Middle Tennessee football fell behind early and stayed behind the rest of the way, allowing UAB to score on their first six possessions en route to a 41-14 loss at Protective Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The Blue Raiders (3-3, 0-2 C-USA) showed few signs of life on either offense or defense, allowing the Blazers (3-2, 1-1 C-USA) to both run and pass the ball at will in the first half, allowing 174 yards on the ground at halftime with 265 yards coming through the air at the break. By the time the clock expired, those numbers had ballooned to 278 passing yards and 303 rushing yards for UAB.
Jaylin Lane kept things interesting in the first quarter, snaring a clutch 15-yard touchdown pass on third and goal through two Blazer defensive backs to pull MTSU within a score. Darius Bracy would add a second touchdown run from a yard out to put points on the board for the Blue Raiders. Jordan Ferguson finished the day with two tackles for loss.
By the Numbers
3: Number of punts downed inside the 20-yard line. Punter Kyle Ulbrich entered the locker room at halftime with all three of his first half punts going for over 50 yards and pinning the Blazers inside the twenty.
10-for-19: The Blue Raiders success rate on third down, the first time all season MTSU converted more than 50 percent of their third downs into first downs. The Blue Raider’s previous percentage high was 50 percent against Tennessee State (6-for-12).
Blue Raider Notes
QUICK HITTERS: Today marked the first time MTSU has played on Oct. 8 since 1994 … DE Jordan Ferguson made his team-leading 28th consecutive start against UAB today … Ferguson also played in his team-leading 51st career game … CB Deonte Stanley made his first career start as a Blue Raider today at left corner … QB DJ Riles and WR Andrew Paige made their first appearances as a Blue Raider.
Thoughts from Head Coach Rick Stockstill
“We got exposed on the back end. Especially in the first half, we didn’t stop them. They scored every possession there in the first half and they got explosive plays. We had them covered, we didn’t make a play (or) they made a play, we had some guys get behind us again. We missed tackles coming down, they ran the ball really well.
“Offensively, we never could sustain anything. We get a couple of first downs, we get a drive, we score. We never were consistent enough where we could sustain some rhythm. We just didn’t play consistently well enough in the first half.”
Middle Tennessee returns home for a rivalry renewed on homecoming weekend, welcoming Western Kentucky to Johnny “Red” Floyd Stadium. Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. CT on ESPN+ and the Blue Raider Radio Network.
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