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How Middle Tennessee State fared against other SEC opponents

Photo: Scott Cunningham/Getty Images North America

Photo: Scott Cunningham/Getty Images North America

Kentucky plays Middle Tennessee State tomorrow, and believe it or not, the Cats are the third SEC team on the Blue Raiders’ schedule this year. MTSU lost to Vanderbilt 35-7 to start the season and to Georgia 49-7 two weeks later. Kentucky also played both of those teams, so let’s compare how the Cats and the Blue Raiders fared vs. their familiar foes.

Against Vanderbilt

Points Passing Yards Rushing Yards Vandy Points Vandy Passing Yards Vandy Rushing Yards
MTSU (loss) 7 178 116 35 170 176
Kentucky (win) 14 18 280 7 216 68

Obviously, Kentucky’s lack of a passing game sticks out here, as does the rush defense, which held the Commodores to only 68 yards. The MTSU vs. Vandy game was a weird one, delayed almost half an hour by lightning, but the Blue Raiders fought hard in the first half, holding Vandy to 89 yards after giving up 58 on the opening drive. MTSU quarterback Brent Stockstill had 178 yards, a touchdown, and an interception.

Against Georgia

Points Passing Yards Rushing Yards Georgia Points Georgia Passing Yards Georgia Rushing Yards
MTSU (loss) 7 130 158 49 223 261
Kentucky (loss) 17 226 84 34 113 331

Georgia handled both teams easily, and most of MTSU’s rushing yards came after the Bulldogs were up big. Make of it what you will that the Blue Raiders were able to hold the Bulldogs to fewer rushing yards than the Cats were, but Georgia wanted to make a statement vs. Kentucky. And they did.

MTSU’s lone score came on a 41-yard pass from Stockstill to Patrick Smith, who finished the day with nine catches for 77 yards:

Moral of the story: while Stockstill can burn you on some big plays, MTSU’s rush defense is weak, meaning Benny Snell and AJ Rose should have a field day. Time for the Kentucky offense to get back on track.


Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

24 Comments for How Middle Tennessee State fared against other SEC opponents

  1. Cincy Cayt
    12:54 pm November 16, 2018 Permalink

    Based on my advanced calculations: Cayts by 30-ish

  2. J. Did
    1:02 pm November 16, 2018 Permalink

    The Chick-Fil-a COW was seen to display on a placard: “I am knot kownteeng N eee chiKnz B4 tHAY hatchuh.”

  3. Bluebloodtoo
    1:09 pm November 16, 2018 Permalink

    Interesting thing about those stats to me is that mtsu seems to be able to move the ball, but can’t seem to even get in fg range. That’s a little strange. For the Vandy game, mtsu only had 60(?) Yards less of total offense, but scored 28 points fewer. What was the turnover stat?

  4. J. Did
    1:09 pm November 16, 2018 Permalink

    Love Benny Snell and AJ Rose.

    However, we need other guys involved: Such as WR 33 David Bouvier and TE 87 CJ Conrad!

    No reason to stop there; production & the element of surprise.

    GO CATS!

    • SuperTroy18
      1:32 pm November 16, 2018 Permalink

      Exactly. Feels like we’ve been saying that Benny and rushing game SHOULD feast for a month now. Every week it’s been the same story though. O-line has struggled and Benny hasn’t been able to break away. Benny should ALWAYS feast. At this point, it’s more about if the O-line is healthy and performs up to their potential or not. It’s crazy that they’ve had breakout games against the best rush defenses they’ve faced, and have struggled against the cellar dwellers. We definitely should blow these next two teams out to finish the season though. And a blow out for us means winning by double digits. And I’ll take that, at this point.

  5. BluKudzu
    1:10 pm November 16, 2018 Permalink

    Wasn’t Tennessee’s run defense also considered weak?

  6. IndianaSucks
    1:33 pm November 16, 2018 Permalink

    Doesn’t matter how weak a run defense is, if they know it’s coming (Every. Single. Play) it’s not hard to stop. Terry has to have a better day to keep this game out of reach for MTSU. That or defensive touchdowns, the latter being more probable.

    • I think it’s more than that. I may be wrong, but either the O line is banged up or other teams have watched film and figured out some things. Maybe both, but regardless, I don’t think the blocking is what it was. This just is so different than the way we man handled Mississippi State. Its like it isn’t the same team, at least on the lines.

    • Bluebloodtoo
      3:02 pm November 16, 2018 Permalink

      The absence of a passing threat will allow opposing teams to stack the box. Even Le’Veon bell couldn’t run against that.

    • chris43
      5:28 pm November 16, 2018 Permalink

      Pass?!? What the heck is that??? Maybe someone could get Eddie Gran to google it or watch some tape of Stephen Johnson, Marcus Mariota, Vince Young or somebody. Maybe he’d get a clue because at the moment we pretty much have a glorified hand off artist playing QB who also seems to turn the ball over quite a bit.

    • runningunnin.454
      8:48 am November 17, 2018 Permalink

      Yep, what is a forward pass? In 1906 Coach Cochems of St. Louis U. and Amos Alonzo Stagg invented the forward pass, in response to Theodore Roosevelt’s plea that the game be made less brutal.
      In 1913, Knute Rockne of Notre Dame perfected the new offensive weapon; but, there was a rule that if the pass fell incomplete, the other team got the ball.
      Evidently our coaches believe that rule is still in effect, ha ha.

  7. michaelb
    1:48 pm November 16, 2018 Permalink

    All rhyme & reason goes out the window the the ball is kicked . They’ll play above their ability & we’ll have mysterious internal & external problems .

  8. RealCatsFan
    2:01 pm November 16, 2018 Permalink

    More passes in the flat and on slants to CJ, and Terry needs to get back to running with a purpose and not scared like he did against UF. Both will keep them honest and open up the run game.

  9. DelrayCat
    5:51 pm November 16, 2018 Permalink

    UK is -16 … Unfortunately, I’d probably take MTSU with our offensive struggles lately. But no way we lose this one.

  10. Clyde X
    6:50 pm November 16, 2018 Permalink

    If we played St. X or Trinity or any other decent high school team and they knew exactly what our offense was going to do, they would stop us more times than not. There is no element of surprise with the Cats offense. The only question is, off left tackle or, off right tackle.

    • dcforuk
      2:57 am November 17, 2018 Permalink

      That’s as silly as saying the best college team could beat the worst NFL team…..

  11. Clyde X
    6:55 pm November 16, 2018 Permalink

    Everybody is on Gran’s butt. We have has three or four different offensive coordinators since Stoops has been at UK and we have had the same lackluster play calling under everyone of them. Gran did not run a chickensh*t offense at UC. He was pretty pass happy. Gran isn’t the problem. Stoops won’t let the offensive coordinator run the offense. As an offensive coach, Stoops has a great defensive mind.

    • Bluebloodtoo
      8:42 pm November 16, 2018 Permalink

      This. The same conservative playcalling for the all the years Stoops has been there. I like Stoops and his defense. I think he’s growing as a head coach every year. Hopefully he grows some offensive balls soon. His defense can handle it now, so he shouldn’t be so scared.

  12. VACat19
    7:25 am November 17, 2018 Permalink


    • VACat19
      7:29 am November 17, 2018 Permalink

      …..and bowl eligible since Vandy. I could understand all of the criticism if the team was struggling to find their 6th win this week. Relax and enjoy what will probably be our first 9 win season since 1977.

    • UKFaninCO
      8:30 am November 17, 2018 Permalink