After a long 15-day break in between games, the MTSU football team is back in action Saturday at South Alabama. The Blue Raiders last game was a thrilling 34-29 win on Nov. 1 at Western Kentucky. This week, it heads to Mobile, Ala., for its first ever meeting against the Jaguars.
With the win, MTSU (6-3, 4-1) has become bowl eligible for the third time in four seasons, and the fourth time while Rick Stockstill has been at the helm of the program starting in 2006. In the meantime, the Blue Raiders look to continue its winning ways after being off for the last 15 days.
“It gave them some time to get healed, and recharge their batters both mentally and physically,” Stockstill said during the weekly press conference. “ We had a good open date and we got some practice and recruiting in.”
Now MTSU heads to South Alabama looking for its fifth road win of the season, currently the Blue Raiders are 4-1 on the road this season, including wins at Memphis and Georgia Tech. The only road loss this season was a 45-3 loss at Mississippi State on Oct. 20. It has not lost since.
A win either this Saturday or in its final road game of the season at Arkansas State on Dec. 1 would make school history.
Since joining the FBS a few seasons ago, the most road wins MTSU has had in a single season was four, including this season. Their next road win this season would make it five and set a new mark in terms of the amount of road wins in a season.
“We have to be a mentally tough team to win on the road,” Stockstill said. “We tell them what to expect when we are playing on the road at these different stadiums. It's hard to win conference games on the road. We have also done a good job of protecting the ball in road games this season.”
In the four home games this 2012 season, the Blue Raiders have lost six fumbles, while only losing three in road contests.
The Raiders' opponents are also making history this season.
South Alabama has been a long-time member of the Sun Belt Conference in other sports. However, the school did not have a football program until 2009. This is their first ever full-time season in the SBC.
Currently, the Jaguars are 2-8, 1-5 this season and are in last place in the SBC. Last week, it fell to North Texas 24-14. However, the MTSU players and coaches know it will still be a tough challenge regardless of its opponents record.
“We are anxious to get back on the field,” Stockstill said. “I told our players USA is a good football team with a bad record. They have been in every game they have played in.”
Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. at Ladd-Peebles Stadium, and it will not be shown on television.