Murfreesboro, TN- In the middle of the second quarter, after 13 plays and 78 yards, Middle Tennessee State quarterback Brent Stockstill connected a quick pass to Zack Dobson whose quickness got him to the goal line and a flying leap propelled the Blue Raiders to a 17-3 lead over Western Kentucky.
“Something told me that I had to get in the end zone, so I took flight,” said Stockstill.
The victory got the monkey off the back of Middle Tennessee’s seniors who had suffered through Western Kentucky losses throughout their college careers, until tonight’s 29-10 victory.
Quarterback Stockstill, who is a senior himself, stated that “to get our first win is really special.”
Dobson is not the biggest player out there, at 5 foot 8 and 170 pounds, but his speed is impressive. On just 3 rushing plays, the young offensive player averaged 16.3 yards a carry and scored his first touchdown of his career.
The rivalry between these two teams cannot be understated. WKU had won the last 3 games against MTSU, and they were certainly looking for a 4th as they traveled down to Floyd Field in Murfreesboro. MTSU, on the other hand, were determined to stop the streak, which they easily did as the game ended with the home team winning.
On the opening drive of the game, MTSU scored a touchdown after Stockstill went deep to Wide Receiver Ty Lee and the 43 yard connection putting the pressure on early. WKU was not able to get much going with their offense tonight. While they did put 3 points up with a field goal from Kicker Alex Rinella in the middle of the first quarter, those were the only points they would have until late in the 3rd.
Western Kentucky quarterbacks did not fare so well this evening, Drew Eckels completed 12 /32 passes. With 1:34 left in the 3rd quarter, the Hilltoppers put in quarterback Steven Duncan, who threw a 46 yard touchdown pass to Lucky Jackson on his very first play. However, Duncan was not able to find the end zone again and ended the night with just 3 completions on 14 attempts and 1 interception.
Middle Tennessee offense was steady and effective. Stockstill finished the game throwing for 228 yards, 2 touchdowns, and ran the ball for 16 yards.
Running Back Chaton Mobley had a monster night carrying the ball for 198 yards on 25 carries. After a few good runs in the beginning he said that he,
“Knew they were going to keep feeding me the ball,” said Mobley, “I took the reins.”
Special Teams was also a big help to the home team win tonight. Kicker Crews Holt tied the school record with 5 field goals in a single game. The 15 points he was able to secure solidified the victory.
This win gives MTSU their first ever 5-1 start in Conference USA, as well as currently making them bowl eligible. In the end though, it was the defeat of their rival that enthused the victors tonight.
“Mental intensity was good. Focus was good,” said Coach Rick Stockstill, “I really proud and happy for our seniors, the last time they played Western they whooped ‘em.”