MTSU Blue Raiders 2021 College Football Preview

MTSU Blue Raiders 2021 College Football Preview

Created July 28, 2021

2020 Recap

Record – 3-6

ATS – 5-4

The Blue Raiders got off to rough start in the first two weeks losing to Army and Troy by a combined score of 89-14 (!) but played competitively the rest of the way and finished the regular season with a mark of 3-6. They fell to UTSA and WKU by a combined 5 points and pulled off a REVENGE-STYLE UPSET in the finale when they beat Troy on the road as DD dogs. A bit of momentum heading into 2021, buh buh.

MTSU Blue Raiders 2021 Outlook


The Blue Raiders struggled on offense LY (#89 FBS total offense) and averaged fewer than 30 PPG for the fourth consecutive season. DO-IT-ALL QB Asher O’Hara (601 rush, 1900+ pass) is gone and it’ll be up to North Carolina St transfer Bailey Hockman to lead the way. Hockman had a decent 2020 with the Pack but threw a few too many picks (13-11 TD to INT). Essentially every target in the THROW GAME returns this year and the WR group has a nice mix of size and speed. WR Jarrin Pierce has led the team in receiving yards in consecutive seasons (59-584, 3 TD LY). #1 RB Chaton Mobley has good size and had a decent 2020 (366, 4 TD) and they add Florida St transfer RB Amir Rasul who should get lots of reps. Four OL starters return and they add a pair of P5 transfers to the mix. The Blue Raiders averaged just 3.8 net YPC and were #9 in C-USA in sacks allowed per game in 2020.


MTSU allowed 35.4 PPG (2nd last C-USA) and gave little resistance to opposing ground games (222 YPG, #111 FBS). Nine of their top-10 tacklers return and there’s reason to think they’ll be improved in 2021. Three starters return to the DL and DE Jordan Ferguson provides some HEAT (2.5 sk, 5 TFL, 6 QBH). LB DQ Thomas is a force at LB (#3 tackler, #7 TFL, #2 tackles 2019) and they have one of the best safety combos in 16th year* senior Reed Blankenship and Gregory Grate (1st Team C-USA). They’ll be better in 2021 but it still feels like an average group on paper.

* needs fact check


P Kyle Ulbrich is the best player in the unit (43.8, 39.8 net) and they’ll need to find a new PK. Jaylin Lane did a good job on KR LY (24.1).

Schedule Analysis

Overall – They have a pair of lay-ups in non-conference play (Monmouth, UConn) but must also face Virginia Tech and Liberty ON THE HIGHWAY. Things get real in SWEET C-USA action early on when they take on UTSA and Marshall in the first three conference tilts. They have seven true road games.

Potential ATS Trouble Spot – at Connecticut (October 23rd)

This will be their 5th road game in 6G (one bye week in there) and it’s not a spot where we’ll want to lay road chalk.

Season Win Total

per 5Dimes July 28

Over 5 +115

Under 5 -135


No leanage.

89 of our 110 sets of power ratings have them winning precisely five games. Six looks like the high-water mark.

MEGAmazing Tidbits

The rivalry game between MTSU and Western Kentucky is known as 100 MILES OF HATE. Gotta love that, yo.


The Blue Raiders went from 2012-2018 without booking a losing season. They’ve now done it two years in a row (combined record of 7-14). The offense is going to be a lot better with new QB Bailey Hockman, but will that be enough? The defense has a few nice pieces but still looks pretty MEH overall. They’ll do well to get to six wins and bowl eligibility.

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