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Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016

Late Raider rally falls short

Friday, August 31, 2012

Middle Tennessee senior wide receiver Anthony Amos had a big night for the Blue Raiders, catching eight passes for 70 yards and a touchdown in a 27-21 loss to McNeese State on Thursday night.
(T-G Photo by Gary Johnson)
MURFREESBORO -- A fourth quarter comeback fell short for Middle Tennessee in a 27-21 loss to visiting McNeese State on Thursday night.

The Blue Raiders outscored the Cowboys 15-3 in the fourth quarter but it was too little, too late.

Trouble on 2 sides

Middle Tennessee struggled to find its rhythm on offense, not collecting a first down until the fourth quarter, while the defense struggled to stop the run or the pass as McNeese State racked up 450 yards of total offense.

Poor tackling didn't help matters as well as soft coverage in the secondary.

"Our corners didn't do a very good job in the run game when they got outside of us. But we didn't tackle very well at all and it's disappointing we didn't do a better job with that," Middle Tennessee coach Rick Stockstill said.

"I told the guys that I believe we have some great character on this team. They didn't give up or quit. Our big picture is to win the conference and that starts next week. But they didn't quit and that's encouraging.

Rushing yards were hard to come by for Middle Tennessee as running back Benny Cunningham struggles to gain yards on a short run. The Blue Raiders only gained 103 yards on the ground.
(T-G Photo by Gary Johnson)
Early lead fades

Middle Tennessee jumped out to a six-point lead early in the second quarter, but McNeese State answered with 24 consecutive points.

One bright spot for the Blue Raiders on special teams was return yardage.

Middle Tennessee set a new single-game school record in kickoff return yards with 241 on six returns.

"We had some great punt returns and that one big kick off return," Stockstill said.

Kenneth Gilstrap had two kickoff returns for 76 yards, Kyle Griswould had a pair of kickoff returns totaling 42 yards while Jared Singletary added two punt returns for 26 yards.