Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders football

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Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders
2018 Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders football team
Middle Tennessee Athletics logo.svg
First season 1911
Athletic director Chris Massaro
Head coach Rick Stockstill
13th season, 79–72 (.523)
Stadium Johnny "Red" Floyd Stadium
(Capacity: 30,788)
Field surface Sportexe PowerBlade turf
Location Murfreesboro, Tennessee
NCAA division Division I FBS
Conference Conference USA
Division East
All-time record 551–410–28 (.571)
Bowl record 4–7 (.364)
Conference titles 13
Rivalries Western Kentucky Hilltoppers
Troy Trojans
Arkansas State Red Wolves
Colors Royal Blue and White[1]
         
Fight song MTSU Fight Song
Mascot Lightning
Marching band Band of Blue
Website GoBlueRaiders.com

Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders football program represents Middle Tennessee State University in the sport of American football. The Blue Raiders compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the East Division of Conference USA (CUSA). They are coached by Rick Stockstill, who started in 2006. Middle Tennessee has appeared in ten bowl games and seven I-AA playoffs, the Blue Raiders play their home games at the Johnny "Red" Floyd Stadium which has a seating capacity of 30,788.

History[edit]

Early history (1911–1946)[edit]

Middle Tennessee State University first fielded a football team in 1911 under the direction of head coach L. T. "Mutt" Weber. From 1913–1923, Alfred B. Miles led the Blue Raiders football program. The 1914 football season led by Miles was its first undefeated season, with five straight victories after a tie with Cumberland.[2][3]

Frank Faulkinberry was hired as MTSU's head coach after Miles' departure. During his tenure, the Blue Raiders compiled a record of 33–26–4. Faulkinberry was found shot to death in his garage on May 13, 1933, a suspected suicide being the cause.[4]

E. M. Waller led the Blue Raiders for two seasons and compiled a 3–14–1 record.[5] Waller resigned due to the team's struggles after two seasons.

Johnny Floyd returned to MTSU in 1935 and led the Blue Raiders for four seasons.[6] Under his tutelage, the Blue Raiders compiled a record of 30–8–1. Floyd's 1935 team went a perfect 8–0.[7] However, a 2–6 campaign in 1938 ended his time in Murfreesboro.[6]

Ernest Alley was named the next head coach of MTSU football, and in his one-season, the Blue Raiders compiled a 1–6–1 record.[7]

E. W. Midgett led the Blue Raiders for four seasons (MTSU did not field a football team from 1943–1945 because of World War II; in 1940, Midgett led the Blue Raiders to a 4–4 mark.[8] In 1941, the Blue Raiders posted a 4–3–1 campaign,[8] followed by 4–2–1 in 1942,[8] and 6–2–1 in 1946.[9]

Charles Murphy era (1947–1968)[edit]

Charles Murphy is the longest-tenured and winningest head coach in MTSU, football history, with a 155–63–8 record in 22 seasons as MTSU's head coach. Under Murphy's tutelage, the Blue Raiders posted four undefeated seasons (1949, 1957, 1959 and 1965) along with 17 winning seasons and three bowl appearances.[10] Murphy was asked to resign at MTSU after a 2–8 campaign in 1968.[11]

Donald Fuoss era (1969)[edit]

Succeeding Murphy as the Blue Raiders head coach was Donald Fuoss, who only lasted for one season, a 1–9 campaign in 1969[12] that resulted in his firing.

Bill Peck era (1970–1974)[edit]

Coach Bill Peck took over in 1970 and instantly brought improvement to Murfreesboro; in his first season, the Blue Raiders posted a 6–3–1 record.[13] In 1971, MTSU posted a record of 7–4,[13] that was followed by a 7–3–1 mark in 1972,[13] a 4–7 mark in 1973 and a 3–8 campaign in 1974.[13] Peck was asked to resign after back to back losing seasons to end his tenure.[14]

Ben Hurt era (1975–1978)[edit]

Ben Hurt took over the Blue Raiders in 1975. Under his tutelage, in 1975, MTSU posted a 4–7 mark,[15] that was followed by another 4–7 campaign in 1976.[15] In 1977, Hurt's Blue Raiders posted a 3–8 record that was followed by a 1–9–1 1978 season,[15] after which Hurt was fired.

James Donnelly era (1979–1998)[edit]

Austin Peay head coach James Donnelly was hired as MTSU's head coach in 1979. Under his leadership, the MTSU football program compiled a record of 133–80–1.[16] Donnelly is the second winningest football coach in MTSU history. Of his 20 seasons at the helm, 15 of them were winning seasons (including 12 in a row) and four of them were seasons of at least 10 wins. Donnelly resigned after a 5–5 season in 1998.

Andy McCollum era (1999–2005)[edit]

Baylor assistant coach Andy McCollum took over for Donnelly in 1999.[17] McCollum led the Blue Raiders to a 6–5 record in 2000, their first as an FBS program; in 2001, MTSU finished 8–3, won the Sun Belt Conference championship and oversaw an offense that ranked fifth nationally. In 2005, MTSU's defense ranked ninth nationally. McCollum was fired after the 2005 season.[18]

Rick Stockstill era (2006–present)[edit]

Coach Stockstill

In 2006, South Carolina tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator Rick Stockstill got the head coaching job at Middle Tennessee State;[19] in his first season, Stockstill led the Blue Raiders to the program's second bowl game as well as a share of the Sun Belt Conference title. He was later that year named the conference coach of the year.

The 2007 and 2008 seasons saw the Blue Raiders take a small step back with back-to-back 5–7 seasons.[20][21] However, in 2009, Stockstill and the Blue Raiders went 10–3[22] and won the New Orleans Bowl, which was the second bowl victory in school history.[23] Again, Stockstill was named conference coach of the year for the 2009 season, the Blue Raiders went to another bowl in 2010, and they finished the season 6–7 after losing the GoDaddy.com Bowl.[24][25]

After the successful 2009 season, he turned down several offers from other schools, including Conference USA's East Carolina[26] and Memphis,[27] citing that it was not the right time to leave the Blue Raiders.[28] Stockstill has led MTSU to five bowl games in 11 years.

In 2016, Stockstill led the Blue Raiders to a 8–5, 5–3 in C-USA play to finish in third place in the East Division,[29] they were invited to the Hawaii Bowl where they lost to Hawaii.[30]

In 2017, Stockstill led the Blue Raiders to a 7–6, 4–4 in C-USA play to finish for a tie in third place in the East Division, they were invited to the 2017 Camellia Bowl where they defeated Arkansas State.

Rivalries[edit]

Troy Trojans[edit]

Middle Tennessee's rivalry with Troy, now dormant following Middle Tennessee's 2013 move to Conference USA, is known as the Battle for the Palladium.[31] Troy and Middle Tennessee first played each other in 1936,[32] but it wasn't until 2003 that schools started playing annually for the Palladium Trophy.[31] Middle Tennessee currently leads the series 12-8.

Middle Tennessee-Troy: All-Time Record
Games played First meeting Last meeting Middle Tennessee wins Middle Tennessee losses
20 October 9, 1936 (Won 19–0) November 24, 2012 (Won 24-21) 12 8

Western Kentucky Hilltoppers[edit]

The rivalry between Middle Tennessee and Western Kentucky, is both school's oldest rivalry, as the two programs played together for several decades in the Ohio Valley Conference before both became members of the Sun Belt Conference and then transitioned to Conference USA about the same time.[33][33] The name comes from the fact that the two universities are separated by about 100 miles.[33]

Middle Tennessee-Western Kentucky: All-Time Record
Games played First meeting Last meeting Middle Tennessee wins Middle Tennessee losses Series Tied
66 October 10, 1914 (Won 47–0) November 17, 2017 (Loss 41-38) 33 32 1

Nickname[edit]

The nickname of the Middle Tennessee athletic teams is the Blue Raiders. Female teams were long known as the Lady Raiders, but adopted the Blue Raiders name in 2007, the nickname's origin goes back to a 1934 newspaper contest. An MT football player, Charles Sarver, won $5 from Murfreesboro's The Daily News Journal with his winning entry "Blue Raiders", which he later admitted borrowing from Colgate University, whose teams were known as "Raiders" at the time. No official nickname existed prior to 1934, when teams were called "Normalites", "Teachers", and "Pedagogues".[34]

Colors and mascot[edit]

MT is represented by the colors white and royal blue, described as PMS 301 by the university.[35]

Lightning is the mascot of both the Middle Tennessee men and women's sports teams.[34]

Conference championships[edit]

Middle Tennessee has won 13 conference championships, seven outright and six shared. [36][37]

Season Conference Coach Overall Record Conference Record
1956 Ohio Valley Conference Charles M. Murphy 7–3 5–0
1957 Ohio Valley Conference Charles M. Murphy 10–0 5–0
1958† Ohio Valley Conference Charles M. Murphy 8–2 5–1
1959† Ohio Valley Conference Charles M. Murphy 10–0–1 5–0–1
1962† Ohio Valley Conference Charles M. Murphy 6–4 4–2
1964 Ohio Valley Conference Charles M. Murphy 8–2–1 6–1
1965 Ohio Valley Conference Charles M. Murphy 10–0 7–0
1985 Ohio Valley Conference Boots Donnelly 11–1 7–0
1989 Ohio Valley Conference Boots Donnelly 9–4 6–0
1990† Ohio Valley Conference Boots Donnelly 11–2 5–1
1992 Ohio Valley Conference Boots Donnelly 10–3 8–0
2001† Sun Belt Conference Andy McCollum 8–3 4–3
2006† Sun Belt Conference Rick Stockstill 7–6 6–1

† denotes co-championship

Bowl games[edit]

Middle Tennessee has appeared in eleven bowl games as a program, with four of those falling as a non-Division I Bowl game, the Blue Raiders have a record of 4–7. MT appeared twice in the Tangerine Bowl (now the Citrus Bowl), the first game, played January 1, 1960, against Presbyterian College, resulted in a 21–12 win. The second game, against Lamar University on December 29, 1961, was a 21–14 loss.

The Blue Raiders were invited to the Motor City Bowl in 2006 after a shared conference title with Troy University. Troy had won the conference with a tie-breaker, but MT was invited due to the Big Ten having two teams in the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) and thus being unable to fulfill their bowl contract for the Motor City Bowl, this was their first bowl game in 42 years along with their first under Division I. They played Central Michigan University in the game and were defeated 31–14.

MT finished the 2009 regular season with a 9–3 record and was invited to play in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl on December 20, 2009, the team played against the University of Southern Mississippi, defeating them 42–32. This was their second bowl game since joining the FBS and first ever bowl win. Quarterback Dwight Dasher was named as the game's MVP after rushing and passing for two touchdowns each.[38]

Season Coach Bowl Opponent Result
1956 Charles M. Murphy Refrigerator Bowldagger Sam Houston State L 13–27
1959 Charles M. Murphy Tangerine Bowldagger Presbyterian W 21–12
1961 Charles M. Murphy Tangerine Bowldagger Lamar L 14–21
1964 Charles M. Murphy Grantland Rice Bowldagger Muskingum W 20–0
2006 Rick Stockstill Motor City Bowl Central Michigan L 14–31
2009 Rick Stockstill New Orleans Bowl Southern Miss W 42–32
2010 Rick Stockstill GoDaddy.com Bowl Miami (OH) L 21–35
2013 Rick Stockstill Armed Forces Bowl Navy L 6–24
2015 Rick Stockstill Bahamas Bowl Western Michigan L 31–45
2016 Rick Stockstill Hawaii Bowl Hawaii L 35–52
2017 Rick Stockstill Camellia Bowl Arkansas State W 35–30

daggernon-Division I bowl game

Division I-AA Playoffs results[edit]

The Blue Raiders have appeared in the I-AA playoffs seven times with a record of 6–7.

Year Round Opponent Result
1984 First Round
Quarterfinals
Semifinals
Eastern Kentucky
Indiana State
Louisiana Tech
W 27–10
W 42–41 3OT
L 13–21
1985 Quarterfinals Georgia Southern L 21–28
1989 First Round
Quarterfinals
Appalachian State
Georgia Southern
W 24–21
L 3–45
1990 First Round
Quarterfinals
Jackson State
Boise State
W 24–21
L 13–28
1991 First Round
Quarterfinals
Sam Houston State
Eastern Kentucky
W 20–19OT
L 13–23
1992 First Round
Quarterfinals
Appalachian State
Marshall
W 35–10
L 21–35
1994 First Round Marshall L 14–49

Retired number[edit]

Middle Tennessee has retired one jersey number. Morris was in the forefront of a big era of the Eagles, winning three OVC championships in his tenure as quarterback.

No. Player Position Tenure
14 Teddy Morris QB 1962–65

All-time record vs. CUSA teams[edit]

Official record (including any NCAA imposed vacates and forfeits) against all current CUSA opponents:

Opponent Won Lost Tied Percentage Streak First Last
Charlotte 3 0 0 1.000 Won 3 2015 2017
Florida Atlantic 11 4 0 .733 Lost 1 2003 2017
FIU 9 4 0 .692 Won 3 2005 2017
Louisiana Tech 2 4 0 .333 Won 1 1984 2016
Marshall 2 5 0 .286 Lost 2 1992 2017
North Texas 7 8 0 .467 Won 2 2001 2016
Old Dominion 2 0 0 1.000 Won 2 2014 2017
Rice 0 0 0
Southern Miss 3 0 0 1.000 Won 3 2009 2014
UAB 3 3 0 .500 Lost 1 1995 2017
UTEP 2 1 0 .667 Won 1 2013 2017
UTSA 1 1 0 .500 Lost 1 2015 2016
Western Kentucky 33 32 1 .508 Lost 3 1914 2017
Totals 78 62 1 .557

Future non-conference opponents[edit]

Announced schedules as of December 24, 2016.[39]

2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
at Vanderbilt vs Duke at Duke Missouri at Missouri
at Georgia at Michigan at Ole Miss
at Kentucky Tennessee State
UT Martin at Iowa

References[edit]

  1. ^ MTSU Visual Style Guide and Branding Policy Manual (PDF). May 1, 2015. Retrieved March 25, 2016. 
  2. ^ "100 Years of MTSU Football". Archived from the original on 2014-09-20. 
  3. ^ Stone, India (June 20, 2003). "The Heritage of Champions". GoBlueRaiders.com. Retrieved September 4, 2014. 
  4. ^ Cattell, James McKeen, ed. (1933). "School & Society". Society for the Advancement of Education. The University of California. 37 (960): 652. 
  5. ^ Forsythe, Regina (July 3, 1995). "Oral History Interview With Isa Lee Freeman" (PDF). MTSU.edu. Albert Gore Research Center. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 19, 2014. 
  6. ^ a b Sparks, Adam (October 1, 2015). "Johnny "Red" Floyd: MTSU legend, Vandy lost treasure". The Tennessean. 
  7. ^ a b DeLassus, David. "Middle Tennessee State Yearly Results: 1935–1939". College Football Data Warehouse. 
  8. ^ a b c DeLassus, David. "Middle Tennessee State Yearly Results: 1940–1944". College Football Data Warehouse. 
  9. ^ DeLassus, David. "Middle Tennessee State Yearly Results: 1945–1949". College Football Data Warehouse. 
  10. ^ Organ, Mike (May 11, 2014). "Former MTSU coach nominated for College Football Hall". The Tennessean. 
  11. ^ Bullen, Bob (1984). "Recollections: The Middle Tennessee Voices of Their Times Series, Television Program with Charles "Bubba" Murphy" (PDF). MTSU.edu. Albert Gore Research Center. 
  12. ^ DeLassus, David. "Middle Tennessee State Yearly Results: 1965–1969". College Football Data Warehouse. 
  13. ^ a b c d DeLassus, David. "Middle Tennessee State Yearly Results: 1970–1974". College Football Data Warehouse. 
  14. ^ Schmadtke, Alan (October 16, 1988). "Peck's Kids: He Loves Them For Just Trying". Orlando Sentinel. 
  15. ^ a b c DeLassus, David. "Middle Tennessee State Yearly Results: 1975–1979". College Football Data Warehouse. 
  16. ^ "Donnelly, James "Boots"". Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame. 
  17. ^ "Andy McCollum". RamblinWreck.com. 
  18. ^ "Middle Tennessee fires coach Andy McCollum". USA Today. November 21, 2005. 
  19. ^ Dooley, Pat (December 13, 2005). "Stockstill tapped as MTSU coach". The Gainesville Sun. 
  20. ^ "2007 Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders Schedule and Results - College Football at Sports-Reference.com". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. 
  21. ^ "2008 Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders Schedule and Results - College Football at Sports-Reference.com". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. 
  22. ^ "2009 Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders Schedule and Results - College Football at Sports-Reference.com". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. 
  23. ^ "Southern Mississippi vs. Middle Tennessee - Game Recap - December 20, 2009 - ESPN". ESPN.com. 
  24. ^ "2010 Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders Schedule and Results - College Football at Sports-Reference.com". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. 
  25. ^ "Middle Tennessee vs. Miami (OH) - Game Recap - January 6, 2011 - ESPN". ESPN.com. 
  26. ^ Anderson, Reggie (January 20, 2010). "Former Clemson and USC Assistant Stockstill Staying At Middle Tennessee". WLTX. Archived from the original on February 9, 2013. 
  27. ^ Stukenborg, Phil (November 17, 2009). "Tigers to talk to MTSU's Rick Stockstill about vacancy". The Commercial Appeal. Archived from the original on December 25, 2013. 
  28. ^ "Stockstill stays at MTSU, won't pursue East Carolina opening". Nashville City Paper. January 19, 2010. Archived from the original on July 12, 2012. 
  29. ^ "2016 Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders Schedule and Results - College Football at Sports-Reference.com". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. 
  30. ^ "Hawaii takes down Middle Tennessee for first bowl victory since 2006". 
  31. ^ a b "Battle for the Palladium: More than a trophy". 
  32. ^ "mcubed.net : NCAAF Football : Series records : Middle Tennessee St vs. Troy St". mcubed.net. 
  33. ^ a b c Rutledge, Billy. "'100 Miles of Hate': Hilltoppers prepare for MTSU". 
  34. ^ a b Stone, India (June 20, 2003). "The Heritage of Champions". GoBlueRaiders.com. Archived from the original on May 7, 2010. Retrieved January 8, 2010. 
  35. ^ Staff (August 1, 2008). "Blue Raider Logos". GoBlueRaiders.com. Archived from the original on October 29, 2006. Retrieved January 8, 2010. 
  36. ^ https://goblueraiders.com/documents/2017/8/7/2017_Football_Fact_Book.pdf
  37. ^ http://ovcsports.com/documents/2017/8/22//2017_OVC_Football_Media_Guide.pdf?id=6899
  38. ^ Staff (December 20, 2009). "Blue Raiders power past Southern Miss to win New Orleans Bowl Championship, 42–32". GoBlueRaiders.com. Archived from the original on December 23, 2009. Retrieved January 8, 2010. 
  39. ^ "Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders Football Schedules and Future Schedules". FBSchedules.com. Retrieved December 24, 2016. 

External links[edit]