2017 Prespring Rankings: No. 87 Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders
The 2017 prespring college football rankings, taking the first look at the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders
No. 87: Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders
Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders Prespring Status
It was about as wild a year as it gets. The Blue Raiders had one of the nation’s most fun and exciting offenses, but an injury to QB Brent Stockstill, a crazy-weird November, and a blowout loss to Hawaii made it a true roller coaster. But with changes at WKU, and big personnel departures at Louisiana Tech, can this be a Conference USA title season?
The defense has to start to match the production of the offense, and the O has to be every bit as dangerous as it was throughout last year despite a few big losses. The defense front has a few concerns, too, like …
Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders Biggest Issue
The defensive line. The offensive line has to replace three starters, and star RB I’Tavius Mathers is gone from the backfield, but it’s going to be hard to make too big a jump – or too big an improvement on the defensive front – without all four starters from last year. Three of the top four pass rushers are gone, and while none of them were killers, it’s still going to take some work to replace an entire line.
Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders Biggest Positive
Brent Stockstill is back. Before getting hurt, he was on a killer of a tear, throwing 27 touchdown passes and just five touchdowns with big game after big game. The Blue Raiders were 6-2 before the UTSA game when Stockstill went down. Even though the team got blown away by Hawaii when he came back for the bowl, he threw for 432 yards and four scores. With Richie James and Ty Lee returning to the receiving corps, the O should keep on blowing up.
Really, Why Are The Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders Ranked Here?
The big-time no-huddle attack should keep on rolling, but can the defense stop anyone? Offensive coordinator Tony Franklin and head coach Rick Stockstill know how to put up massive numbers, and once again, the Blue Raiders should be in shootout after shootout. But once again, they should be on the wrong end of several of them if the D isn’t tweaked and reloaded.