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Without stars on offense, Middle Tennessee loses to Minnesota 34-3

Playing short handed on offense, the Blue Raiders fall on the road

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Following last week’s win on the road at Syracuse, hopes were high for the Blue Raiders against Minnesota. Those hopes were quickly dashed when quarterback Brent Stockstill was ruled out for the matchup and star receiver Richie James left the game for good in the second quarter. It was at that point where the Golden Gophers began to take over the game, running away with a 34-3 victory at home.

Backup quarterback John Urzua was thrust into the starting role, throwing for 135 yards and two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown. This is the type of performance Blue Raider fans have come to expect from the backup, especially facing tough defenses like Minnesota.

That, along with the absence of Richie James for a large portion of game, spelled doom for an offense that needs Stockstill and James in order to operate. They couldn’t get anything going, but I don’t think anyone expected them to.

As result, the Blue Raider defense that has played so well this season just spent too much time on the field. They didn’t play bad, they just ended up spending way too much time on the field and tired out quickly.

The fact of the matter is that there is no need to over-react about this game. This was already going to be a tough game for this team and losing your top two offensive players made it even worse. The goal for this team is a conference title and a loss in this game doesn’t kill that, so expect this team to rest up, get healthy, and bounce back against Bowling Green next week.