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MTSU Ready for Southern Miss in Sunday's R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl

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MTSU Ready for Southern Miss in Sunday's R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl

Middle Tennessee (9-3) and Southern Mississippi (7-5) matchup for the first time in school history when they meet in the 2009 R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl on December 20th at the Louisiana Superdome on ESPN.

This is Middle Tennessee's first R+L Carries New Orleans Bowl appearance and Southern Miss is playing in the game for the second year-in-a-row and for the fourth time overall. The Golden Eagles are very familiar with the bowl season having played in 11 bowl games the past twelve years.

Leading his team into the Big Easy on a six game win streak is Sun Belt Conference's co-Coach of the year Rick Stockstill. The winning streak is the schools longest since it won eight games in-a-row spanning from the 2000-2001 seasons. Stockstill who led the Blue Raiders to the 2006 Motor City Bowl in his inaugural season is looking for his first bowl victory. The Blue Raider's nine regular season wins is the most in school history since 1992 and Middle Tennessee is only the third team in Sun Belt Conference history to win nine games in a season.

The Blue Raiders are led by quarterback Dwight Dasher on offense and the Sun Belt's co-Defensive Player of the Year defensive end Chris McCoy on defense. Dasher, one of the nations most athletic and entertaining quarterbacks, is a dual threat who ranks ninth nationally in total offense. Dasher rushed for 953 yards and 11 Touchdowns, and passed for 2,627 yards with 21 Touchdowns. McCoy had 59 tackles, 20 of them for losses, seven sacks, three pass breakups, a blocked kick and two fumble recoveries, one of which he returned 68 yards for a touchdown.

The Blue Raiders have a very formable supporting cast as six MTSU players were honored with First Team All-Sun Belt Conference designations for their efforts during the 2009 season. Five Blue Raiders earned Second Team All-SBC honors. The 11 All-Conference honors equals the second most in SBC history, tying the mark set in 2001, and one behind the record of 12 set in 2006.

The Golden Eagles offense is led by quarterback Martevious Young who took over mid-season. Young has only thrown one interception and has thrown for 13 Touchdowns. While Young is being pressured by McCoy and the Blue Raiders defense he will be targeting two talented wide receivers, senior Gerald Baptiste and explosive sophomore DeAndre Brown. Middle Tennessee will also need to pay close attention to both Southern Miss running backs, Damion Fletcher (937 yards, 8 Touchdowns) and Tony Harrison (626, 9 Touchdowns), who have been causing problems for Conference USA defenses all season.

The matchup on paper looks like it could be one of the most competitive and enjoyable games of the bowl season. Southern Miss averages 418.3 yards of offense and 33 points per game while Middle Tennessee averages 419.3 yards of offense and 31.2 points per game. Look for a high scoring offensive shootout in the Crescent City.

Source: Sun Belt Media Relations
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Re: MTSU Ready for Southern Miss in Sunday's R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl

Good luck to them...they are going to need it!!!

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