After finishing the 2015 season with a 7-6 record and playing in the Popeyes Bahamas Bowl, the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders are looking to build off that performance this season.
However, they will try to accomplish this feat without senior wide receiver Terry Pettis as head coach Rick Stockstill confirmed on Tuesday that he will miss the entire season with a right leg injury.
This is a huge blow to an already young wide receiver unit as they lost another senior wide receiver in Shane Tucker to a leg injury as well.
Last season, Pettis was third on the team in receiving yards with 612 to go along with 29 receptions and four touchdowns.
Coach Stockstill spoke about the losses of Pettis and Tucker.
"Terry is a huge, huge loss," he said. "Losing Ed Batties (to graduation) and now Terry, that's at least 1,600 yards lost production. Then you throw Shane (Tucker) in there."
Without those three wide receivers, the Blue Raiders will have to lean exclusively on All-American Richie James, who had an outstanding redshirt freshman campaign. James led the way with 108 receptions for 1,346 receiving yards and eight touchdowns.
James was also a threat in the running game as he carried the ball 13 times for 158 yards and a touchdown.
However, redshirt sophomore quarterback Brent Stockstill and the rest of the Blue Raiders' offense will still have their work cut out for them this season, if they want to go beyond their 2015 success.
The Blue Raiders open up the season on Sept. 3 against Alabama A&M.