Two months ago, the hype surrounding the Middle Tennessee football program was at an all-time-high. For this team, it seemed like conference championship or bust in all honesty. After years of getting his team bowl eligible, MTSU fans wanted coach Rick Stockstill to finally take his team to the next level.
What has occurred since then has been nothing short of disappointing. After finishing a tough non-conference schedule 2-2, this Blue Raider team has struggled mightily with injuries and just hasn’t played them same. So where does MTSU go from here and how just pressure is on Rick Stockstill to turn it around this season?
The effect of losing Brent Stockstill
Middle’s injury troubles this season have been well documented all season. Following that Syracuse game earlier this season, the injuries began to pile up but only one has devastated this team, the loss of quarterback Brent Stockstill. By far, his absence has been what has held this team back.
Backup John Urzua continued to show his potential over and over again to help this team, but his mistakes have by far out-shined his successes. Urzua, who got almost all of the off-season reps with the first team while Stockstill recovered from surgeries, has to learn to keep his mistakes from turning into catastrophes. But now, Urzua’s status is up in the air after suffering a concussion against Marshall this past week.
Where do the Blue Raiders go from here?
With a record of 1-3 in Conference USA, the Blue Raiders’ goal of making the conference championship is out of reach for the season, barring an absolute miracle.
I don’t doubt the heart and character of this team one bit, but I also know how disappointed they are with how this season has played out so far. They know how good they could be and they have lost their swagger because they aren’t reaching their full potential.
That being said, if they can regroup in this bye week and have another “November to Remember” like they have had in the past they very well could make a bowl. But in order to do that, the Blue Raiders need to attack these next four games with all they have left and win them.
How much pressure is Rick Stockstill facing this season?
If it isn’t apparent to you that Rick Stockstill feels pressure, this video and caption should.
Can't remember a Stockstill presser in which his opening statement lasted under a minute. Usually goes at least 2 mins. Tonight? 10 seconds. pic.twitter.com/9ZaoFrc1sZ— Erik Bacharach (@ErikBacharach) October 21, 2017
Once again, the Blue Raider faithful has to deal with the disappointment of not maximizing the potential of a strong team and it is starting to catch up with him. Fans are tired of bragging about being bowl eligible, they want championship success and they want it soon.
Fans are tired of having nothing to show for at the end of seasons and as long as that keeps happening, the pressure will continue growing. With a five million dollar buyout, it will definitely take a lot for him to be fired anytime soon, but don’t expect the pressure to go away anytime soon for Rick.