MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - A home game against Minnesota of the Big Ten and two national broadcasts highlight the 2010 Middle Tennessee football schedule as announced by Director of Athletics Chris Massaro.
The Blue Raiders will once again have six home games with the Golden Gophers, Austin Peay, and Sun Belt Conference foes Troy, Louisiana-Monroe, North Texas, and Florida Atlantic making up the home slate. There are two home games each in September, October, and November.
"To get two national broadcasts on ESPN is a direct result of the success of our program from a year ago and says a lot about the direction Rick Stockstill's program is headed," said Massaro. "We are hoping for more televised games when other packages are announced later in the year.
"By having two mid-week games nationally televised demonstrates the next evolution of our program."
Middle Tennessee, coming off a 10-3 season and a New Orleans Bowl championship, will open the season at home on Thursday night, September 2 against Minnesota in hopes of extending a seven-game winning streak. It marks the fifth straight year the Blue Raiders have played host to a team from one of the Big Six conferences.
The Blue Raiders will remain home the following week to face in-state foe Austin Peay. Middle Tennessee owns a 38-12-2 record against the Governors and will be facing them for the first time since 1997.
Following two home games, the Blue Raiders will hit the road for the first time on September 18 to take on Memphis before beginning conference play on September 25 on the road at Louisiana-Lafayette.
Middle Tennessee will be open on October 2 before hosting Troy at Floyd Stadium on October 5. The game will be shown nationally on ESPN2, marking the third straight year a national broadcast has originated from Floyd Stadium.
The Blue Raiders will play their final non-conference game of the season 11 days later at Georgia Tech. It will be the first-ever meeting between the two schools.
Middle Tennessee jumps back into conference play on October 23 with a home game against Louisiana-Monroe and will then head to Arkansas State for a Tuesday night affair on November 2. The game with the Red Wolves will be shown nationally on ESPN2.
On November 13 the Blue Raiders will host North Texas before traveling to Western Kentucky on November 20.
The Blue Raiders will play their home finale on Thanksgiving weekend against Florida Atlantic before closing out the regular season on the road at Florida International on December 4. The FIU contest will be the latest date for a regular season game in school history.
"For our program, the two nationally televised games are great for exposure but what I really like about this year's schedule is how fan friendly it is," said Head Coach Rick Stockstill. "It's great for our fans that we play 10 of our 12 games within a three or four hour drive by car which should allow us to get a lot of support on the road. It is a challenging schedule that presents us with a lot of opportunities and we look forward to getting things started in August."
Middle Tennessee will face three bowl teams from a year ago ... A fan-friendly schedule, the Blue Raiders play just two games that are more than 241 miles from Murfreesboro (ULL, FIU) ... Middle Tennessee has played 13 mid-week games since joining the FBS in 1999 and have three more scheduled for 2010 ... Since Rick Stockstill's arrival in 2006, the Blue Raiders have been on national television 10 times and will have at least two more added to that total in 2010 ... Minnesota will be the first Big Ten team the Blue Raiders have faced since traveling to No. 21 Illinois in 2000.
2010 MIDDLE TENNESSEE FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
Sept. 2 MINNESOTA
Sept. 11 AUSTIN PEAY
Sept. 18 at Memphis
Sept. 25 at Louisiana-Lafayette
Oct. 2 OPEN
Oct. 5 TROY (ESPN2)
Oct. 9 OPEN
Oct. 16 at Georgia Tech
Oct. 23 LOUISIANA-MONROE
Nov. 2 at Arkansas State (ESPN2)
Nov. 6 OPEN
Nov. 13 NORTH TEXAS
Nov. 20 at WKU
Nov. 27 FLORIDA ATLANTIC
Dec. 4 at Florida International
Dec. TBA New Orleans Bowl (ESPN or ESPN2)