December 23rd, 2015 | BAHAMAS BOWL


Middle Tennessee Quotes – Dec. 23, 2015

Middle Tennessee held its final practice in Nassau Wednesday afternoon at Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium. It was a light walk-through prior to a pregame press conference.


I’d like to start out by thanking Lea Miller, Richard Giannini, Hector Munoz of Popeyes, everybody here in the Bahamas, the Atlantis. Everyone has been really hospitable to us this week. It’s been a wonderful experience for our players, our coaches, our families. The effort and work you put in to make this bowl happen is really an unbelievable task that you’ve done to pull it off in the manner that you have. You deserve a lot of credit. On behalf of our team, our coaches and our families, I want to thank you guys for everything that you’ve done because you’ve done a first-class job.”

“We’ve been here for a week now. We’re ready to play the game. We’ve had a wonderful time, a wonderful experience. We’ve got a great challenge in playing Western Michigan. They’ve got a really great football team. It’s a challenge and an opportunity to get excited about. I know our team is ready. We’re excited about it, and we look forward to playing it.”

On the similarities between Middle Tennessee and Western Michigan

“They’re a good football team, and we’re a good football team. We’ve got identical records. We’ve played an incredibly tough schedule, both of us have. They played Ohio State and Michigan State. We played Alabama, Illinois and Vanderbilt. We’re similar in that aspect. Our teams are similar in some other areas, but I think it’s just the peripheral (strength of schedule, records). I don’t think any two teams are alike physically.”

What will we see from the Blue Raiders tomorrow

“We’ve done very well from a productivity standpoint offensively. We’ve been able to throw the ball better than we ever have. We’ve got a great group of guys. Reggie James caught over 1,000 yards. Ed Baddy, our other receiver, I think is at 960 yards.  So we’ve got some pretty good skill players.”

“Our running backs, we got beat up early in the season. We got down to our 6th running back at midseason. We’re starting to slowly get back the last 3-4 weeks from a health standpoint with those guys.”

“Our offensive line has done a great job. We lost a couple guys, Darius Johnson missed the first four games and then he missed the last 4-5 games with another injury. He was a big loss for us, but we’ve had other guys step up and fill his shoes.”

“Our team is up-tempo. We try to go as fast as we can, but under control, not out-of-control. We try to go fast and dictate the pace of the game with our tempo. We’ve done a good job. Our offensive coaches have done a really nice job. They deserve a lot of credit, as well as our players do.”


What schematically does Middle Tennessee need to do to get past WMU’s defense

“One of our big emphasizes is playing with tempo. We do that all the time, but coming into this game, that’s what we’re really going to emphasize – using our speed and tempo to our advantage. We know they’re a great defense, and we’re looking forward to the challenge. We’ll just execute and see what happens.”

What’s been the best part of being in the Bahamas

“I’m extremely thankful to be able to take this journey with my brothers. We couldn’t be more thankful. It’s the time of my life, and I’ll probably never get to be able to do this again. I’m extremely blessed and thankful.” 


What about Western Michigan’s offense poses the biggest challenged to the defense.

“Controlling their big plays is what we’ve been emphasizing. As a defense, you like the challenge. We’ve got to rise to the occasion.”

What’s been the best part of being in the Bahamas

“It’s my first time being outside the country. As a child I always wanted to come to Atlantis, and now I got the opportunity to come to Atlantis, and I’m enjoying myself. It’s been a great experience. And now I’m just ready to get this “W”.


What about Western Michigan’s offense poses the biggest challenged to the defense.

“They do have a great offense. A lot of people like to talk about their passing game, but they have over 2,000 rushing yards on the season. So they’re a balanced attack, but I feel like we have great physical players – me and T.T. as well – and it’s going to be a great challenge for us to stop them, and try to contain the big plays and stopping the run first and foremost.  We’re very confident going into the game. A lot of people are talking about offense, but we’re going to try to make this a defensive game.”

Importance of getting that “W”

“We’ve been talking about leaving a taste in your mouth and coming out with this win would leave a great taste in our mouth for next season.”

What’s been the best part of being in the Bahamas

“I just think think the scenery overall. This is my first time being outside the country. It’s just been a great experience. Everyone has been great to us. All our teammates have been talking about how we’re having the time of our lives. It’s a blessing to be able to come to a different place, see different things, and I’m just grateful for the opportunity here.”

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