MT Football: Blue Raider hot streak ends at FIU

Oct 14, 2018 at 08:31 am by Voice Wire

MTSU Blue Raiders

MIAMI, Fla. - Plenty was stacked against Middle Tennessee on the road at FIU Saturday, and the Blue Raiders couldn't hold a late lead, falling 24-21.

The Blue Raiders (3-3, 2-1) lost quarterback Brent Stockstill, running back Brad Anderson, safety Jovante Moffatt and offensive lineman Chandler Brewer for parts of the game, and they couldn't overcome the losses against the Panthers (4-2, 2-0) on their homecoming.

Middle Tennessee led 14-13 at halftime and grew the advantage to 21-13 in the third quarter, and the lead lasted all the way until just under four minutes left in the ballgame.

After a Panther field goal with 10:43 remaining, FIU capped a 10-play, 84-yard drive with a 23-yard touchdown from quarterback James Morgan to wideout C.J. Worton. A successful two-point conversion brought the score to 24-21 in favor of the Panthers, their first lead since the game was 3-0 early in the second quarter.

With 3:55 left on the clock, backup quarterback Asher O'Hara orchestrated a good drive following the FIU touchdown, getting MT all the way to the Panthers' 15-yard line. He was intercepted in the back of the end zone, however, to end the comeback chance. It was the only turnover of the game for either side.

The sophomore quarterback was gutsy in relief of Stockstill. He completed nine-of-20 passes for 114 yards and the interception and ran 21 times for a team-high 85 yards and a touchdown.

Middle Tennessee's defense also did its best to step up with its offense limping, holding down a good FIU offense despite being on the field for over 34 minutes of game time.

The Blue Raiders held the Panthers, who went in as the second-highest scoring team in C-USA (38.2 per game), to just 70 yards rushing, 115 below their season rushing average that was ranked third in the league.

Sophomore safety Reed Blankenship led the way on defense with 11 tackles for Middle Tennessee, while DQ Thomas had a sack.

On the offensive side, junior Ty Lee finished with five catches for 74 yards, and senior Tavares Thomas rushed for 26 yards and two touchdowns. Thomas has scored six touchdowns in the last three games combined.

The Blue Raiders will try to get back into the win column at home on Oct. 20 against Charlotte during homecoming. They're now tied with Marshall for second in the C-USA East Division at 2-1, while FIU is alone at the top at 2-0.

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