just three carries and caught a three-yard pass … vs. 12 Texas (9/15): Ran three times for 18 yards … at Tulane (9/22): Ran six times for 28 yards and caught a pass for 6 yards … at 1 Alabama (9/29): Rushed once for 8 yards … vs. Auburn (10/13): Ran once for 4 yards and returned a kick for 14 yards … at 6 Georgia (11/3): Two rushes for eight yards … vs. Vanderbilt (11/10): Rushed once for no gain … vs. 24 Mississippi State (11/24): Returned a kickoff for no gain … BBVA Compass Bowl vs. Pitt (1/5): Led the Rebels with a season-high 96 rushing yards on just six attempts, including a 62-yard TD in the fourth quarter … Also returned one kick for 6 yards … Member of the 2012 signing class.

High school: Named The Tennessean’s Player of the Year as a junior and senior and was named to the publication’s Dream Team in 2011 … Named district and county MVP in 2011 … Earned Tennessee Gatorade and Old Spice Player of the Year honors his junior year … A SuperPrep All-Region selection and rated the No. 8 player in Tennessee … Earned Tennessee Class AAA Mr. Football honors … Listed No. 84 on Mobile Press-Register Super Southeast 120 list … Rated the No. 20 running back in the nation and the No. 7 player in Tennessee by Rivals.com … Listed as the No. 35 running back in the nation by Scout.com … Rated the No. 42 running back in the nation and No. 20 player in the state by ESPN.com … Rushed for 2,253 yards and 27 touchdowns as a senior after rushing for 2,614 yards and 29 TDs as a junior … Team finished 8-4 his senior year and advanced to the state playoffs … Coached in high school by Philip Shadowen.

Personal: I’Tavius Von Tez Mathers … Parents: Ira Mathers Jr. and Gale Jones … Born: 11/19/93 … Major: Liberal Studies.

CHRIS MELTON (@CJ_So_300)
Linebacker, 6-1, 205, Fr.
Leesburg, GA (Lee County HS)

High School: Lettered in football and track for four years at Lee County High School … 2014 first team all-region and first team all-Albany Herald … 2013 second team all-region … Had 85 tackles, seven pass breakups and five blocked kicks in 2014 while collecting 87 stops, four pass breakups and six blocked kicks in 2013 … Played for Coach Dean Fabrizio.

Personal: Christopher Chanton Melton … Parents: Christopher Melton Sr. and Denice Preston … Born: 1/12/97.

JOVANTE MOFFATT (@Jovante_Moffatt)
Cornerback, 6-0, 190, Fr.
Union City, TN (Union City HS)

High School: Lettered in football, basketball, baseball and track at Union City High School … Helped lead Union City to back-to-back state championships in 2013 and 2014 … Tabbed first team all-state, all-region and all-district as a senior while also grabbing Defensive Player of the Year honors … Played in the TACA East-West All-Star game … Credited with 50 solo stops, six interceptions, and three forced fumbles to go with 890 yards rushing and 18 touchdowns his senior year … Voted the Defensive Player of the Game at the 2013 and 2014 state championship games … Also had four interceptions as a junior … Played for Coach Darren Bowling.

Personal: Jovante Dominique Moffatt … Legal Guardian: Priscilla Moffatt (aunt) … Born: 12/25/96.

TRAE PHILPOTS (@jamaltjp)
Defensive End, 6-4, 225, Fr.
Fairburn, GA (Creekside HS)

High School: Lettered in football, basketball and baseball at Creekside High School … In 2014, led Creekside with 64 tackles, 18 sacks and 22 TFLs … Earned all-state and all-region honors as a senior … Played for Coach Olten Downs.

Personal: Trae Jamal Philpots … Parent: Gary Philpots and Ida Mae Philpots … Born: 5/7/97.

TYSHUN RENDER (@TyshunR_Iam)
Defensive End, 6-4, 220, Fr.
Newnan, GA (Westlake HS)

High School: Lettered in football and basketball at Westlake High School … Helped lead Westlake (10-2) to a region championship in 2014 after collecting 55 tackles, nine sacks and 17 TFLs … Earned first team all-region honors as a defensive lineman and second team accolades as a tight end … Played for Coach Bryan Love.

Personal: Tyshun Scott Render … Parents: Scotty and Lorrie Render … Born: 3/28/97.

JONATHAN ROTH (@JoRothh)
Offensive Line, 6-5, 280, Fr.
Knoxville, TN (Fulton HS)

High School: Was part of three straight 4A State Championship teams while ending his career with 36 consecutive wins at Fulton High School … Earned Class 4A first team all-state honors by the TSWA in 2014 … Also named all-PrepXtra, all-region, and all-district … Played in the TACA East vs West All-Star game … As a junior he tallied 45 tackles, three sacks, caused five fumbles and recorded eight TFLs in earning all-state and all-region honors … Played for Coach Rob Black.

Personal: Jonathan Sexton Roth … Parents: Jamie and Sofia Roth … Born: 4/18/97.

ISIAH UPTON (@IsiahUpton2)
Wide Receiver, 6-0, 185, Fr.
Nashville, TN (East Nashville Magnet HS)

High School: Rated a three-star recruit and the No. 44 player in the state by 247Sports … Career numbers were 4,823 yards passing, 44 touchdown passes, 2,327 rushing yards and 25 touchdowns … Earned TSWA first team all-state honors in 2013 and 2014 … Was two-time all-city, all-district, all-midstate, and all-metro … Played nine games his senior year before suffering a season-ending knee injury … Through nine games he accounted for 2,098 yards and 27 touchdowns … As a junior, he had 2,950 yards of total offense to go with 25 touchdowns in leading East Nashville to a 9-3 record and second round of the 3A playoffs … Lettered four years in football and basketball … Played for Coach Brian Waite.

Personal: Isiah Upton … Parents: Roger Evan and Yolanda Upton … Born: 2/15/97.

JOHN URZUA (@johnurzua9)
(Urr-Zoo-uhh)
Quarterback, 6-3, 170, Fr.
Suwanee, GA (North Gwinnett HS)

High School: 2014 second team all-state, first team all-region and voted the Gwinnett County Quarterback of the Year … Completed 194 of 317 passes for 3,142 yards and 34 touchdowns his senior year for North Gwinnett … In 2014 season opener against No. 1 McEachern he tossed seven touchdowns (third most in Georgia football history), completed 38 of 48 passes, and threw for 498 yards to lead the upset win … Also had 353 yards passing and seven touchdowns in win over Duluth … As a junior he filled in for the starter and completed 48 of 74 passes for 660 yards and six touchdowns … Had a total of 40 touchdown passes for his career … Lettered four years in football … Played for Coach Bob Sphire.

Personal: John A. Urzua … Parents: Alejandro Urzua and Lindsey Page … Born: 4/29/97.

VERNON WALKER (@taz_rich)
Safety, 6-0, 175, Fr.
Orlando, FL (Dr. Phillips HS)

High School: Rated a three-star recruit by 247Sports … Lettered in football and track at Dr. Phillips High School … Named third team Class 8A all-state in 2014 by the Associated Press … Also on the all-Sentinel team … Played for Coach Rodney Wells … Nickname is “Taz”.

Personal: Vernon Lewis Walker … Parent: Vernon Walker … Born: 9/20/96.

TERELLE WEST (@terellewest_)
Wide Receiver, 5-10, 185, Fr.
Pinson, AL (Clay-Chalkville HS)

High School: Rated a three-star recruit by 247Sports … Ended his career as Clay-Chalkville’s all-time leading rusher with 3,53 yards … Named second team all-state by the Alabama Sports Writers Association in 2014 after helping lead Clay-Chalkville to a state championship and rushing for 1,428 yards and 19 touchdowns … Against Niceville (Fla.) on ESPNU he rushed 12 times for 116 yards and a touchdown and had ESPN SportsCenters No. 1 Play of the Day when he ran over a safety on his 44-yard touchdown run … Was selected to play in the 2014 Alabama-Mississippi All-Star game … As a junior he rushed for 1,181 yards and had a 9.2-yard per carry average (130 attempts) … He rushed for 903 yards on 101 carries as a sophomore … Also lettered in basketball … Played football for Coach Jerry Hood.

Personal: Terelle Lee West … Parent: Angel Wedgeworth … Born: 1/15/97.

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MTSU announces 2015 Football Schedule

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MTSU announces 2015 Football Schedule

Posted on 03 February 2015 by Allen

Head coach Rick Stockstill

In what may be the most challenging schedule in Middle Tennessee history, the Blue Raiders will face five 2014 bowl teams, host neighboring rival Vanderbilt for the first time in 95 years, and play three games against the Power 5.

The Blue Raiders’ 2015 schedule is being jointly announced today by Conference USA and Director of Athletics Chris Massaro.

“I think this is the best home schedule we have ever had at Middle Tennessee,” said Massaro. “It should be very exciting for our fans as we host local rival Vanderbilt for the first time since 1920 and Marshall, who ended the year ranked No. 22 nationally. Along with a tough non-conference slate we will face our normal challenging C-USA schedule. Last year our league had the best bowl record in the country but I am confident our team will be ready.”

The Blue Raiders’ 101st season of football will include home dates against Jackson State, Charlotte, Vanderbilt, FIU, Marshall and North Texas. The road contests will see the Blue Raiders facing Alabama, Illinois, WKU, Louisiana Tech, FAU and UTSA.

The 2015 alignment will feature seven teams in the East Division and six teams in the West Division. Charlotte, FIU, Florida Atlantic, Marshall, Middle Tennessee, Old Dominion and WKU comprise the East Division, while Louisiana Tech, North Texas, Rice, Southern Miss, UTEP and UTSA make up the West Division.

Each school in the West Division will play every team in its division once for five games, while playing three cross-over opponents from the opposite division. Three schools in the East Division will play every team in its division once for six games, while playing two cross-over opponents from the opposite division. Four schools in the East Division will play five opponents in its division once for five games, while playing three cross-over opponents from the opposite division. East Division schools playing five division games were randomly selected by a computer scheduling application and two intra-division matchups in the East will not take place this season (Charlotte-WKU and Middle Tennessee-Old Dominion).

The 2015 schedule has 13 playing weeks, which provides for one open date for each team. The last two seasons were 14-week schedules, providing two bye weeks per school. The 2015 schedule is again a one-year model, with Charlotte replacing UAB in the East Division. The league championship game is set for December 5 on ESPN or ESPN2.

The season will get underway on Saturday Sept. 5 at home against Jackson State. The Blue Raiders and Tigers have not played since 1990 in the opening round of the I-AA playoffs (MT won 28-7).

The Blue Raiders will then hit the road to face college football power Alabama in Tuscaloosa on Sept. 12. It will be the third meeting against the Tide and first since 2005.

Middle Tennessee will then open Conference USA play at home against new football member Charlotte. The Blue Raiders and 49ers will battle on Sept. 19 before heading to Champaign, IL on Sept. 26 to face Big Ten foe Illinois.

The Blue Raiders will return home on Oct. 3 to face SEC member Vanderbilt which will be their third game against the Power 5 in the first five weeks. The Commodores will be playing in Murfreesboro for the first time since 1920 and it will be the first meeting between the two schools since 2005. MT has won the last three in a row.

In what will be a very challenging three-game stretch, Middle Tennessee will head 100 miles up the road to take on rival WKU on Oct. 10. The last four meetings between the two schools have all been decided by five points or less and two games went to overtime.

The Blue Raiders will then return home to face FIU on Oct. 17, a team they carry a 4-1 mark against at Floyd Stadium.

MT will play its eighth straight week on Oct. 24 when it travels to 2014 West Division Champion Louisiana Tech. It will be the first meeting between the Raiders and Bulldogs since 2000 and the first trip to Ruston since 1999.

Following the only open date of the season, the Blue Raiders host league champion Marshall on Nov. 7. The last time they met in Floyd Stadium was 2013 when Middle Tennessee threw a last second touchdown pass to upset the Herd on national television, 51-49.

The Blue Raiders will then head to Boca Raton on Nov. 14 to face Florida Atlantic before hosting North Texas on Nov. 21.

The Blue Raiders will conclude the regular season on Nov. 28 at UTSA. MT will be making its first visit to San Antonio.

2015 MIDDLE TENNESSEE FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
Sept. 5 JACKSON STATE
Sept. 12 at Alabama
Sept. 19 CHARLOTTE
Sept. 26 at Illinois
Oct. 3 VANDERBILT
Oct. 10 at WKU
Oct. 17 FIU
Oct. 24 at Louisiana Tech
Nov. 7 MARSHALL
Nov. 14 at Florida Atlantic
Nov. 21 NORTH TEXAS
Nov. 28 at UTSA

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Mathers transfers to MTSU

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Mathers transfers to MTSU

Posted on 17 January 2015 by Allen

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Middle Tennessee Head Coach Rick Stockstill announced today that former Blackman High School and Ole Miss running back I’Tavius Mathers will be joining the Blue Raider football program. Mathers will sit out the 2015 season due to NCAA transfer rules and be eligible to play in 2016.

Mathers, who will have one year of eligibility at MT, lettered three years for the Rebels as a backup running back. The former Blaze standout led Ole Miss in rushing as a sophomore with 563 yards and three touchdowns, then added 290 yards on the ground in 2014.

In high school, Mathers was the Tennessean Player of the Year as a junior and senior for Blackman to go with Gatorade and Old Spice Player of the Year honors his junior season. Mathers rushed for 2,253 yards and 27 touchdowns as a senior after compiling 2,614 yards and 29 scores as a junior.

Mathers will begin classes at Middle Tennessee on Tuesday.

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5 Raiders named to All C-USA Team

5 Raiders named to All C-USA Team

Posted on 20 December 2014 by Allen

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Phil Steele announced the publications 2014 All-Conference teams today and Middle Tennessee had five players recognized with one first team member, two second team picks and two third team selections.

The Blue Raiders’ first team player was safety Kevin Byard who enjoyed another productive season leading the defense. The junior from Lithonia, GA, had 66 tackles and led the team and conference with six interceptions. Byard, an honorable mention pick a year ago, also had four pass breakups, two forced fumbles and a blocked kick.

Second team selections for the Blue Raiders were offensive tackle Isaiah Anderson and linebacker T.T. Barber. Anderson (Franklin, TN) started all 12 games while anchoring a line that allowed the Raiders to rush for 243.9 yards a contest in conference play.

Barber (Colquitt,GA) led Middle Tennessee with 72 tackles to go with 7.5 TFLs, two interceptions, two forced fumbles and a sack.

Offensive tackle Darius Johnson and defensive end Shubert Bastien earned third team honors. Johnson, out of Orlando, FL, started all 12 games and led the line with 942 snaps played while leading a line that helped produce seven 200-yard or more rushing games.

Bastien (Riviera Beach, FL), who started all 12 games, enjoyed a career year as a senior. He posted 38 tackles, team-best 10.0 TFLs, 5.5 sacks, four hurries and a blocked kick.
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MTSU names permanent captains

MTSU names permanent captains

Posted on 05 December 2014 by Allen

Head coach Rick Stockstill

Middle Tennessee Head Coach Rick Stockstill announced today permanent captains for the Blue Raiders in 2014. Offensive tackle Isaiah Anderson, running back Reggie Whatley, defensive end Shubert Bastien, and linebacker Leighton Gasque were honored as the ninth group of permanent captains in the FBS era at Middle Tennessee.

The team voted on the four captains and Coach Stockstill made the announcement during a recent team meeting.

“This is the ultimate honor when your teammates make you a permanent captain for the season,” said Stockstill. “These four guys have meant a lot to this program and all are very deserving. It’s not just your play on the field but the way you conduct yourself off the field and how you lead and push your teammates. When your peers give you a vote for the way you practice every day and compete on the field and in the classroom there is not a better honor out there.”

Permanent Captains:
2006: Eugene Gross, Jonathan Harris, Clint Marks, Justin Rainey
2007: Tavares Jones, DeMarco McNair, Bradley Robinson, Erik Walden
2008: Joe Craddock, Wes Hofacker, Ivon Hickmon, Trevor Jenkins
2009: Danny Carmichael, Desmond Gee, Patrick Honeycutt, Brandon Perry, Alex Suber
2010: Mark Fisher, Jeremy Kellem, Dwight Smith, Phillip Tanner
2011: Marquise Branton, Colin Boss, Derrick Crumpton, Arness Ikner
2012: Anthony Amos, Benny Cunningham, Micah James, Omar McLendon, Jeff Murphy
2013: Craig Allen, Logan Kilgore, Jimmy Staten, Josh Walker
2014: Isaiah Anderson, Reggie Whatley, Shubert Bastien, Leighton Gasque

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UTEP tops MTSU 24-21

UTEP tops MTSU 24-21

Posted on 30 November 2014 by Allen

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Middle Tennessee and UTEP played like two teams battling for an automatic bowl berth in the regular-season finale for both teams at the Sun Bowl Saturday night.

In the end, an untimely turnover in the waning minutes left Middle Tennessee (6-6, 5-3) playing the waiting game following a 24-21 setback against the Miners (7-5, 5-3).

C-USA has five automatic bowl tie-ins and five league members with seven wins. Three additional teams are bowl eligible with six wins. MT and UTEP were virtually playing for one of the automatic spots.

Trailing 24-21 with less than two minutes remaining, MT appeared to be driving toward a game-tying or winning score; however, disaster struck on a second-and-goal play from the 7 with 1:31 remaining. Quarterback Austin Grammer’s pass was tipped and intercepted by Jameel Erving to thwart the scoring attempt.

The final quarter was filled with twists and turn as the lead was exchanged between the two teams.

MT rushed for 259 yards and had 358 yards total offense. Grammer led the ground attack with 106 yards on 12 carries. Shane Tucker added 101 yards on 20 carries and two touchdowns.

Grammer was 9-of-16 for 99 yards passing with one interception.

Aaron Jones led UTEP’s ground attack with 147 yards on 29 carries and one touchdown.

After a tight first half that saw MT grab a 14-10 lead at intermission ball control and time of possession was a prevalent theme in the third quarter. Both teams had long, time-consuming drives to open the second half but UTEP’s ended with points and MT’s did not.

The Blue Raiders received the ball to open the third quarter and drove 57 yards to the UTEP 18 before the drive stalled and Cody Clark’s field goal attempt was short.

UTEP began its opening drive of the second half at its 18 with 8:51 remaining. It put together an impressive 13-play drive and regained the lead when Aaron Jones scored from the 7 to put his team in front, 17-14, with 1:05 remaining in the fame.

Grammer’s dual-threat ability has benefitted the Blue Raiders this season and that was the case once again at UTEP. Facing third-and-5 from the 47 on the ensuing drive, Grammer rushed 37 yards to the 10 to keep the drive alive. He capped the nine-play, 71-yard drive with a 3-yard scamper. Clark’s extra point put the Blue Raiders ahead 21-17 with 11:44 remaining.

The Miners would not go quietly. Quarterback Jameill Showers capped a 12-play drive with a 5-yard rushing touchdown to shift the lead back in their favor, 24-21, with 6:19 remaining.

It proved to be the winning margin.

Defense for both teams played well and controlled the first half.

MT owned a 14-10 lead at intermission following Tucker’s second touchdown of the half. Tucker capped a six-play drive with a 1-yard plunge. Cody Clark’s point after gave the Blue Raiders a 14-10 lead with 3:34 remaining in the half.

The Blue Raiders jumped out in front 7-0 when Tucker capped a short scoring drive with a 4-yard touchdown less than four minutes into the game.

UTEP came back with 10 unanswered points. The Miners got a 34-yard field goal from Jay Mattox to pull to within 7-3 with 5:53 remaining in the first quarter. UTEP extended the lead to 10-7 when quarterback Jameill Showers found Aaron Jones for a 72-yard touchdown on a big third-down conversion with 14:06 remaining in the half.

The score remained 10-7 until late in the half when Parker hit paydirt for the second time.

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Blue Raiders fall at Florida Atlantic

Blue Raiders fall at Florida Atlantic

Posted on 15 November 2014 by Allen

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A fast start wasn’t enough to spark Middle Tennessee to victory against FIU here Saturday afternoon.

The Blue Raiders looked like a fresh team playing just its second game in four weeks after vaulting to a 21-3 lead early in the second quarter, but FIU stormed back to stun Middle Tennessee, 38-28.

The loss overshadowed a career effort from receiver Ed Batties, who hauled in eight receptions for 110 yards – both career highs – and two touchdowns.

Quarterback Austin Grammer was 21-of-33 for 286 yards and three touchdowns, but he also threw three interceptions.

FIU scored a season-high 38 points turned five Blue Raider turnovers into 21 points in the comeback win.

Jeremiah Bryson led a MT ground game that accounted for 142 yards with 37 and a touchdown.

It appeared as though Middle Tennessee would run away with the game at the outset.

Middle Tennessee was dominant early when the Blue Raiders vaulted to a 21-3 lead.

After Kevin Byard forced a fumble that was recovered by Trey Wafford, Grammer connected with Batties for an 18-yard touchdown. Cody Clark’s point after provided a 7-0 lead with 5:10 remaining in the first quarter.

It would be the beginning of a big day for Batties.

FIU came back with a 43-yard field goal from Austin Taylor on its next drive to pull to within 7-3 with 3:46 remaining in the quarter.

Grammer threw his second touchdown of the quarter as Middle Tennessee answered on its next drive. Shane Tucker hauled in a pass out of the backfield and sprinted 28 yards to paydirt. Clark’s extra point was once again true and the Blue Raiders owned a 14-3 lead with 1:37 to play in the opening frame.

Everything was clicking for the Blue Raiders. The defense held the Golden Panthers to just nine yards and no first downs in the first 15 minutes.

Grammer stayed hot, finding Batties for a 37-yard score on the Blue Raiders’ first possession of the second quarter. It was Grammer’s third touchdown pass and Batties’ second scoring reception of the game and gave MT a seemingly commanding 21-3 cushion.

Suddenly, momentum shifted as FIU scored 14 unanswered points in the final 3:03 of the half to pull to within 21-17. The Golden Panthers’ momentum ran into the second half as they scored two touchdowns in the 7:36 of the third quarter to go ahead 31-21 on the strength of 28 unanswered points.

Bryson finally stopped the FIU run when he pounded in from the 10 to pull the Blue Raiders to within 31-28 to cap a quick, three-play, 45-yard scoring drive with 6:17 remaining in the quarter.

In a game where each possession became critical, FIU came right back on its next drive and capped an 11-play, 85-yard drive when Anthon Samuel rushed in from the 2 to push the advantage back to 10, 38-28.

MT will return to action when it plays host to Florida Atlantic in the final home game of the season Saturday. Kickoff is 6 p.m.

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MTSU hosts Vandy plays Bama in 2015

MTSU hosts Vandy plays Bama in 2015

Posted on 15 October 2014 by Allen

Head coach Rick Stockstill

The Southeastern Conference announced its 2015 football schedules Tuesday night and Middle Tennessee will face Alabama and Vanderbilt as part of its non-conference slate. The Blue Raiders will travel to Alabama on Sept. 12 and will host the Commodores on Oct. 3.

The Blue Raiders and Crimson Tide will be meeting for the third time in school history. The two teams faced off in 2002 and 2005 with Alabama winning both games. The 2002 contest was the season opener and the Tide squeaked out a 39-34 win over the Raiders before taking the 2005 game, 26-7.

Middle Tennessee and Vanderbilt will be meeting for the first time since 2005 and the first time in Murfreesboro. The Blue Raiders own a current three-game winning streak over the Commodores but VU leads the overall series 12-3.

The rest of the 2015 schedule will not be announced until February.

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Raiders fall at Marshall

Raiders fall at Marshall

Posted on 12 October 2014 by Allen

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Scores

Temple 37 Vanderbilt 7 F
Alabama 33 West Virginia 23 F
Arkansas 21 Auburn 45 F
LSU 28 Wisconsin 24

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