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Middle Tennessee Fact Sheet

One of the more interesting teams with a plethora of talent on both sides of the ball visits the Sun Bowl on Saturday. Here are some quick hit facts on what has been going on this year and in recent Blue Raider history.

Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Sitting at 5-3, fresh off a bye, things were looking up for Middle Tennessee.

Then came a 27-7 home loss to BYU, and a disaster 38-28 loss in Miami to FIU.

With a season hanging in the balance, Middle did what they know how to best with their backs against the wall last week against FAU: win in the clutch.

A program built on defense, and consistency, games coming up like Saturday won't have the Blue Raiders rattled.

Here is a closer look at what is coming into the Sun Bowl Saturday evening as both UTEP and Middle Tennessee look to finish 2014 with a winning record.

***2014 is the 100th season of football for Middle Tennessee.

***Middle Tennessee has been bowl eligible in six of the last nine seasons, including five bowl appearances in the last six seasons.

***The Blue Raiders are 17-6 in their last 23 conference games dating back to the Sun Belt days.

***MT ranks eighth nationally in blocked kicks this season with four.

***Safety Kevin Byard is tied for first among active FBS players in total career interceptions with 15 career picks, Byard also has 327 career interception return yards.

***Linebacker T.T. Barber has six career interceptions, and 22.5 career TFL's, in eight different games last year Barber piled up nine or more tackles.

***Linebacker Leighton Gasque ranks second all-time in school history with 22 career sacks.

***Over the past 24 games with most of the same core of players, Middle Tennessee has forced 53 turnovers,

***Running back Shane Taylor has scored a touchdown in 10 of his last 14 games played.

***In the last 29 games, MT has recorded 37 interceptions, and has picked off 13 passes this season.

***Under head coach Rick Stockstill, MT has won six straight games that have been decided in the final minute or overtime.

***In 111 games under Stockstill, MT has a +28 turnover margin, and they are 28-4 under him when they win the turnover margin.  They have also blocked 32 kicks under Stockstill's tenure.

***MT is 20-12 in November under Stockstill.

***The Blue Raiders average 209.7 rushing yards per game this year, which ranks 28th nationally.

***Running back Reggie Whatley is averaging 7,7 yards per carry during conference play this season.

***MT has had four games this year with 500 yards or more of total offense.

***This season Middle Tennessee's special teams units' have returned two punts for touchdowns, blocked two field goals, a punt, and an extra point try.

***They are also 36/42 in the red-zone this season with 28 touchdowns.

***In 56 scoring drives this season, 16 of those drives have been longer than 70 yards.

***23 of receiver Ed'Marques Batties 45 receptions have gone for first downs.

***MT has gone over 400 yards of total offense in 12 of their last 16 games.

***The Blue Raiders held Old Dominion to only 41 yards rushing on September 26th thanks to six sacks.