Middle Tennessee State Football 2012 Bowl Capsule

Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders
Sun Belt


The expectations for Middle Tennessee State were quite low in what turned out to be their last season in the Sun Belt. The Blue Raiders are joining Conference USA in 2013. And the expectations dropped even more when the team lost their season opener to McNeese State of the FCS. But Coach Rick Stockstill turned things around quickly following that loss and MTSU went into the last weekend of the season with a shot at winning an outright Sun Belt title.

2012 Record: 8-4, 6-2
Coach: Rick Stockstill
Coach Bowl Record: 1-2

Big Wins: 9/29 at Georgia Tech (49-28), 11/1 at Western Kentucky (34-29)
Bad Losses: 8/30 McNeese State (21-27), 10/6 Louisiana-Monroe (17-31)

The Middle Tennessee offense has developed into a prolific and efficient unit. Quarterback Logan Kilgore may not put up a ton of yards, but he is a smart, experienced signal caller. A year ago Kilgore threw 18 touchdowns and a dozen interceptions. This season he has completed 16 touchdown passes and thrown just six interceptions. Kilgore is making much better decisions and his completion percentage has gone up drastically because of that as well. Kilgore has the ability to win games and make big plays, especially with receiver Anthony Amos on the field, yet, Coach Stockstill will stick to the ground attack as much as possible. Benny Cunningham is a tough back who can punch the ball into the end zone. Jordan Parker came out of nowhere to become the team’s top rusher. He is a breakaway threat and can get the ball into the red zone where Cunningham tends to finish the job.

The offense does a great job of keeping the turnovers down and the defense helps out by forcing fumbles and interceptions. While the defense can make big plays, the opposition has made plenty of big plays against the MTSU defense. And that is the main place where the Blue Raiders are susceptible. The unit allows nearly 435 yards per game. The lack of a consistent pass rushing threat from the front four has been a big problem all season long. Middle Tennessee State has to bring linebackers like Leighton Gasque into the blitz packages to get any pressure on the opposing quarterback. And that is about all they can do. Safeties Kevin Byard and Jajuan Harley are having great seasons, but MTSU cannot afford to blitz their safeties and leave the corners on an island. Despite the defensive problems, this is a team that does an amazing job of keeping teams out of the end zone. Despite ranking 8th in the conference in total defense, the Blue Raiders are second in scoring defense. That is the definition of a bend but don’t break defense.

Statistical Leaders:
Rushing: Jordan Parker, RB, 851 yards
Passing: Logan Kilgore, QB, 2,571 yards
Receiving: Anthony Amos, WR, 992 yards
Tackles: Craig Allen, LB, 82
Sacks: Leighton Gasque, LB, 4.0
Interceptions: Kevin Byard, S, 4

2012 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 184.64 (42nd in nation, 3rd in conference)
Passing Offense: 225.36 (67, 6)
Total Offense: 410.00 (56, 5)
Scoring Offense: 29.00 (65, 5)
Rushing Defense: 180.45 (82, 7)
Pass Defense: 253.91 (86, 5)
Total Defense: 434.36 (88, 8)
Scoring Defense: 26.45 (56, 2)
Turnover Margin: 1.09 (11, 1)
Sacks: 1.27 (104, 7)
Sacks Allowed: .64 (3, 2)

Recent Bowl Appearances:
2010    GoDaddy.com Bowl    Miami (OH) (21-35)    
2009    New Orleans Bowl    Southern Mississippi (42-32)    
2006    Motor City Bowl    Central Michigan (14-31)    

*all team stats through 11/24


Bowl Central

generic shop