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Raiders headed to C-USA Tournament Final

Raiders headed to C-USA Tournament Final

Posted on 13 March 2015 by Allen

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Middle Tennessee is heading to the Conference USA Championship Final after the Blue Raiders pulled off yet another upset with a 53-50 victory over second-seeded UTEP in the semifinal round.

The Blue Raiders will face the winner of top-seeded LA Tech and fourth-seeded UAB in the C-USA Championship Final on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. CT with the game broadcast nationally on Fox Sports 1.

MT will play in their ninth-ever conference title and second final with Head Coach Kermit Davis at the helm.

The Blue Raiders weathered an early storm that put them down eight points and settled down and to go 6-of-8 from the field to pull within three points before the eight minute media timeout.

MT went on a 7-0 run while holding the Miners scoreless for over seven minutes as the pace started to favor the Blue Raiders and their defensive style.

Despite buckling down on the defensive end, MT went into halftime down 25-20, shooting 30 percent from the field. The Blue Raiders forced seven first-half turnovers but were out-rebounded 21-17.

Darnell Harris came off the bench lead the team with seven points and seven rebounds before the halftime buzzer.

The Blue Raiders started the second half strong, stringing together a 7-0 run that tied the game at 29-29 after a Reggie Upshaw layup.

DJ Jones made a difference on both ends as the half rolled on as he helped make a big stop with the Blue Raiders trailing by one and then turned around and recorded back-to-back 3-pointers to boost MT to a 40-35 lead with eight minutes remaining in the game.

That sparked a 10-0 run with Jones recording eight-straight points for the Blue Raiders.

“This is our third really physical game against a really well-coached Conference USA team,” Davis said. “Our buckets were hard to come by, DJ Jones really gave us such an unbelievable lift.”

Jones knocked down four treys in a six minute span to give MT a 49-44 lead with three minutes left in the game.

Middle Tennessee held out down the stretch to secure its place in the C-USA title game in the team’s second year in the conference.

“I told these the guys that we have a special run in us, if we keep practicing like we do, something great is going to happen.”

Jones finished with a game-high 17 points, while Harris had the team-high eight boards. The Blue Raiders finished the day shooting 35.8 percent from the field, with the bench scoring over half the points with 28 total.

Perrin Buford ended the game with ten points and is averaging 13.7 points per game in the tournament.

The Blue Raiders held the Miners to 20 points under their season scoring average.

MT is 19-15 overall this season and have won four-straight games, its longest streak of the year.

A six seed has never won the C-USA title, although Marshall went to the final as a six seed in 2010 but fell to Memphis.

The Blue Raiders are 5-3 in conference finals, and have fallen in their last three appearances. This is the first appearance in the final for the Blue Raiders since 2008 when they fell to Western Kentucky.

Tickets to the final are $35 dollars and free for students at Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Ala. Middle Tennessee will hold a pep rally at the arena at 1 p.m.

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Giddy Potts Grabs C-USA All-Freshman Team Honors

Giddy Potts Grabs C-USA All-Freshman Team Honors

Posted on 11 March 2015 by Allen

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Middle Tennessee’s Giddy Potts collected Conference USA All-Freshman Team Honors as announced by the conference on Tuesday afternoon.

The Athens, Ala., native found his rhythm in conference play, scoring 178 of his 218 points this season against conference opponents, accounting or 81.7 percent of his points this season.

Potts ranks 11th in the conference in 3-point shooting percentage (.389) and eighth in league play in the same category (.407).

“I’m very proud of Giddy, I think it is well deserved,” Head Coach Kermit Davis said. “The All-Freshman Team was a hard team to make because there’s a really good group of freshmen around the league. I think a lot of outstanding freshmen got left off the team but I thought Giddy made a ton of improvement especially in league play.”

Potts earned C-USA Freshman of the Week accolades after a stunning week against Marshall and WKU where he scored a career-high 28 points against the Thundering Herd.

Potts’ eight 3-point baskets in the game was the most recorded by any C-USA player this season and is tied 14th–most in the country.

He’s led the Blue Raiders in scoring on four occasions in his rookie season and leads the team in 3-point buckets made with 42 total. Potts averages 17.6 minutes per game this season and has started in 16 games.

In conference action, Potts is second on the Middle Tennessee squad with 9.9 points per game, shooting 42.2 percent from the field and 40.7 percent from 3-point range. He’s dished out 17 assists, while grabbing 17 steals in league play alone.

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MT Rallies in the Seventh for 6-5 Win Over NM State

MT Rallies in the Seventh for 6-5 Win Over NM State

Posted on 11 March 2015 by Allen

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The Middle Tennessee softball team (10-8) scored five runs in the seventh inning to rally for a thrilling 6-5 victory over New Mexico State Tuesday afternoon, snapping NM State’s 10-game win streak.

With the win, the Blue Raiders have matched last season’s win total, and also ended a four-game slide against NM State (18-8).

It was the fourth time this season MT has come back from being down by three runs or more.

Junior Kiarra Freeman and freshman Morgan Harris combined for a 5-for-7 showing and four RBIs, including two clutch hits in the final inning. Freeman paced the offense as she tied her career-high with three hits and a career-best two RBIs.

Sophomores Austyn Whaley and Lauren Riddell also came through as each posted an RBI in the seventh frame. Riddell finished with a hit and Whaley was 2-for-4 from the dish and has tallied a hit in the past four games.

Freshman Cor’Nisha Birdsong tallied two hits while juniors Megan Griffith and Carlie Jenkins recorded a hit as well.

Down 5-3 after Riddell and Whaley both hit RBI singles to cut the deficit to two, Harris stepped up with the bases loaded and one out as she plated two runners with a single to center field to tie the game at 5-apiece.

In the ensuing at-bat, Freeman’s two-out RBI single to second base drove in sophomore pinch runner Marinna Shadley for the winning run.

“Our kids kept the faith and stayed the course through the entire game”, said head coach Jeff Breeden. “This was an awesome win for our players and softball families.”

NM State struck first in the bottom of the first frame with a two-run homer that gave the Aggies a 2-0 advantage before the Blue Raiders cut the deficit to one, 2-1, in the top of the second frame. NMSU added two more runs in the second and one more in the third for its final score to take a 5-1 lead.

MT had several opportunities early in the contest while loading the bases on multiple occasions, but it wasn’t until the final inning that the Blue Raider took advantage when threatening to score.

Junior right-hander Kelci Cheney improved to 6-5 on the year as she pitched the final two innings to allow just one hit. Sophomore Megan Chocallo came in for 3.1 innings of solid work as the right-hander allowed one run and scattered four hits.

Cheney and Chocallo slowed down the Aggie lineup allowing just five hits and a run over the last 5.1 innings of the game after NM State scored its first four runs in the opening 1.2 innings. Senior Caitlin McClure started but didn’t factor into the decision while allowing four runs on four hits. NM State came into the game averaging over nine runs over the winning streak.

“The fact that we have beaten an ACC and a WAC school tells me our kids are moving in the right direction,” said Breeden. ” We just have to keep getting better every day and stay the course.”

The Blue Raiders will look to build off the big win this weekend in their conference home opener against FIU on Saturday with a doubleheader beginning at 2 p.m., at Blue Raider Softball Field.

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MTSU loses to FIU on the road, 59-54

MTSU loses to FIU on the road, 59-54

Posted on 06 March 2015 by Allen

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Middle Tennessee men’s basketball suffered a 59-54 road loss at FIU on Thursday evening and move to 15-15 overall and 8-9 in Conference USA play.

The Blue Raiders saw their 19th different starting line-up of the season with Reggie Upshaw, Darnell Harris, Giddy Potts, Edward Simpson and Jaqawn Raymond on the court.
The first half would see three lead changes with both teams hanging within a couple possessions.

The Blue Raiders suffered a 4+ minute scoring drought near the end of the first half that allowed FIU to take a 16-14 lead.

MT was able to fight its way past the cold streak to hit six of its last seven field goals in the half to take a 30-24 lead heading into the locker room. Potts hit four of those final field goals in the closing minutes of to lead the team with 13 points.

Despite the early shooting woes for the Blue Raiders, MT finished the half shooting 41 percent from the field and 50 percent from 3-point range (6-12).

The Panthers went on a 15-2 run to regain the lead in the second half at 40-36 with a 3-pointer by Ray Rodriguez at the 11:30 mark; FIU’s first trey of the night.
Once again the Blue Raiders were able to weather the storm as they tied the game at 52 with two free-throws from Perrin Buford.

Another four minute scoring drought in the final five minutes of the game ultimately doomed the Blue Raiders with the Panthers closing the game with a 7-2 run to get the 59-54 victory.

While the Blue Raiders finished with seven 3-pointers to FIU’s one, the Panthers won the battle at the charity stripe 20-5.

Potts (13), Buford (12) and Raymond (12) scored double figures, while Upshaw led the team off the glass with 10 boards. MT had a slight edge in rebounding with 34 boards to FIU’s 32.

The loss marked the first time the Blue Raiders fell to FIU since they faced each other in the Sun Belt Tournament in 2013 and the first time MT lost at FIU since 2008 when they FIU came away with a 66-60 win.

This is the Blue Raiders seventh-straight road loss with its last win away from the Murphy Center against Southern Miss (Jan. 15).

Middle Tennessee will close the regular season on Saturday at Florida Atlantic. The game is slated to tip-off at 6 p.m. CT. The Blue Raiders are on the hunt to finish the conference season at .500 with the C-USA Championship starting on Wednesday, March 11.

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Stephens signes with Rockies

Stephens signes with Rockies

Posted on 04 March 2015 by Allen

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Former Middle Tennessee baseball player Ryan Stephens has signed a minor league free agent contract with the Colorado Rockies and has reported early to spring training in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Stephens, a four-year starter for the Blue Raiders, had an individual workout with the Rockies organization last week. Shortly after the workout, Stephens was signed.

“It shows hard work pays off,” said Stephens, who was undrafted following his senior year at Middle Tennessee in 2014. “It is a dream come true. I am just blessed and humbled by the fact that I am getting to do it.”

Middle Tennessee Head Coach Jim McGuire said Stephens’ resiliency fueled the opportunity to play professional baseball.

“I’m very happy and very proud for Ryan Stephens,” McGuire said. “He just never gave up on his dream to have an opportunity to play professional baseball. The Major League Draft didn’t work out and he wasn’t signed as a free agent last year but he was very resilient. He never gave up and he worked out all winter. As things started to progress Ryan got his opportunity to show what he could do and it worked out.”

Position players report to spring training March 13 but Stephens was asked to report early in order to get additional reps.

“I haven’t had those reps like other guys so I want to get as many as I can,” said Stephens, who played high school baseball at Riverdale in Murfreesboro. “I feel like I have put in the work, and I have had the patience. It didn’t work out for me in the draft or free agency (after the 2014 season), but I plugged away and stayed in shape and something good has come out of it.”

Stephens worked with Middle Tennessee’s baseball program as he completed his degree in the fall. He spent the winter working out with former Blue Raiders in professional baseball, as well as Houston Astros outfielder Alex Presley.

Colorado Rockies catcher Michael McKenry, a former Blue Raider standout, put in a word for Stephens and helped get the workout scheduled.

“I was hoping for something when I got the workout,” said Stephens, who also recently worked out with the Texas Rangers organization. “(McKenry) put in a good work for me, and I am so appreciative of him for the opportunity.”

McKenry put in a word, but Stephens had to do the work.

Once given an opportunity the former Middle Tennessee standout impressed.

Stephens, who holds the Middle Tennessee record for consecutive games started with 184, is also eighth all-time in games played with 217 and sixth all-time with nine triples. He was a career .277 hitter and capped his four-year with 98 RBI, 14 home runs, nine triples, 29 doubles and he stole 26 bases while getting thrown out just six times. Stephens had just 121 strikeouts in 760 plate appearances.

“Ryan was a great player for us,” McGuire said. “He was a four-year starter and that doesn’t happen a lot. He is dedicated. The door is open and he has to make the most of it. Ryan will have an opportunity to stick with it. His work ethic will allow for that.”

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Blue Raiders Drop Finale at UNO

Blue Raiders Drop Finale at UNO

Posted on 01 March 2015 by Allen

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Middle Tennessee had a tough first inning and was unable to recover in an 8-2 loss to New Orleans in the final game of a three-game series at Maestri Field Sunday.

The Blue Raiders (7-2) still won the series, 2-1, and have won three straight series to start the season. They play at Tennessee Tuesday.

Middle Tennessee pounded out 13 hits in the setback and had three players with multi-hit games. Michael Adkins was 3-for-5 with one RBI, and Brad Jarreau and Ronnie Jebavy each were 2-for-4.

Every Blue Raider in the starting lineup had at least one hit. Shortstop Dustin Delgado got a base knock in his final at-bat to extend his hit streak to eight games and his reached-base streak to 24 games.

A tough start spelled doom for Middle Tennessee. Starter Heath Slatton was roughed up for five runs, all earned, in 1-1/3 innings. After the Blue Raiders went on top 1-0 in the top of the first, Slatton was hit for five in the bottom of the frame.

Middle Tennessee’s bullpen held the Privateers(5-7) in check through the middle innings to give the Blue Raiders a chance to rally. Blake Stansberry and Garrett Ring combined for 4-2/3 innings of shutout baseball but the Blue Raiders couldn’t chip into the lead.

New Orleans finally broke the game open with three in the bottom of the seventh to push its lead to 8-1. Middle Tennessee tacked on a run in the ninth to account for the final score.

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Raiders fall in Triple OT

Raiders fall in Triple OT

Posted on 01 March 2015 by Allen

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Middle Tennessee did not let UAB have its ninth-straight home win in Bartow Arena easy as the Blue Raiders fought the Blazers to a triple overtime battle, only to fall 100-95.

With the loss MT is now 15-14 overall and 8-8 in league play, while the Blazers advance to 16-13 and 12-4 in C-USA.

UAB pieced together a 9-0 run in a 2 minute span late in the second half to go ahead 35-22 with three minutes left in the half.

MT suffered a scoring drought soon after and went into the locker room trailing the Blazers 37-25. MT went 2-for-11 in the final six minutes of the half.

The Blue Raiders shot 33 percent from the field compared to UAB’s 54 percent shooting in the first 20 minutes.

Middle Tennessee went 7-of-7 from 16:44 to 11:19 in the second half to chip away at the Blazers lead and bring the game within five points.

The Blue Raiders fought back from a 15-point deficit in the second half.

Perrin Buford scored 15 second-half points, while DJ Jones added 13 in the half to propel the Blue Raiders to tie the game at 69-69 with a minute left in regulation. Both teams made quality stops in the closing minute to send the game into overtime for the Blue Raiders fourth overtime of the year.

MT trailed by as many as five points in the first overtime but fought its way back as Jacquez Rozier put in the game-tying bucket with 5 seconds left on the clock to eventually send the Blue Raiders into its second double overtime game of the season.

The Blue Raiders gained their first lead of the game since their first field goal of the game with 3 minutes left in the second overtime as Buford gave MT the 81-79 lead.

The Blazers were down by two with 11 seconds left in overtime and nearly turned the ball over twice as Hakeen Baxter was able to put away a lay-up at the buzzer to take the game into its third overtime at 86-86.

The third overtime saw five of the game’s 11 lead changes alone as the two teams continued back and forth as the Blazers ended on the winning end of the war.

Nationally, only 13 games have made it to triple overtime this year.

Jones and Buford annihilated their career-high with Buford finishing the day with 29 points to improve his former of 16 points, while Jones collected 24 points to best his former career-high of 11 points. Six of Jones’ seven field goals came from 3-point land. Buford led the team off the glass with nine boards.

With the help of Buford and Jones, the Middle Tennessee bench ended the game with 67 of the Blue Raiders 95 points, a season-high in scoring for the Blue Raider bench.

Four MT players ended the day in double figures with Buford, Jones, Upshaw (13) and Rozier (11), marking the fifth time this year four players have scored double figures in a game.

After shooting just 33 percent from the field and 20 percent from three-point range in the first half, the Blue Raiders improved to finish the game 41.3 percent from the field and 36 percent from behind the arc.

UAB win extended its home court winning streak to nine games as the Blazers are undefeated in conference play in Bartow Arena.

The Blue Raiders will continue with this road swing with a trip to Florida for the last two games of the regular season, FIU (Mar. 5) and FAU (Mar. 7).

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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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Parker dismissed from MTSU Women’s Basketball Team

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Parker dismissed from MTSU Women’s Basketball Team

Posted on 28 February 2015 by Allen

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Middle Tennessee senior forward Cheyenne Parker has been dismissed from the women’s basketball program due to violations of athletic department policy, according to Director of Athletics Chris Massaro.

Parker remains in good academic standing and is expected to finish the spring semester.

Parker was suspended for the first five games of the 2014-15 season for violating athletic department policy.

“We have high standards at Middle Tennessee,” Massaro said. “We expect all of our players to abide by the rules. Unfortunately, (Parker) could not meet those expectations. We wish her well in her future endeavors.”

Parker averaged 18.6 points and 11.0 rebounds in 22 games as a Blue Raider. The Queen, N.Y., native set the single-season blocked shots record at Middle Tennessee with 88 and leads C-USA with 4.0 blocks per game.

Middle Tennessee plays host to UAB at Murphy Center Saturday at 5 p.m.

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Blue Raiders Win Fourth Straight

Blue Raiders Win Fourth Straight

Posted on 28 February 2015 by Allen

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Senior Jake Ingold’s RBI single in the 12th inning broke a 1-1 tie and lifted Middle Tennessee past New Orleans in a pitcher’s duel Friday night. The Blue Raiders have now won four straight and improve to 6-1 overall on the season.

Starter Johnathan Frebis tossed a season-high 7.1 innings and struck out seven, tying his single-game record for the fifth time of his career. The Blue Raider ace allowed only two hits and one unearned run in the no-decision.

“This was by far his best start in three outings this year,” head coach Jim McGuire said. “And that’s what we need him to do, he’s got to be that kind of guy on Friday nights for us. He was very effective tonight.”

In a game that lasted nearly four hours, the Blue Raiders twice left the bases loaded and stranded a total of 14 runners as the Privateers turned a pair of clutch double plays in the ninth and 10th frames.

“It was a team win, we really had to grind it out,” McGuire said. “We had all kinds of opportunities where we could’ve scored, but we just couldn’t breakthrough.”

Jared Allen reached base on a dropped third strike to lead off the 12th and cleanup hitter Michael Adkins put down a sacrifice bunt to get Allen to second base. Allen immediately stole third and Ingold shot a 3-2 pitch back up the middle to plate the go-ahead run.

The Blue Raiders went down 1-0 in the second after UNO scored on an error, but a Dustin Delgado sacrifice fly tied it in the fifth.

Delgado (2-for-3; 2 BB, RBI) extended his reached-base streak to 22 games, pacing MT with two hits along with Ingold (2-for-5; 2B RBI) and leading-hitter Brad Jarreau (2-for-3; 2 BB). Kaleb King collected his second double of the season as the Blue Raiders combined for nine hits.

The Middle Tennessee bullpen was spectacular in the late innings, most notably Nathan Foriest (1.2 IP) who twice stranded the winning run and recorded four punchouts. Blake Stansberry kept the Privateers off the board in the eighth, while Sam Alton earned his first Blue Raider win in two innings of perfect relief.

New Orleans sent out five pitchers as Kevin Kelleher (0-2) was charged with the loss. Freshman Shawn Semple went toe-to-toe with Frebis, turning in a quality six innings with one run on five hits and five strikeouts. Preston Marsh led the Privateers at the plate, going 2-for-4 with a run scored.

MT overcame an uncharacteristic three errors in the early going and limited the home team to four hits on the night.

Austin Bryant had his 11-game hit streak snapped, while Middle Tennessee improves to 3-3 in extra-inning contests under McGuire. At six wins in seven games, the Blue Raiders are off to their best start in five years.

The series continues on Saturday with game two’s first pitch scheduled for noon. McGuire will skip Kooper Kessler in the rotation and send out Nate Hoffman for the junior transfer’s first start. The game can be heard on WMOT-2 (92.5 FM) and on GoBlueRaiders.com.

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MTSU falls to Jacksonville, 11-2

MTSU falls to Jacksonville, 11-2

Posted on 15 February 2015 by Allen

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Middle Tennessee’s bats fell silent as the visiting Blue Raiders suffered a 11-2 setback in the series finale against Jacksonville in Sunday’s matinee contest at John Sessions Stadium.

“I’m happy with what we did over the past two days, but we wasted an opportunity to come out today and play well,” head coach Jim McGuire said. “We talked about it yesterday, it’s hard to beat somebody three times especially on the road. We’re happy we won two-out-of-three, but not satisfied knowing we could’ve done a lot more.”

Michael Adkins (2-for-4) drove in two runs on a two-out single in the third inning, running his series total to 10 which is the most RBIs in a series since Bryce Brentz plated nine runs versus New Orleans on May 14-16, 2010.

The Dolphins got to Blue Raider starter Heath Slatton (0-1) in the second frame with seven runs on seven hits in the junior’s first weekend start. With two outs in the inning, JU connected on a bases-clearing double that got past the diving Jared Allen in left field and followed up with another two-bagger to deflate the Blue Raiders.

Middle Tennessee (2-1) got two runs back in the next half inning with Adkins’ two-out knock, but the home team also scored two in the third to keep the seven-run advantage.

For the second straight game, Dustin Delgado led off the contest with a double as the senior shortstop recorded two hits on the day. Austin Bryant doubled in the third inning to extend his hit streak to eight games as the Blue Raiders were limited to only five hits after combining for 23 in the first two games. Brad Jarreau also singled and scored a run on the day.

Jacksonville (1-2) starter Michael Baumann (5.0 IP, 2 R, 6 K, 4 H, 3 BB) had a strong showing and earned the win during his first collegiate appearance.

Four Blue Raiders made their debuts. Kevin Sullivan started at third, while Sam Alton, Blake Stansberry and Tyler Troutt saw action out of the bullpen.

Despite Sunday’s loss, Middle Tennessee wins the three-game set 2-1 and will travel back home for its home opener against another A-Sun team in Lipscomb on Tuesday, Feb. 17. First pitch is slated for 3 p.m. but stay tuned to GoBlueRaiders.com and @MT_Baseball on Twitter for updates concerning this week’s weather.

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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

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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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Jones, Parker combine for 50 in Middle TN win

Jones, Parker combine for 50 in Middle TN win

Posted on 24 January 2015 by Allen

MTSU2

Middle Tennessee put on a dynamic performance in a national broadcast as it throttled Charlotte, 84-54, at Halton Arena Saturday afternoon.

The Blue Raiders won for the eighth time in nine games while extending its C-USA road win streak to nine games in a game televised by Fox Sports. Middle Tennessee (12-5, 6-1) won its third straight overall and maintained sole possession of second place in the league standings after sweeping the road trip at Old Dominion and Charlotte.

“Our young ladies played extremely well and put together a very good road trip,” Blue Raider Head Coach Rick Insell said. “We ran the floor well, moved the ball and were able to get some high-percentage shots because we did a good job of executing our offense instead of just running it.”

Cheyenne Parker and Olivia Jones were double trouble against the 49ers (7-12, 3-4) as they combined for 50 points, 19 rebounds, five blocks, and four steals.

Parker produced her best game as a Blue Raider with a career-high 30 points on 13-of-18 shooting to go with her nine rebounds and five blocked shots. Parker started the game 11-of-11 from the field. Her 14 blocks on the road trip are the most in consecutive games in program history.

Jones was her usual strong self with her eighth double-double. She had 20 points, 10 rebounds and two steals. She knocked down three 3-pointers. Jones came into the game leading C-USA in scoring and has scored 20-plus in nine of the last 10 games.

Ty Petty and Abbey Sissom each scored nine, and China Dow finished with seven. Petty produced a solid all-around-game with nine points, eight assists and two steals.

Sissom and Dow provided a spark off of the bench as the Blue Raider reserves outscored Charlotte’s 22-13. Sissom’s nine points came on 3-of-4 shooting from 3-point range and she also had two rebounds, one assist and one steal. She connected on three straight 3-point attempts after missing her first.

Dow was also spectacular in a reserve role. She scored seven points, pulled six rebounds, and had five assists, one turnover and two blocked shots.

Shanice Cason and Dow also combined to provide exceptional defense on Charlotte’s leading scorer, Lefty Webster as they limited her to 10 points on 3-of-11 shooting. Cason also had four steals and two assists.

Middle Tennessee enjoyed a strong shooting game, knocking down 48 percent (34-of-71) of its shots, including 10-of-29 from 3-point range. The Blue Raiders held Charlotte to 34 percent (19-of-56) shooting.

Charlotte started strong and led 15-7 with 14:53 remaining in the first half. Middle Tennessee answered with an 11-0 run to take an 18-15 lead. The game was tied 18-18 before the Blue Raiders bombarded the 49ers with a 29-5 run the remainder of the first half to take a 47-23 lead at intermission.

The Blue Raiders never let up in the second half and built as much 33-point lead in the second half. Middle Tennessee outscored Charlotte 48-28 in the paint and turned 22 Charlotte turnovers into 33 points.

Middle Tennessee will look to extend its winning streak when it returns home to face UTSA Thursday at Murphy Center.

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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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