2016-17 Football Previews – (C-USA) – Blue Raiders
Looking for 2016 Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders predictions? MTSU has been that team that is just kind of there, in terms of C-USA. The Blue Raiders haven’t won a conference title since 2006, but they also haven’t had a losing season since 2011. Can Middle Tennessee finally take that next step for their program and grab a conference title?
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2016-17 College Football Preview – Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders
Head Coach: Rick Stockstill
Middle Tennessee Odds to win 2017 FBS Championship: OFF
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Middle Tennessee State finished 2nd in 3 seasons, but now is the time to step up here in the Rick Stockstill era. Putting the pressure on Western Kentucky and Marshall has been a formality almost for the Blue Raiders, but they never put in a legit threat to jump them. Is 2016 the time for MTSU to make that jump?
2016 Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders Predictions: Team Strengths
Head coach Rick Stockstill knows his QB better than any other head coach in football knows their QB. Why is that? Well, the MTSU starting QB is sophomore Brent Stockstill, his son.
Stockstill turned in an phenomenal freshman campaign tossing for 4005 yards while compiling 30 touchdowns to just 9 interceptions.
Stockstill is just getting started as he has high expectations entering his 2nd year of play. He holds himself in high expectations too given his dad is the one that gave him the job.
Giving Stockstill A Shot Downfield
Middle Tennessee took a shot on WR Richie James and it couldn’t have paid off any better.
James and Stockstill had that freshman connection and picked apart the opposing defenses. In 2015, James finished with 108 receptions for 1346 yards to go along with 8 touchdowns.
His explosive playmaking ability gives this MTSU offense the chance to take deep threats and really stretch a defense.
Like Stockstill, James is just a sophomore and is in store for an even better season.
2016 Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders Predictions: Team Weaknesses
No More Years of Eligibility
Graduation saw Middle Tennessee State lose a lot of their defensive stars and replacing them is going to be tough.
It starts with the linebackers. MTSU lost almost their whole linebacking unit, losing all three starters from last season.
To make matters worse, JUCO recruit Detric Bing-Dukes decided to switch his commitment and elected to go to Ole Miss.
On the depth chart, MTSU really only has one guy that has seen enough game action to be trustworthy.
While their offense is explosive, their defense can give the points back real quick. If this young and inexperienced bunch cannot figure things out early, it could be a long year for the Blue Raiders.
Hold Onto the Football
Last season Middle Tennessee got away with their sloppy turnover problems because of how reliable their defense was.
With no reliability this season, the Blue Raiders must take care of the ball. They had 19 fumbles lost last season on offense.
Setting up a short field for this young defense could spell a lot of troubles for the Blue Raiders.
2016 Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders Prediction: 6-6
Middle Tennessee certainly doesn’t have an easy road in terms of their non conference games.
They have two goals set for the season. 1. A conference title 2. Win 8 games again.
Both feats are going to be tough. Their offense is undoubtedly one of the best in the conference and will put up a lot of impressive numbers.
However, their defense just has way too many questions to deal with.
They’ll labor a bit at times and while 8 win is going to be tough to get, they may do just enough to find themselves with a bowl invite.
2016 Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders Schedule
- 9/3/2016 Alabama A&M University 6:00 PM
- 9/10/2016 Vanderbilt University (SECN Alternate) Nashville, TN 3:00 PM
- 9/17/2016 Bowling Green (ESPN3) Bowling Green, OH 11:00 AM
- 9/24/2016 Louisiana Tech (ASN) 6:00 PM
- 10/1/2016 University of North Texas (CampusInsiders) Denton, TX 6:00 PM Details
- 10/15/2016 Western Kentucky University (ESPN3) 1:30 PM
- 10/22/2016 University of Missouri Columbia, MO TBA
- 10/29/2016 Florida International University (ESPN3) Miami, FL 6:00 PM Details
- 11/5/2016 University of Texas San Antonio (ESPN3) 1:30 PM
- 11/12/2016 Marshall University (ASN) Huntington, WV 6:00 PM
- 11/19/2016 UNC Charlotte (ESPN3) Charlotte, NC 1:00 PM
- 11/26/2016 Florida Atlantic University (beIN Sports)
What do you think about our 2016 Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders predictions? Please leave us a comment below telling us how you think they’ll do in 2016!
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