Unless you are a fan of MTSU or FAU, you probably know nothing about this game that featured 133 points scored between the two teams. You may remember that Pitt vs. Syracuse game that featured 137 points that also happened on November 26th, but I think the battle between the Blue Raiders and the Owls was way more fun.
Obviously, this was after the collarbone injury to MTSU starting QB Brent Stockstill, so redshirt freshman John Urzua got the start at QB, but exited the game in the first quarter with his own injury. THAT is when this game got really interesting.
Faced with no other options, MTSU decided to run the wildcat, alternating between wide receivers Richie James and Dennis Andrews for the remainder of the game. The Blue Raiders proceeded to break school records in the process, and won 77-56 against a struggling FAU team.
The records they broke:
- Points scored in a single game: 77 points
- Total offense in a single game: 757 yards
- Rushing touchdowns in a single game: 9 touchdowns
To say it was shocking is a huge understatement. MTSU was coming off of their worst month of the season, with losses to UTSA and Marshall and a close win vs Charlotte. Thanks to the play of James and Andrew at QB, with help from I’tavius Mathers, the MTSU offense put on a show for a fan base that was looking for some to cheer about.
Richie James continued to prove why he is one of the most underrated athletes in college football. He went absolutely beast-mode and became just the sixth player in FBS history to rush for over 200 yards and receive for over 100 yards in a single game. It just seemed like Tony Franklin’s only goal in the game was to get Richie the ball in any way possible, getting him three rushing touchdowns after Urzua went down. James was not limited to just running and catching, however. He also threw the ball, going for 76 yards on 5-6 passing. Even though he was a former high school quarterback, this is still very impressive considering he had only thrown one other time in the season.
I’tavius Mathers also went absolutely nuts and rushed for 213 yards and three touchdowns in the game, making MTSU only the sixth team in FBS history to have two 200 yard rushers in a single game. The other three rushing touchdowns came from Denis Andrews, who was playing his last game at Floyd Stadium. Andrews also threw in the game, going for 73 yards on 2-3 passing.
These three guys took the entire Blue Raider offense on their back and just ran with it (literally). Even though Middle went on to lose the Hawaii Bowl, this game was a great win to end the regular season for a team that had very high expectations.