Story by Rusty Ellis // Contributing Writer | Photo by Gregory French/MTSU Sidelines
For the second straight week, Middle Tennessee running back I’Tavius Mathers has won the Conference USA Offensive Player of the Week award.
In a thrilling 38-34 win over Louisiana Tech, Mathers carried the ball 21 times for a career-high 163 yards and three touchdowns. He also caught five passes for 74 yards, including a 37-yard touchdown.
This comes on the heels of Mathers’ dominant performance in Bowling Green, Ohio, when he carried the ball 27 times for 157 yards and three scores. He added 103 yards through the air with most coming from a 78-yard catch and run touchdown.
In that game, Mathers became the first player in school history to record 100 yards rushing and receiving in the same game. He leads the team in rushing yards (447 yards), rushing touchdowns (7) and is tied for second on the team in receiving touchdowns (2).
“Just like I said about Patrick [Smith], I’m happy for [Mathers] to enjoy the success he is having, especially it being his last year as a college football player,” Coach Rick Stockstill said Monday morning at the weekly press conference.
Mathers has been a key contributor to the team’s offensive success, ranked eighth in the country in total yardage. The senior’s stats have improved upon each game and he doesn’t seem to show any signs of slowing down.
“As a running back, when you take a year off and then try to get back into game mode, that’s tough,” said quarterback Brent Stockstill of Mathers. “The more times he carries it this year, the more he’ll improve, which is showing right now. He deserves all the success he’s had.”
Mathers and the Blue Raiders will look to continue their offensive success when they travel to Denton, Texas, to take on North Texas. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m.