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Minnesota Golden Gophers 2014 opponent profile; Middle Tennessee State

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The Minnesota Golden Gophers play the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders in their first contest against a Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) school in their second home game of the season.

2013 Record: 8-5 overall (6-2 Conference USA)

2013 Offensive Statistics: 29 points per game, 407.5 total offense per game, 199.3 rushing yards per game, 208.2 passing yards per game, 21 turnovers, 16 sacks allowed

2013 Defensive Statistics: 26.2 points allowed per game, 403.1 total offense allowed per game, 199.7 rushing yards allowed per game, 203.4 passing yards allowed per game, 33 turnovers forced, 27 sacks

Head Coach: Rick Stockstill (43-44 record in seven seasons; all at Middle Tennessee State)

Key Returning Offensive Players: RB Jordan Parker, RB Reggie Whatley

Key Returning Defensive Players: LB T.T. Barber, S Kevin Byard, LB Christian Henry, DT Shaquille Huff

Outlook: The Gophers snuck out of Murfreesboro with a seven-point victory in the last meeting between the two teams. The 2010 season was a long time ago for the Gophers and then-head coach Tim Brewster was fired with five games remaining in the season. The Blue Raiders went on to finish third in the Sun Belt Conference and lost the Bowl.

The Gophers are going in the right direction under head coach Jerry Kill and are coming off their best season since 2003. The Blue Raiders are trying to elevate their program’s status with a move to Conference USA. They finished tied for second in the East Division last season, which was their inaugural campaign in the conference.