Football: 2018 schedule poses numerous challenges for Blue Raiders

Redshirt junior Darryl Randolph tackles WKU quarterback Mike White against Western Kentucky in Bowling Green, Ky. on Nov. 17, 2017. (Devin P. Grimes / MTSU Sidelines)

Photo by Devin P. Grimes / MTSU Sidelines

After an up-and-down season that ended with the 2017 Camellia Bowl crown, the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders look forward to numerous challenges in 2018.

The schedule features three SEC opponents in national runner-up Georgia, Kentucky and Vanderbilt, making Middle Tennessee one of two teams (along with University of Texas-San Antonio) in Conference USA that will face three Power 5 schools.

MTSU will hit the road seven times this season and will only enjoy the friendly confines of Floyd Stadium five times.

Just as they did this past season, the Blue Raiders will open up the year against mid-state foe Vanderbilt at Vanderbilt Stadium on Sept. 1.

The following week, MTSU will take on its first FCS opponent since 2016 in the Ohio Valley Conference’s University of Tennessee-Martin.

The Raiders round out September by welcoming Lane Kiffin to Murfreesboro for the first time since he was hired at Florida Atlantic.

The month of October features a game at Marshall, a team who dominated Middle by a score of 38-10 at Floyd Stadium last season.

Although the month of November has been kind to MTSU over the past few years, they will have a tough road to travel this year. After opening the month at home with rival Western Kentucky (Nov. 3), they will hit the road for two weeks against UTEP and Kentucky.

On Nov. 24, the Raiders will play host to University of Alabama-Birmingham. In their first season back since 2014, the Blazers defeated the Blue Raiders in a game that went down to the wire last season at Legion Field.

Below is the full slate of games for the upcoming season.

MTSU 2018 football schedule

Sept. 1: at Vanderbilt

Sept. 8: vs. UT-Martin

Sept. 15: at Georgia

Sept. 22: Bye Week

Sept. 29: *vs. FAU

Oct. 6: *at Marshall

Oct. 13: *at FIU

Oct. 20: *vs. Charlotte

Oct. 27: *at Old Dominion

Nov. 3: *vs. Western Kentucky

Nov. 10: *at UTEP

Nov. 17: at Kentucky

Nov. 24: *UAB

Dec. 1: C-USA championship game

*Denotes Conference-USA game

Follow MTSU sports reporter Anthony Fiorella on Twitter at @A_Fiorella74 for more coverage.

To contact Sports Editor Rusty Ellis (@RustyEllis13), email

For more sports stories, follow us on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines and on Twitter and Periscope at @Sidelines_Sport.

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