Following a tough loss last week on the road against Minnesota and a week filled with a lot of injury questions, the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders were able to do just enough Saturday night, beating the Bowling Green Falcons 24-13 in a game where they never trailed.
Like last week, Brent Stockstill did not play, making John Urzua the starter again this week. Along Stockstill, Richie James did not play this week either after missing most of last week’s game. On top of those two, offensive line veteran Chandler Brewer and running back Shane Tucker were all out tonight.
Despite all of these injuries, Middle Tennessee lead in every stat category tonight except for turnovers. The offense broke 500 yards of total offensive for the first time all season, which is quite surprising considering the situation this team is in.
The Blue Raiders had two 100 yard rushers, Joquez Bruce and Brad Anderson, in the same game for the first time in a while. It was really nice to see Joquez Bruce step into a position he just got moved to this week and have success and contribute to this team. I think he is a weapon that can help this team moving forward even after they get healthy.
The success of the running game allowed Middle Tennessee to throw the ball with John Urzua when they wanted to, rather than out of necessity which I believe was a huge key to getting the win. Urzua ended up only throwing one interception but did have two touchdowns and didn’t have to do too much to win this one.
On defense, the Blue Raiders did a great job of shutting down the Bowling Green running attack, like they have for against most opponents this year. The secondary showed that they are still a work in progress and will give up yards this year. They will have to continue to work this year in not letting receivers beat them across the field like they did this evening and tackling well.
In the end, this is a really good win for this team moving forward. Middle Tennessee was able to get this offense going missing some of it’s biggest keys and gain yards and put up points, even if it was a struggling Bowling Green. It was a huge confidence booster for the fans and hopefully will put this team on the right track as the Blue Raiders have closed non-conference play at 2-2, and will begin their conference schedule next week against FAU in Boca Raton.