Blue Raiders Bama bound as 2023 season opens

Aug 27, 2023 at 11:16 am by Danny Brewer

  College football is set to begin play in full force this coming week and for many, that means exciting times. Our local gridiron gladiators at Middle Tennessee State have been making preparations with eyes on another successful season.

  The Blue Raiders are fresh off an 8-5 season that saw them record a historic win at ranked Miami of Florida in September and also close the campaign with a four-game winning streak. Included in the final superfecta was a 25-23 win over San Diego State in the Hawaii Bowl.

  “We will not get any wins based on what we did last year, but the returning players from last year’s squad do bring a certain confidence with them”, says head football coach Rick Stockstill. “We are a blue-collar team with a do whatever it takes to win philosophy. That has become this program’s mentality.”

  The schedule for 2023 looks a bit different as MTSU will play two home games on non-traditional days. The October 4 game will kick off at 6 pm on Wednesday, and then six days later the Blue Raiders will host Louisiana Tech on Tuesday, October 10 at 6 pm.

  “The mid-week games are good news as hopefully our students will be on-campus and the crowds will be bigger”, says Stockstill. “As kind of the only game in town on those nights we also hope to get more viewership on TV. The bad news is we play five games in twenty-five days and that can make for challenges in staying healthy.”

  Middle Tennessee State faces a tall task in their season opener as they travel to Alabama to take on the tradition-rich Crimson Tide on September 2. The Blue Raiders are 0-3 lifetime against Alabama with the first meeting being in 2002 and the last coming in 2015. Being a heavy underdog against a top-ranked Power Five conference team is nothing new for the Blue Raiders. Winning these type of games is always a challenge and of course, everyone knows an upset can happen. In  Middle’s venture to Miami last year it did happen.

  “We know what we are up against in a game like this”, says Stockstill. “We just want to go down there and give ourselves a chance to win. Being a huge underdog is fuel for our guy’s fire.”


  The game with Alabama kicks off at 6:30 p.m. and is slated for the SEC Network. After a trip to Missouri on September 9, the Blue Raiders will open their home schedule by hosting old OVC rival Murray State on September 9.

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