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December 1, 2012Tweet Follow @GoMiddle Follow @Derrick_Griggs
On Wednesday the news came out that the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (8-3, 6-1) would be leaving the Sun Belt Conference and joining Conference USA. The news has kind of overshadowed possibly one of the biggest games in Blue Raider history as they travel south to take on the Arkansas State Redwolves (8-3, 6-1) in hopes of sealing their first outright Sun Belt Championship. Kickoff is set for 2:00 PM.
The defense for Arkansas State is the weak point of their team. On the season, they give up an average of 403 yards per game, ranking them 67th in the nation. Pass defense would be the worst part of their defense as they give up 244 passing yards a game while their defense is 59th in rush defense, allowing 159 yards. ASU has also given up 28 points per game on the season.
The game plan for Saturday's game will have to be bringing back the high scoring offense that the Blue Raiders produced earlier in the season, because the chances of stopping the Redwolves offense is very slim. This game should have plenty of offensive prowess and the Blue Raiders have one that can compete as QB Logan Kilgore is having a career-best year and freshman sensation Jordan Parker has rushed for over 100 yards in the last three games.
The Middle Tennessee defense has struggled all year, but they have took on the role of the "bend but don't break" style of defense, which has helped them win 8 games on the season. The team is ranked 88th in total defense, allowing 434 yards per game - 254 passing and 180 rushing - while allowing 26 points per game. The Blue Raiders will have to continue this trend in this week's game, because they will give up yards, but will have to limit the scoring chances in the redzone.
Besides Aplin, the Blue Raider defense will have to keep their eye on RB David Oku, who has rushed for 922 rushing yards, while reaching paydirt 14 times, in his first season with the Redwolves.
Look for Kilgore to continue on his career best year, while Parker will run for around 150 yards in the game, but it still won't be enough as Middle Tennessee will far short, allowing the Redwolves to win their second straight Sun Belt Championship.
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