With the success against FIU last week in the ground game and the late scratch of star Charlotte running back Benny LeMay, the odds seemed to favor MTSU on Saturday.
Then the game started.
In another massive letdown following a big home win, the MTSU Blue Raiders (3-6, 2-3 C-USA) were ran off the field against the Charlotte 49ers (4-5, 2-3 C-USA) 34-20.
The Blue Raiders struck first with Asher O’Hara connecting with Zack Dobson for a 19-yard strike to go 7-0 ahead. But then MTSU surrendered 34 consecutive points until a late score in the 3rd broke the run.
The porous MTSU rushing defense made an unfortunate return after a bye week against FIU where the Panthers struggled to move the ball in the downpour of rain. The 49ers, without its best running back and offensive player, still put up 248 yards on the ground.
Junior tailback Antonio McAllister totaled 104 yards and two touchdowns after being thrusted into the starting role.
Asher O’Hara was invisible again through the air and an early interception meant he was once again relegated to a suped-up running back leading the Blue Raiders in rushing with 148 yards and a touchdown as the only sort of offense on the day.
The loss now means it is virtually impossible for the Blue Raiders to qualify for a postseason bowl game, meaning there are three games left on the schedule.
And while two home games vs Rice and Old Dominion should be cakewalks even for MTSU, the final game of the season away to WKU looms as the final exam for this 2019 roster.
The 100 Miles of Hate finale will also be the last time that MTSU could register an away win on the year. Following Saturday’s loss, the Blue Raiders are 0-5 on the road.
MTSU is on a bye next week. Its next game is home against Rice on November 16th at 3:30 p.m. and will be watchable on ESPN+.
To contact Sports Editor Elijah Campbell, email firstname.lastname@example.org.