Raiders return to practice

Team preparing for GoDaddy.com Bowl

December 27, 2010 · Athletic Communications

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Middle Tennessee returned to the practice field on Monday in frigid conditions after an eight-day break to begin preparations for the GoDaddy.com Bowl on January 6 in Mobile, Ala. The Blue Raiders, making their third bowl in five years, will face Miami (Ohio) for the first time in school history.

“The guys really needed the time off because it’s been a long and grinding season,” said Head Coach Rick Stockstill. “Everyone made it back into town Sunday night and we met and practiced for the first time Monday. I thought we had a very good practice. The guys were focused and moving around real well.

“They have spent some time watching a few bowl games and you can tell they are excited for their own opportunity. It’s hard to get to bowl games so when you get the chance you want to make the most of it.”

The Blue Raiders went through a 17-period practice inside Floyd Stadium as temperatures hovered around 30 degrees before dropping toward the end of the session. The team worked in sweat suits and lots of warm gear but will don full pads beginning Tuesday.

For the first time, Middle Tennessee started implementing the game plan for the Jan. 6 contest against the Red Hawks.

“As a staff, the game plan is in but we introduced it to the players for the first time Monday,” added Stockstill.

The Red Hawks enter the game on a five-game winning streak and carry a mark of 9-4 into the GoDaddy.com Bowl, including a victory over Northern Illinois in the MAC Championship game.

“Offensively, Miami does a great job of protecting the football and hitting big plays with its wide receivers,” added Stockstill. “Defensively, they do not give up big plays and will come after you a lot, and are very solid in special teams.”

The Blue Raiders will continue practice Tuesday and each day through Saturday. The team will leave Sunday morning for Mobile. Fans can still purchase tickets by contacting the MT Ticket Office on campus.


Follow the Blue Raiders on Twitter @MTAthletics for continued updates.