The Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders finished 10-3 in the 2009 College Football Picks season end it by beating Southern Mississippi 42-32 in the New Orleans Bowl. It was the first 10 win season the school has had since joining the FBS in 1999 and the talent is there for another 10 win season. Middle Tennessee looks to be the team to beat in the Sun Belt Conference again in 2010, the Blue Raiders return 14 starters including dual threat quarterback Dwight Dasher, who ran for 1,154 and threw for 2,789 yards. This sports handicapper watched Dasher a few times last football season and he reminded me of a poor mans Terelle Pryor. The blue Raiders also return 4 starting offensive lineman. Middle Tennessee has a favorable schedule also, other than a game on September 16 at Georgia Tech. The Blue Raiders open at home against Minnesota and it would not be a surprise if they beat the Golden Gophers. Key conference game will be home against Troy on October 5th and home vs. Florida Atlantic on November 27th.

The 2009 Blue Raiders finished 27th in nation averaging 421.7 yards of offense per contest, over 235 were through the air and 186 yards per game were on the ground. Middle Tennessee scored and average of 32 points per contest, which was 23rd nationally. The defense last season was middle of the pack, they ranked 50th in total yards giving up 355.3, 59th in passing yards, giving up a little over 218 per game through the air, 51st in rushing defense as opponents rushed for 137.2 yards per game and 49th overall in points allowed with 23.7 per contest.

Dasher will be under center again this season, he played well beyond expectations last season. This is a kid that whined when he lost the starting job in the 2008 season, but he bounced back in a big time way last season with three 100 yard rushing games including a 200+ performance rushing in the New Orleans bowl. D.D. Kyles and Phillip Tanner will carry the load in the backfield, Kyles emerged when Tanner was injured early last season. Offensive Tackle Mark Fisher is the stud on a line that returns four but the receiving corps has something to prove, as two of the teams top receivers are gone.

There were some injuries in the spring that left the already thin defensive line even thinner and that looks like the only troubled sport for the Blue Raiders in 2010. There are two new starter at the linebacker position, and while the team has inexperience there, they have some guys that are more than ready to step up. Sophomore Justin Jones is a linebacker the coaching staff has been raving about all summer long, and they expect this guy to be a stud, the tackles are a totally different story, but there main job will be to keep blockers off of the linebackers. Senior defensive end Jamari Lattimore was a big play guy last season with 5.5 sacks coming off of the edge and has a chance to earn all conference honors in 2010. Strong Safety Jeremy Kellem should be one of the best defensive backs in the league, the other safety is not bad either. Cornerback Rod Issac also has all conference potential.

By yanam49

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