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Blue Raiders Win Season Finale 24-14

November 20, 2003 · MT Media Relations

JONESBORO, Ark. -- Will Martin picked off two passes and broke up two more, helping lead a strong defensive effort in Middle Tennessee's 24-14 win over the Indians.

WRIGHT SETS SUN BELT RECORD: WR Kerry Wright set a new single-season receiving yardage record when he hauled in eight passes for 119 yards in the season finale against Arkansas State. Wright broke the single-season yardage record previously held by Mack Vincent of UL-Monroe when he tallied 1,198 yards in 2002. Wright ended the year with a school record 1,280 receiving yards

ONE MORE SBC RECORD: With Kerry Wright's 1,280 receiving yards this season, the senior finished with a per game average of 106.7. That total goes down as a new Sun Belt Conference single-season record breaking the previous mark of 99.8 yards a contest established by Mack Vincent in 2002.

BIG PLAY COPELAND: Even though he is a freshman and has played sparingly during the course of the season, Kevin Copeland makes the best of his opportunities. The Warm Springs, GA, native recorded the game-saving interception in overtime against Idaho, had his first collegiate sack at Utah State, then came up with a big interception to thwart an Arkansas State scoring drive in the second quarter. Ironically, all three plays have come on the road.

HINES HAS SOLID FAREWELL GAME: Senior Andrico Hines recorded his seventh career 200-yard passing game tonight in his final game as a Blue Raider. The Riverdale, GA, native was 23 for 37 through the air for 306 yards. Hines' seven career 200-yard games ranks fifth all-time among Blue Raider signal callers.

ALSUP SAVES BEST FOR LAST: Senior receiver Wardell Alsup saved his best game for last tonight against ASU. Alsup set a career-high in receiving yards and in receptions by hauling in five catches for 94 yards against the Indians.

SEASON FINALES: Tonight's win against Arkansas State kept Andy McCollum perfect in season-enders in his five years as the Blue Raider head coach. The Blue Raiders are now 45-35-5 all-time in final games and 5-0 under McCollum.

MARTIN HUGE IN CAREER FINALE: Free Safety Will Martin came up with the biggest game of his career in his final game. Martin, who hails from Clarksville, TN, picked off two Arkansas State passes and broke up two more. Martin's third quarter interception, which he returned 59 yards, set up the Blue Raiders' game winning score. His fourth quarter pick killed ASU's final drive, preserving the Blue Raider win.' For good measure, Martin also led the team in tackles with 11, including one for loss.

TIDBITS: Sophomore Shavaskey Brown made his first collegiate start tonight when he lined up at right guard ... Freshman Kevin Copeland made his first career start at weakside safety ... Walk-on Mario Dixon (Atlanta, GA) played in his first collegiate game tonight when he lined up with the Blue Raider kickoff team ... Kerry Wright recorded his fifth 100-yard receiving game of the season tonight ... Will Martin's third quarter interception was his first of the season and the third of his career ... Demetrios Walker's fourth quarter sack was the team's 20th of the season ... FB Nick McAfee's fourth quarter TD catch was his second of the season ... LB Dennis' Burke's fourth quarter interception was the first of his career ... MT's four interceptions against the Indians is a season high and is tied for third all-time ... Middle Tennessee's defense allowed the lowest point output of the year by limiting ASU to only 14 points.

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