Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders football

Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders
2016 Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders football team
First season 1911
Athletic director Chris Massaro
Head coach Rick Stockstill
11th year, 7265 (.526)
Stadium Johnny "Red" Floyd Stadium
Seating capacity 30,788
Field surface Sportexe PowerBlade turf
Location Murfreesboro, Tennessee
NCAA division Division I FBS
Conference C-USA
Division East
All-time record 55141028 (.571)
Bowl record 25 (.286)
Colors Royal Blue and White[1]
Fight song MTSU Fight Song
Mascot Lightning
Marching band Band of Blue
Rivals Western Kentucky Hilltoppers
North Texas Mean Green
Troy Trojans
Website GoBlueRaiders.com

The Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders football team represents Middle Tennessee State University in NCAA Division I FBS football competition. The Blue Raiders are members of Conference USA and play their home games at Johnny "Red" Floyd Stadium in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

Rick Stockstill is the head coach of the team.


Early History (1911-1925)

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 lead 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.[2][3]

The First Fifty Years: A History of Middle Tennessee State College recalls this story of Jess Neely's days playing for Middle Tennessee State Normal and coach Miles: "Jess Neely, a brilliant half-back and a handsome man on the campus, is remembered for his popularity among members of the opposite sex and for an incident that occurred just prior to a football game with Southern Presbyterian in Clarksville. Miles had done an exceptionally good job in mentally preparing his team for the game. He climaxed the pre-game, locker-room exhortation with a soaring call for courage and deathless allegiance to "dear Ol' Normal." Neely was greatly affected by the words of his coach for he leaped to his feet and, roaring like an angry bull, led the team in a rush to the doorway opening to the field. He misjudged the extremely low entrance, and his head received the full impact of the strip of wall above the doorway. He was revived shortly before the kickoff, but he never quite knew where he was, frequently huddling and aligning himself with the enemy."[4] This was said to occur at a point near the 1917 season.

Frank Faulkinberry era (1926-1932)

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.[5]

E. M. Waller era (1933-1934)

E. M. Waller led the Blue Raiders for two seasons and compiled a 3–14–1 record.[6] Waller resigned due to the team's struggles after two seasons.

Johnny Floyd era (1935-1938)

Johnny Floyd returned to MTSU in 1935 and led the Blue Raiders for four seasons.[7] Under his tutelage, the Blue Raiders compiled a record of 30–8–1. Floyd's 1935 team went a perfect 8–0.[8] However, a 2–6 campaign in 1938 ended his time in Murfreesboro.[7]

Ernest Alley era (1939)

Ernest Alley was named the next head coach of MTSU football, and in his one season, the Blue Raiders compiled a 1–6–1 record.[8]

E. W. Midgett era (1940-1946)

E. 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.[9] In 1941, the Blue Raiders posted a 4–3–1 campaign,[9] followed by 4–2–1 in 1942,[9] and 6–2–1 in 1946.[10]

Charles Murphy era (1947-1968)

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 three bowl appearances.[11] Murphy was asked to resign at MTSU after a 2–8 campaign in 1968.[12]

Donald Fuoss era (1969)

Succeeding Murphy as the Blue Raiders head coach was Donald Fuoss, who only lasted for one season, a 1–9 campaign in 1969[13] that resulted in his firing.

Bill Peck era (1970-1974)

Coach Bill Peck took over in 1970 and instantly brought improvement to Murfreesboro. In his first season, the Blue Raiders posted a 6–3–1 record.[14] In 1971, MTSU posted a record of 7–4.[14] That was followed by a 7–3–1 mark in 1972,[14] a 4–7 mark in 1973 and a 3–8 campaign in 1974.[14] Peck was asked to resign after back to back losing seasons to end his tenure.[15]

Ben Hurt era (1975-1978)

Ben Hurt took over the Blue Raiders in 1975. Under his tutelage, in 1975, MTSU posted a 4–7 mark.[16] That was followed by another 4–7 campaign in 1976.[16] In 1977, Hurt's Blue Raiders posted a 3–8 record that was followed by a 1–9–1 1978 season,[16] after which Hurt was fired.

James Donnelly era (1979-1998)

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.[17] 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.

Andy McCollum era (1999-2005)

Andy McCollum took over for Donnelly in 1999.[18] McCollum led the Blue Raiders to a 6–5 record in 2000, their first as an FBS program. In 2001, MTSU finished 8–3, won the Sun Belt Conference championship and oversaw an offense that ranked fifth nationally. In 2005, MTSU's defense ranked ninth nationally. McCollum was fired after the 2005 season.[19]

Rick Stockstill era (2006-present)

In 2006, South Carolina tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator Rick Stockstill got the head coaching job at Middle Tennessee State.[20] 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 second 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[21] and Memphis,[22] citing that it was not the right time to leave the Blue Raiders.[23] Stockstill has led MTSU to five bowl games in 11 years.


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".[24]

Colors and mascot

MT is represented by the colors white and royal blue, described as PMS 301 by the university.[25]

Lightning is the mascot of both the Middle Tennessee men and women's sports teams.[24]

Bowl games

MT appeared twice in the Tangerine Bowl (now the Capital One 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. MT 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 MT's second bowl game since joining the FBS. Quarterback Dwight Dasher was named as the game's MVP after rushing and passing for two touchdowns each.[26]

MT was defeated in the 2011 GoDaddy.com Bowl in Mobile, Alabama by the Miami University RedHawks.

Season Date Bowl W/L Opponent PF PA Coach Notes
1959 January 1, 1960 Tangerine Bowl W Presbyterian 21 12 Charles M. Murphy notes
1961 December 29, 1961 Tangerine Bowl L Lamar 14 21 Charles M. Murphy notes
2006 December 26, 2006 Motor City Bowl L Central Michigan 14 31 Rick Stockstill notes
2009 December 20, 2009 New Orleans Bowl W Southern Miss 42 32 Rick Stockstill notes
2010 January 6, 2011 GoDaddy.com Bowl L Miami (OH) 21 35 Rick Stockstill notes
2013 December 30, 2013 Armed Forces Bowl L Navy 6 24 Rick Stockstill notes
2015 December 24, 2015 Bahamas Bowl L Western Michigan 31 45 Rick Stockstill notes
2016 December 24, 2016 Hawaii Bowl Hawaii Rick Stockstill notes
Total 8 bowl games 2–5 149 200

Division I-AA Playoffs results

The Blue Raiders have appeared in the I-AA playoffs seven times with a record of 6–7.

Year Round Opponent Result
1984 First Round
Eastern Kentucky
Indiana State
Louisiana Tech
W 27–10
W 42–41 3OT
L 13–21
1985 Quarterfinals Georgia Southern L 21–28
1989 First Round
Appalachian State
Georgia Southern
W 24–21
L 3–45
1990 First Round
Jackson State
Boise State
W 24–21
L 13–28
1991 First Round
Sam Houston State
Eastern Kentucky
W 20–19OT
L 13–23
1992 First Round
Appalachian State
W 35–10
L 21–35
1994 First Round Marshall L 14–49

All-time record vs. CUSA teams

Official record (including any NCAA imposed vacates and forfeits) against all current CUSA opponents:

Opponent Won Lost Tied Percentage Streak First Last
Charlotte 2 0 0 1.000 Won 2 2015 2016
Florida Atlantic 11 3 0 .786 Won 9 2003 2016
FIU 8 4 0 .667 Won 2 2005 2016
Louisiana Tech 2 4 0 .333 Won 1 1984 2016
Marshall 2 4 0 .333 Lost 1 1992 2016
North Texas 7 8 0 .467 Won 2 2001 2016
Old Dominion 1 0 0 1.000 Won 1 2014 2014
Rice 0 0 0 - - -
Southern Miss 3 0 0 1.000 Won 3 2009 2014
UAB 3 2 0 .600 Won 2 1995 2014
UTEP 1 1 0 .500 Lost 1 2013 2014
UTSA 1 1 0 .500 Lost 1 2015 2016
Western Kentucky 33 31 1 .515 Lost 2 1914 2016
Totals 74 58 1 .560

Future non-conference opponents

Announced schedules as of August 26, 2015

2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
at Missouri vs Vanderbilt at Vanderbilt vs Duke at Duke vs Missouri at Missouri
at Vanderbilt at Minnesota at Bowling Green
at Bowling Green vs Bowling Green
vs Alabama A&M



  1. MTSU Visual Style Guide and Branding Policy Manual (PDF). 2015-05-01. Retrieved 2016-03-25.
  2. "100 Years of MTSU Football".
  3. Stone, India (June 20, 2003). "The Heritage of Champions". GoBlueRaiders.com. Retrieved September 4, 2014.
  4. Pittard, Homer (1961). The First Fifty Years: A History of Middle Tennessee State College. Middle Tennessee State College. p. 73. OCLC 7580185.
  5. Cattell, James McKeen, ed. (1933). "School & Society". Society for the Advancement of Education. The University of California. 37 (960): 652.
  6. Forsythe, Regina (July 3, 1995). "Oral History Interview With Isa Lee Freeman" (PDF). MTSU.edu. Albert Gore Research Center.
  7. 1 2 Sparks, Adam (October 1, 2015). "Johnny "Red" Floyd: MTSU legend, Vandy lost treasure". The Tennessean.
  8. 1 2 DeLassus, David. "Middle Tennessee State Yearly Results: 1935-1939". College Football Data Warehouse.
  9. 1 2 3 DeLassus, David. "Middle Tennessee State Yearly Results: 1940-1944". College Football Data Warehouse.
  10. DeLassus, David. "Middle Tennessee State Yearly Results: 1945-1949". College Football Data Warehouse.
  11. Organ, Mike (May 11, 2014). "Former MTSU coach nominated for College Football Hall". The Tennessean.
  12. Bullen, Bob (1984). "Recollections: The Middle Tennessee Voices of Their Times Series, Television Program with Charles "Bubba" Murphy" (PDF). MTSU.edu. Albert Gore Research Center.
  13. DeLassus, David. "Middle Tennessee State Yearly Results: 1965-1969". College Football Data Warehouse.
  14. 1 2 3 4 DeLassus, David. "Middle Tennessee State Yearly Results: 1970-1974". College Football Data Warehouse.
  15. Schmadtke, Alan (October 16, 1988). "Peck's Kids: He Loves Them For Just Trying". Orlando Sentinel.
  16. 1 2 3 DeLassus, David. "Middle Tennessee State Yearly Results: 1975-1979". College Football Data Warehouse.
  17. "Donnelly, James "Boots"". Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame.
  18. "Andy McCollum". RamblinWreck.com.
  19. "Middle Tennessee fires coach Andy McCollum". USA Today. November 21, 2005.
  20. Dooley, Pat (December 13, 2005). "Stockstill tapped as MTSU coach". The Gainesville Sun.
  21. Anderson, Reggie (January 20, 2010). "Former Clemson and USC Assistant Stockstill Staying At Middle Tennessee". WLTX. Archived from the original on February 9, 2013.
  22. Stukenborg, Phil (November 17, 2009). "Tigers to talk to MTSU's Rick Stockstill about vacancy". The Commercial Appeal. Archived from the original on December 25, 2013.
  23. "Stockstill stays at MTSU, won't pursue East Carolina opening". Nashville City Paper. January 19, 2010. Archived from the original on July 12, 2012.
  24. 1 2 Stone, India (June 20, 2003). "The Heritage of Champions". GoBlueRaiders.com. Retrieved January 8, 2010.
  25. Staff (August 1, 2008). "Blue Raider Logos". GoBlueRaiders.com. Retrieved January 8, 2010.
  26. Staff (December 20, 2009). "Blue Raiders power past Southern Miss to win New Orleans Bowl Championship, 42-32". GoBlueRaiders.com. Retrieved January 8, 2010.
  27. "Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders Football Schedules and Future Schedules". fbschedules.com. Retrieved 2012-02-20.

External links

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