|Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders|
|Athletic director||Chris Massaro|
|Head coach||Rick Stockstill |
15th season, 90-83 (.520)
|Stadium||Johnny "Red" Floyd Stadium|
|Field surface||Sportexe PowerBlade turf|
|NCAA division||Division I FBS|
|Bowl record||4–8 (.333)|
Western Kentucky (rivalry)
|Colors||Royal Blue and White|
|Fight song||MTSU Fight Song|
|Marching band||Band of Blue|
Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders football program represents Middle Tennessee State University in the sport of American football. The Blue Raiders compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the East Division of Conference USA (CUSA). They are coached by Rick Stockstill, who started in 2006. Middle Tennessee has appeared in 12 bowl games and seven I-AA playoffs. The Blue Raiders play their home games at the Johnny "Red" Floyd Stadium which has a seating capacity of 30,788.
Middle Tennessee State University first fielded a football team in 1911 under the direction of head coach L. T. "Mutt" Weber. From 1913-1923, Alfred B. Miles led the Blue Raiders football program. The 1914 football season led by Miles was its first undefeated season, with five straight victories after a tie with Cumberland.
Frank Faulkinberry was hired as MTSU's head coach after Miles' departure. During his tenure, the Blue Raiders compiled a record of 33-26-4. Faulkinberry was found shot to death in his garage on May 13, 1933, a suspected suicide being the cause.
Johnny Floyd started coaching MTSU in 1935 and led the Blue Raiders for four seasons. Under his tutelage, the Blue Raiders compiled a record of 30-8-1. Floyd's 1935 team went a perfect 8-0. However, a 2-6 campaign in 1938 ended his time in Murfreesboro.
Elwin W. Midgett led the Blue Raiders for four seasons (MTSU did not field a football team from 1943-1945 because of World War II. In 1940, Midgett led the Blue Raiders to a 4-4 mark. In 1941, the Blue Raiders posted a 4-3-1 campaign, followed by 4-2-1 in 1942, and 6-2-1 in 1946.
Charles Murphy is the longest-tenured and winningest head coach in MTSU, football history, with a 155-63-8 record in 22 seasons as MTSU's head coach. Under Murphy's tutelage, the Blue Raiders posted four undefeated seasons (1949, 1957, 1959 and 1965) along with 17 winning seasons and four bowl appearances. Murphy was asked to resign at MTSU after a 2-8 campaign in 1968.
Succeeding Murphy as the Blue Raiders head coach was Donald Fuoss, who only lasted for one season, a 1-9 campaign in 1969 that resulted in his firing.
Bill Peck took over as head coach in 1970 and instantly brought improvement to Murfreesboro. In his first season, the Blue Raiders posted a 6-3-1 record. In 1971, MTSU posted a record of 7-4. That was followed by a 7-3-1 mark in 1972, a 4-7 mark in 1973 and a 3-8 campaign in 1974. Peck was asked to resign after back to back losing seasons to end his tenure.
Ben Hurt took over the Blue Raiders in 1975. Under his tutelage, in 1975, MTSU posted a 4-7 mark. That was followed by another 4-7 campaign in 1976. In 1977, Hurt's Blue Raiders posted a 3-8 record that was followed by a 1-9-1 1978 season, after which Hurt was fired.
Austin Peay head coach James Donnelly was hired as MTSU's head coach in 1979. Under his leadership, the MTSU football program compiled a record of 133-80-1. Donnelly is the second winningest football coach in MTSU history. Of his 20 seasons at the helm, 15 of them were winning seasons (including 12 in a row) and four of them were seasons of at least 10 wins. Donnelly resigned after a 5-5 season in 1998.
Baylor assistant coach Andy McCollum took over for Donnelly in 1999. McCollum led the Blue Raiders to a 6-5 record in 2000, their first as an FBS program. In 2001, McCollum oversaw an offense that ranked fifth nationally and MTSU finished 8-3 as the runner-up behind North Texas which won the Sun Belt Conference championship. In 2005, MTSU's defense ranked ninth nationally. McCollum was fired after the 2005 season.
In 2006, South Carolina tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator Rick Stockstill got the head coaching job at Middle Tennessee State. In his first season, Stockstill led the Blue Raiders to the program's second bowl game as well as a share of the Sun Belt Conference title. He was later that year named the conference coach of the year.
The 2007 and 2008 seasons saw the Blue Raiders take a small step back with back-to-back 5-7 seasons. However, in 2009, Stockstill and the Blue Raiders went 10-3 and won the New Orleans Bowl, which was the third bowl victory in school history. Again, Stockstill was named conference coach of the year for the 2009 season. The Blue Raiders went to another bowl in 2010, and they finished the season 6-7 after losing the GoDaddy.com Bowl.
After the successful 2009 season, he turned down several offers from other schools, including Conference USA's East Carolina and Memphis, citing that it was not the right time to leave the Blue Raiders. Stockstill has led MTSU to seven bowl games in 13 years.
In 2017, Stockstill led the Blue Raiders to a 7-6, 4-4 in C-USA play to finish for a tie in third place in the East Division. They were invited to the 2017 Camellia Bowl where they defeated Arkansas State.
Middle Tennessee has been both an independent and affiliated with multiple conferences.:128-134
|Season||Conference||Coach||Overall Record||Conference Record|
|1956||Ohio Valley Conference||Charles M. Murphy||7-3||5-0|
|1957||Ohio Valley Conference||Charles M. Murphy||10-0||5-0|
|1958+||Ohio Valley Conference||Charles M. Murphy||8-2||5-1|
|1959+||Ohio Valley Conference||Charles M. Murphy||10-0-1||5-0-1|
|1962+||Ohio Valley Conference||Charles M. Murphy||6-4||4-2|
|1964||Ohio Valley Conference||Charles M. Murphy||8-2-1||6-1|
|1965||Ohio Valley Conference||Charles M. Murphy||10-0||7-0|
|1985||Ohio Valley Conference||Boots Donnelly||11-1||7-0|
|1989||Ohio Valley Conference||Boots Donnelly||9-4||6-0|
|1990+||Ohio Valley Conference||Boots Donnelly||11-2||5-1|
|1992||Ohio Valley Conference||Boots Donnelly||10-3||8-0|
|2001+||Sun Belt Conference||Andy McCollum||8-3||5-1|
|2006+||Sun Belt Conference||Rick Stockstill||7-6||6-1|
As a member of Conference USA since 2013, Middle Tennessee competes in the East Division. The Blue Raiders have won one division title.
Middle Tennessee has appeared in twelve bowl games as a program, with four of those falling as a non-Division I Bowl game. The Blue Raiders have a record of 4-8. MT appeared twice in the Tangerine Bowl (now the Citrus Bowl). The first game, played January 1, 1960, against Presbyterian College, resulted in a 21-12 win. The second game, against Lamar University on December 29, 1961, was a 21-14 loss.
The Blue Raiders were invited to the Motor City Bowl in 2006 after a shared conference title with Troy University. Troy had won the conference with a tie-breaker, but MT was invited due to the Big Ten having two teams in the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) and thus being unable to fulfill their bowl contract for the Motor City Bowl. This was their first bowl game in 42 years along with their first under Division I. They played Central Michigan University in the game and were defeated 31-14.
MT finished the 2009 regular season with a 9-3 record and was invited to play in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl on December 20, 2009. The team played against the University of Southern Mississippi, defeating them 42-32. This was their second bowl game since joining the FBS and first ever bowl win. Quarterback Dwight Dasher was named as the game's MVP after rushing and passing for two touchdowns each.
|1956||Charles M. Murphy||Refrigerator Bowl||Sam Houston State||L 13-27|
|1959||Charles M. Murphy||Tangerine Bowl||Presbyterian||W 21-12|
|1961||Charles M. Murphy||Tangerine Bowl||Lamar||L 14-21|
|1964||Charles M. Murphy||Grantland Rice Bowl||Muskingum||W 20-0|
|2006||Rick Stockstill||Motor City Bowl||Central Michigan||L 14-31|
|2009||Rick Stockstill||New Orleans Bowl||Southern Miss||W 42-32|
|2010||Rick Stockstill||GoDaddy.com Bowl||Miami (OH)||L 21-35|
|2013||Rick Stockstill||Armed Forces Bowl||Navy||L 6-24|
|2015||Rick Stockstill||Bahamas Bowl||Western Michigan||L 31-45|
|2016||Rick Stockstill||Hawaii Bowl||Hawaii||L 35-52|
|2017||Rick Stockstill||Camellia Bowl||Arkansas State||W 35-30|
|2018||Rick Stockstill||New Orleans Bowl||Appalachian State||L 13-45|
non-Division I bowl game
The Blue Raiders have appeared in the I-AA playoffs seven times with a record of 6-7.
W 42-41 3OT
|1985||Quarterfinals||Georgia Southern||L 21-28|
|Sam Houston State
|1994||First Round||Marshall||L 14-49|
Middle Tennessee's rivalry with Troy, now dormant following Middle Tennessee's 2013 move to Conference USA, is known as the Battle for the Palladium. Troy and Middle Tennessee first played each other in 1936, but it wasn't until 2003 that schools started playing annually for the Palladium Trophy. Middle Tennessee currently leads the series 12-8.
|Games played||First meeting||Last meeting||Middle Tennessee wins||Middle Tennessee losses|
|21||October 9th, 1936 (Won 19-0)||September 9th, 2020 (Lost 47-14)||12||9|
The rivalry between Middle Tennessee and Western Kentucky, is both school's oldest rivalry, as the two programs played together for several decades in the Ohio Valley Conference before both became members of the Sun Belt Conference and then transitioned to Conference USA about the same time. The name comes from the fact that the two universities are separated by about 100 miles.
|Games played||First meeting||Last meeting||Middle Tennessee wins||Middle Tennessee losses||Series Tied|
|68||October 10th, 1914 (Won 47-0)||October 3rd, 2020 (Lost 20-17)||34||33||1|
The nickname of the Middle Tennessee athletic teams is the Blue Raiders. Female teams were long known as the Lady Raiders, but adopted the Blue Raiders name in 2007. The nickname's origin goes back to a 1934 newspaper contest. An MT football player, Charles Sarver, won $5 from Murfreesboro's The Daily News Journal with his winning entry "Blue Raiders", which he later admitted borrowing from Colgate University, whose teams were known as "Raiders" at the time. No official nickname existed prior to 1934, when teams were called "Normalites", "Teachers", and "Pedagogues".
MT is represented by the colors white and royal blue, described as PMS 301 by the university.
Middle Tennessee has retired one jersey number. Morris was in the forefront of a big era of the Blue Raiders, winning three OVC championships in his tenure as quarterback.
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Official record (including any NCAA imposed vacates and forfeits) against all current CUSA opponents:
|Florida Atlantic||12||5||0||.706||Lost 1||2003||2019|
|Louisiana Tech||2||4||0||.333||Won 1||1984||2016|
|North Texas||7||10||0||.412||Lost 2||2001||2020|
|Old Dominion||4||0||0||1.000||Won 4||2014||2019|
|Southern Miss||3||0||0||1.000||Won 3||2009||2014|
|Western Kentucky||34||34||1||.500||Lost 2||1914||2020|
Announced schedules as of December 27, 2019.
|at Duke||at Virginia Tech||at Colorado State||at Missouri||at Ole Miss||Duke||Liberty|
|Indiana State||at Liberty||Missouri||Colorado State||at Duke||Austin Peay|
|Virginia Tech||at UConn|