The Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders suffered two big losses last weekend. They lost 45-25 at home as a three-touchdown favorite to UTSA. Still, the even bigger loss was losing star quarterback Brent Stockstill to an injury. Stockstill is out the rest of the regular season with a broken collarbone. How will the team respond to losing their star signal caller? It remains to be seen.
Through the remainder of the season, I'll continue to follow everyone associated with the MTSU football program on Twitter. I'll also be reading the work of beat writers and following team press conferences. Any way I can, I'll be looking to find extra bits of information to try to gain an edge. Essentially, I'll be looking to make myself an expert on this MTSU Blue Raiders team. The goal of this article is to show that specialization can be a profitable sports betting strategy.
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This is the sixth straight season I'm doing the mid-major report for Doc's Sports. How have the selections on the mid-major betting report done? Overall, the record is 32 wins and 24 losses with a gain of $1,460. We are coming off a really strong season following the Temple Owls. The selections on the Temple games last year went 11-4 and we gained $1,050 over the course of the season.
There will be a selection on each game at the end of the weekly article. We'll be using the Doc's Sports Unit Betting System for every pick, which will allow readers to follow along and track the results.
UTSA jumped out to an early 21-7 lead over MTSU last weekend. The Roadrunners came ready to play, and they surprised the Blue Raiders from the start. UTSA started the game off with an 11-play touchdown scoring drive to go up 7-0. They led 21-7 in the second quarter when Stockstill was injured.
John Urzua took over for Stockstill, and on his first drive he threw an interception. The Blue Raiders were down 28-10 at halftime. On the first drive of the second half, Urzua was picked off again. In all, Urzua finished 14/27 with 161 passing yards. He had one touchdown and three interceptions. It was definitely a difficult spot for Urzua to step into, and the UTSA defense is high quality this season.
UTSA won 45-25 on Saturday. The Roadrunners had 378 yards and the Blue Raiders had 369 yards. UTSA had two turnovers and MTSU had four, and that was the big difference in this contest. UTSA did hurt the MTSU defense a lot with their ground game also. The Roadrunners finished with 270 yards on the ground.
Notes of Interest
-No one has ever questioned Brent Stockstill's toughness. Stockstill finished the drive after injuring himself Saturday. After the medical staff diagnosed him with the broken collarbone, Stockstill asked if he could go back into the game. After being told it could kill him, Stockstill still wanted to get back in the game.
-Aldo Giovanni Amato, MTSU beat writer for the Daily News Journal, put together a piece on the new starting quarterback for MTSU, John Urzua. Urzua is 6-foot-3 and a prototypical pocket passer. He is from North Gwinnett High School in Georgia, where he threw for 3,142 yards and 34 touchdowns his senior season. Star wide receiver Richie James said, "He's a good quarterback with a big arm, but we need to build his confidence throughout the week." Brent Stockstill said, "The more reps he gets in practice against our defense this week and the more he gets comfortable, he's going to do a tremendous job."
-Defensive coordinator Tyrone Nix talked about the team's struggles to stop the run of late this week. Five teams have run for over 200 yards on this MTSU defense so far this season. Nix said there has been a lot of focus on trying to make the opposition one dimensional, but they haven't done that often enough so far this year. Nix isn't buying into the fact that MTSU's defense has more pressure on it without Stockstill under center. He said, "It's going to take a collective effort on offense, defense, and special teams, and that is the way we'll approach it."
-This week's opponent is Marshall. The Thundering Herd are having a stunningly bad season. Marshall is 2-7 on the year so far. The Marshall offense hasn't scored more than 27 points in a game since the start of October. MTSU knocked off Marshall in overtime last season.
-MTSU is 1-3-1 against the spread in their last five conference games.
-Marshall is 1-5 ATS in their last six conference games.
-The 'over' is 4-0 in MTSU's last four games.
-The 'under' is 5-0 in Marshall's last five games.
MTSU vs. Marshall College Football Odds
Bookmaker actually opened MTSU as a 13-point road favorite in this one. The line moved down to MTSU -9.5 in 30 minutes. The posted total opened at 60 points, but has now been bet down to 60 across the board.
MTSU vs. Marshall College Football Picks
This is a really tricky game to pick because it is hard to say what you'll get from a new quarterback like Urzua. He had four turnovers (three interceptions and a fumble) last week, and he'll have to protect the ball better here. MTSU has already had a few close wins on the road against inferior competition this year, and with the change at quarterback, I'm going to make a one unit play on Marshall +9.5 in this one.
Pick: #196 Marshall +9.5 (1 unit play)
Season Results- 5 Wins 4 Losses (-$340)
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