Photo by Gregory French / Staff Photographer
After recording a signature win at Missouri, the Middle Tennessee received more recognition on Monday when running back I’Tavius Mathers and placekicker Canon Rooker were named Conference USA players of the week for offense and special teams, respectively.
For Mathers, this marks the third time in his last five outings that he’s won the award. In those last five games, Mathers has recorded at least 100 yards rushing in each of them. Against Missouri, he recorded a career-high 215 yards on 28 carries. The senior also scored his 11th rushing touchdown of the year. Mathers has provided more production than just with his legs, as he and quarterback Brent Stockstill hooked up in the third quarter for Mathers’ third receiving touchdown of the year.
So far this season, he leads the nation in points per game with 14.0 and is third in total touchdowns with 14 as well, just two shy of the NCAA leader. He also ranks fifth overall in the country in rushing yards with 940 yards.
Mathers needs just 20 more yards on the ground to become the first Blue Raider to attain 1,000 yards rushing in a single season since Dwight Dasher did so in 2009.
Rooker rebounded well after the WKU game, scoring 15 total points against Missouri. He converted three of his four field goal attempts and made all six of his extra points. Rooker has been solid all year, making 13 of his 16 field goal attempts for an 81 percent success rate. His 13 makes ranks him tied for fifth in the nation is total field goals.
Rooker’s final field goal was crucial, as it forced the Tigers to play for a touchdown instead of a field goal on their final drive. The defense ultimately held strong, and the team walked away with a monumental 51-45 win against an SEC opponent.
The Blue Raiders need both players to continue their success as they will travel to Miami, Florida to take on the FIU Golden Panthers in a pivotal C-USA Eastern Division matchup. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. on Saturday.
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