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Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders preview

Linebacker T.T. Barber is the star of the Blue Raiders' defense. Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports

After three straight bowl-eligible years, a veteran O-line and capable RB corps could help the Blue Raiders vie for the East.

Offense

How the Blue Raiders beat you:The O-line, with four returning starters, will create seams. Senior RB Jordan Parker, with 10 career games of 100-plus rushing yards under his belt, will burst through them.

How you beat the Blue Raiders: Junior QB Austin Grammer (58.6 QBR) returns, but so do his 12 INTs (No. 10 in C-USA) and 5 fumbles from ’14.

Defense

How the Blue Raiders beat you:Senior LB T.T. Barber (31 starts) manned the middle stoutly in ’14 (7½ TFL) while overseeing a D that held opponents to 11 20-plus-yard runs (No. 16 in the FBS).

How you beat the Blue Raiders: Leighton Gasque, MTSU’s all-time No. 2 sacker, departs, leaving a depleted edge rush and weak secondary (7.7 ypa, No. 104).