MTSU Becomes Bowl Eligible
The Raiders defeated Florida International Saturday, picking up their 6th win of the season. In college football, six, is the magic number needed for teams to become bowl eligible. Coach Stockstill has accomplished this feat eight out of his 11 years at MTSU.
MTSU came out of the gates quick against FIU Saturday despite the soggy conditions, hoping out to a 21-0 lead. The Panthers would not concede though, rallying back to the tune of a 28-21 halftime score, Raiders with the edge.
The third quarter was the polar opposite of the first half, when both defenses blanked their opposition. That would not be the last time the Raiders D would step up against FIU on the day. With a 1:22 left in the game, junior, D.J. Sanders, picked off a FIU pass, weaving by would be tacklers for the 48 yard game winning touchdown.
With the victory in Miami Saturday, the Blue Raiders improve to 6-2 on the year. The Raiders will finally stay put for a weekend as they host UTSA, the game Saturday will be the first home in three weeks.
Coach Stock’s Presser
Rick Stockstill addressed the media before opening the floor for questions.
“Coming off a really good win last week, I’m really proud of our effort in getting that win on the road. Like I’ve said many times it’s hard to win games, hard to win conference games, doubly hard to win on the road. We’ve got a really good UTSA team coming in here this weekend. They’re 4-4 and what stands out the most is they’re an extremely fast and athletic team. They were really fast and explosive last year, and they are even faster and more explosive this year. Really good on defense, second in the conference in scoring defense, only giving up 26 points a game. They’re about fourth or fifth in total defense. Offensively, they do a great job of ball control, they run the ball then they’ll hit you with big plays as we saw them do against Southern Miss. They scored over 50 points and had a lot of explosive plays in the game. We have to do a good job of keeping the ball in front of us defensively. They are right behind us in turnover margin. We’ve done a really great job, we’ve only turned it over eight times this year. They’re right behind us at nine. So they do a good job of protecting the ball offensively and they are sound in the kicking game. They’re kick-off coverage and punt team and return teams are right up there at the top of the conference. This is a really good football team coming in. They had a close, tough loss, at the start of the season to Arizona State. They had a five over time loss a couple of weeks ago at UTEP. This team [UTSA] could very well have a few more wins under their belt. Really well coached, play extremely fast, tough and physical so we have to do a great job this week. It’s going to be another four quarter game that we have to get ready to play.”
Q. I’Tavious is one of six running backs in the nation with a 1000 yards already. Your quarterback just broke the school record for passing touchdowns. Is this one of the best, if not the best offenses you’ve had here at MT?
A. Statistically, we have to finish out the year, but statistically last year was our best offense. This year is our most balanced offense and if we continue working, continue improving, make plays, this thing could go down as the best offense in this school’s history. I’Tavious, Brent, and Richie are really good players. The offensive line has done a great job. Ty Lee, Dennis Andrews and Pat Smith and some other guys are contributing and having good years. We’ve got good players on this team, but lets finish out the year and see how it unfolds.
Q. Coach, growing up what was your go to costume for Halloween?
A. Spiderman. Shoot that web at you. I’m a Spiderman man. Spiderman. I’m loyal to Spiderman. I could shoot the web. I couldn’t draw the Batman symbol. I was always a Spiderman guy.
QB Brent Stockstill Spoke with the Media Next
Q. In a game like last week with the weather so bad, do you find yourself playing more conservative? Or do you just try to play your game?
A. We try to do what we do all the time, no matter the weather. “We’ve played in more rain games than probably anybody ever has, so obviously it makes it tough to do certain things. It makes it hard to throw the ball sometimes, but it’s my job to get it done. We try to do what we do, and we don’t try to get too conservative.