THE BURNETTE BLOG: "Time to turn the corner"

Raiders hope to slow potent Trojan offense

November 24, 2012 · @MTAthletics

Yesterday I sat down to write the first edition of the Burnette Blog, or at least that's what it feels like. It's hard to believe that this 2012 season has flown by so quickly, but then again they always do. The Blue Raiders have had some hiccups along the way but have stayed the course and find themselves in control of their own destiny with two games left for a conference championship. The number of current wins almost guarantees a lock for a bowl game and the chance to keep playing into December. 

With Troy coming to town today there will be no shortage of excitement for the players or fans. This rivalry is known as the Battle of the Palladium, and it is one that has slipped away from the Blue Raiders over the past few years. With the way the season has gone it feels time for Middle Tennessee to turn the corner on this rivalry and bring the trophy back to Murfreesboro. Troy will come out throwing the ball and play aggressively on defense, sometimes too aggressive which has had them in trouble recently with giving up big plays.

Offensively, the Blue Raiders need to provide plenty of cushion for the defense. With some of the starters out with injury, the offense will need to take control early and establish momentum to keep their offense off the field. Drives must end in points whether it is three or seven, preferably seven. Senior Anthony Amos looks to continue his stellar season with a fantastic finish on Senior Day in front of the home crowd in what will be his last time suiting up in Floyd Stadium. Freshman running back Jordan Parker has burst onto the scene this year and made an immediate impact in the backfield that the Blue Raiders have leaned on for support.

Quarterback Logan Kilgore remains cool and calm under pressure and has had little difficulty spreading the ball around to his receivers. Look for a big day from this unit.

Defensively, the front seven will have to play the best they have played all season. Due to a depleted secondary, the defensive line must put pressure on the quarterback and prevent him from getting the ball to his receivers. Troy's offense is one that will make a play every now and then and the defense must remain calm and remember the tenacity and relentless effort that has gotten them this far. The linebackers must be smart with their reads and their keys because Troy will give them a heavy dose of the pass before switching to the run occasionally. Know who your responsibility is on each play and it could be a big day for this group.

Rivalry games are what make college football special. On any given day a team can show up and outperform another and with the amount of enthusiasm and emotion involved in rivalries, this game looks to be as good as it gets. All across the country rivalry games will take place today, but there is only one Battle for the Palladium and only one team can bring home the trophy. Remember what got you here; remember how you have worked your way into a tie for first in the conference. It is that motivation and mindset the Blue Raiders must take the field with today. It's time for Middle Tennessee to turn the corner and sprint to the finish. Go Blue Raiders!

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