Photo by Devin P. Grimes / MTSU Sidelines
After a demoralizing 34-3 loss at Minnesota, the Blue Raiders have returned home to Murfreesboro and are ready to prepare for the Bowling Green State Falcons.
In a game where starting quarterback Brent Stockstill sat with a cracked sternum, backup John Urzua appeared more poised for the starting spot than he was all of last season. He led the Blue Raiders on a scoring drive to set up a game-tying field goal before beginning another lengthy drive.
This is where everything went wrong.
After a miscommunication between Urzua and a receiver, Minnesota’s Jacob Huff took an interception all the way back to the end zone to break the game open and begin the barrage. By the time all was said and done, the Golden Gophers walked away with a victory.
The game was not the only loss however, as star receiver Richie James also left the game with injury. He and Stockstill are both questionable for Saturday’s game against the Falcons.
While his team is hurt, Head Coach Rick Stockstill knows that his team has to power through the injuries and work harder if they want to win.
“Injuries can happen at any time … It’s not easy when you play three Power 5 teams,” Stockstill said. “It’s a tough three-game stretch to open the season … We just have to get our guys healthy.”
With Urzua as the next man up, Stockstill knows that the backup will have to be better if the team is to have any chance this weekend.
“(I want him) to be poised, moreso in the pocket. (I want him) to work harder in the pocket,” Stockstill said. “(He needs) to play more consistently than he did.”
With a game looming against a good offensive team in Bowling Green, Stockstill knows that his team has to be ready for another physical game.
“They’ve got a lot of guys coming back … Their quarterback and some really dynamic receivers (are back),” Stockstill said. “This is about us this week, and we have got to get better in a lot of places.”
The two teams kick off at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 23, as the Blue Raiders will be back in front of the Middle Tennessee faithful.
To contact Sports Editor Rusty Ellis, email firstname.lastname@example.org.