College Football News Preview 2020: Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders Keys To The Season
Biggest Key To The Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders Offense
Use the other options for the running game, and keep the chains moving. The Blue Raiders relied on QB Asher O’Hara to carry the team too often – he ran the ball 199 of the team’s 404 times – but there are too many good backs in place to not share the wealth.
More importantly, the offense that was dead last in Conference USA in time of possession has to keep things moving. It only converted 35% of its third down chances, and was under the 30% mark five times – losing all five.
Biggest Key To The Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders Defense
Pass rush, pass rush, pass rush. Middle Tennessee’s defense came up with 35 sacks in 2018, 32 in 2017, and didn’t dip below 23 since a rough run after generating just 14 in 2012.
The 2019 defense came up with just 11 sacks, and ten of them came in five games – there was just one sack in the other seven.
Injuries were part of the problem, but the pass rush simply didn’t work. DQ Thomas has to get back to his 2018 form – but he was hardly the problem – and the pressure has to come from several spots.
That means …
Key Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders Player To A Successful Season
DE Darius “Juju” Williams, RFr.
And junior Jordan Ferguson, too.
The 6-3, 245-pound Williams was a great get for the program. He redshirted his first year, and now it’s on his shoulders to revive the pass rush from his defensive end spot.
If it’s not Juju, it’s Ferguson who has to rise up. The 6-2, 266-pounder was banged up early in his career after a strong freshman campaign, and he missed all of last season with a knee injury.
Key Game To The Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders Season
WKU, Oct. 3
The road game at Marshall on November 14th is large, and dealing with Florida Atlantic in the regular season finale will be a big deal, but winning the East will be very, very hard if there’s a loss to WKU in the first game in October.
The Hilltoppers pulled off a 31-26 win in last year’s meeting, ad they’ve won four of the last five games in the series.
– Middle Tennessee Schedule Breakdown & Analysis
2019 Middle Tennessee Fun Stats
– 1st Half Scoring: Opponents 284 – Middle Tennessee 149
– Punt Returns: Opponents 39 for 754 yards – Middle Tennessee 4 for 11 yards
– Time of Possession: Opponents 33:01 – Middle Tennessee 26:59