QB Logan Kilgore Injured In MTSU Win

MURFREESBORO – Western Carolina coaches probably told their players that there was a lot of football left to play after sophomore running back Jordan Parker took the opening play and ran 65 yards untouched for a touchdown. Following Kyle Griswould’s 57-yard punt return for a touchdown to make it 21-0 Blue Raiders with 1:05 to play in the first quarter, there was just a lot of football left to watch for the Catamounts and the 20,011 in attendance for MTSU’s (1-0, 0-0 C-USA) 45-24 win over West Carolina (0-1, 0-0 Southern Conference).

“I thought we played well, especially in the second half,” said Blue Raiders Head Coach Rick Stockstill. “We had a great first half.”

Western Carolina did find a way to make it relatively interesting following two scores within :09 seconds of each other. Trailing 31-3, QB Troy Mitchell found Karnorris Benson for a 39-yard touchdown. Mitchell took a bobbled snap on the PAT and dove inside the right Pylon for the 2-point conversion. Middle Tennessee fumbled the ensuing kickoff and on the Catamounts’ next play Mitchell found Terryon Robinson for 35 yards and a touchdown. Richard Sigmon’s kick provided the final points of the half and MTSU took a 31-18 lead to the locker room.

MTSU running back Jordan Parker ran for a career-high 156 yards in Thursday's 45-24 win over Western Carolina.

MTSU running back Jordan Parker ran for a career-high 156 yards in Thursday’s 45-24 win over Western Carolina.

Although his team appeared to lag a bit at times, Stockstill appeared pleased overall with the first performance. Stockstill noted that, “Our defense had a little lapse in the second half, but overall we got the win and that’s what counts.”

Western Carolina head coach Mark Speir seemed to echo Stockstill’s sentiment. “Middle Tennessee came out, had a great plan, executed it and did what they needed to do to win,” explained Speir.

Former Marine, Steven Rhodes, who made national headlines for his see-saw eligibility game with the NCAA last week, made a tackle on Middle’s second kickoff of the game and recorded his first career sack. Well, maybe that would be his second career sack if you count the win over the NCAA.

Jordan Parker’s opening 65-yard touchdown run provided a good foundation to build a career-best 156 yards and one touchdown on 22 carries.

Before Logan Kilgore took himself out of the game favoring his right arm, he had completed 12-of-18 passes for 144 yards, a touchdown and no interceptions. The biggest story from this game obviously will carry over into next week’s preparation for North Carolina.

Kilgore said after the game that he believes he can tough it out and he would be ready to go by next Saturday. Stockstill was a little more realistic. “He hurt his shoulder,” said Stockstill. “So we’ll see how it comes out this next week.”

If Kilgore can’t go Saturday, redshirt freshman quarterback Austin Grammer can step in and be effective. He was 7-of-9 for 61 yards to go along with the 10-yard rushing tocuhdown.

The announced crowd of 20,011 received high praise from Coach Stockstill, but he expressed that there remains room to grow. “I thought the crowd was great tonight,” started Stockstill. “It was good to see all the students here tonight, but we need them all to come back and keep filing the stands. We need the alumni, students and fans to keep coming. “They really got loud a couple times and that’s always good to have.”

The Blue Raiders will travel to Chapel Hill, NC  next week for an 11:30 a.m. CST game with the North Carolina Tar Heels out of the ACC. The game will be televised on the ACC Network.

MT Scoring Plays

  • Jordan Parker 65-yard rushing TD
  • J. Corbaley 10 yard pass from Cloyney
  • K. Griswould 57-yard punt return
  • W. Pratcher 5-yd TD Run
  • C. Clark 30-yd FG
  • K. Benson 39-yd TD catch from Kilgore
  • A. Grammer 1o-yd TD fun
  • W. Pratcher 38-yd  TD run



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