Army 42, Middle Tennessee 0: It would have been nice to play the Blue Raiders
In a 2020 fall environment free of the COVID-19 pandemic, Virginia Tech was scheduled to play Middle Tennessee in Murfreesboro on September 19th.
However, due to COVID-19 and changes to the college football schedule, that game will no longer take place. The Hokies will instead host UVA in its season opener on the 19th.
And that's a shame, because Middle Tennessee is absolutely atrocious.
I mean, they're really bad.
Let's recap the Blue Raiders' season opener against Army, shall we?
Army 42 Middle Tennessee 0
For those of you who like to bet a couple dollars on college football, I hope you hammered the Black Knights. This was a beatdown.
Here are some quick stats:
Middle Tennessee: 184
3rd Down Efficiency
Middle Tennessee: 3-9
Middle Tennessee: 4
Army is an option offense. We all thought Middle Tennessee was aware of that, but apparently not.
The Black Knights rushed the ball 62 times in the football game for 340 yards and five touchdowns. They averaged 5.5 yards per attempt on the day. They only felt the need to attempt four passes, which says all you need to know about Middle Tennessee's rushing defense.
The Blue Raiders on the other hand?
Advancing the ball past the line of scrimmage felt like a victory in and of itself.
The Blue Raiders rushed the ball 24 times for 75 yards. That's an average of 3.3 yards per carry, which isn't great no matter how you slice it. They also lost two fumbles.
Passing the ball was also...let's call it suboptimal.
The Blue Raiders cycled in two quarterbacks, as junior Asher O'Hara started the game while fellow junior Chase Cunningham entered the contest in relief.
O'Hara was 9-14 for 46 yards and two interceptions. Cunningham was a bit better, going 7-10 for 63 yards. The duo overall was 16-24 for 109 yards and two interceptions.
That's right, SIXTEEN completions for 109 yards. Not great...at all.
To be totally fair to Middle Tennessee, Army was ranked 41st nationally in total defense last season, and returns a decent amount of production from that unit. This is no slouch of a defense, but it was still an embarrassing performance.
When you can't score a single point on a service academy, you know your game plan (and roster composition) probably isn't where it should be.
Virginia Tech's talented roster probably would have hung 60+ on Middle Tennessee if that game was played as scheduled, but instead the Hokies draw Liberty in their lone conference game, which is a much better team from top-to-bottom than the Blue Raiders.
The Hokies should still win that game handily later this season, but the absolute dumpster fire that is the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders would have been a sight to behold against Virginia Tech this fall.