Stockstill aware of challenge ahead

Unable to match Clemson's personnel on offense, Middle Tennessee Coach Rick Stockstill is preaching the basics as the Blue Raiders defense prepares this week in the season opener for both teams.

"We've got to be fundamentally sound and great in our technique," he simply said.

Preparing for game breakers like C.J. Spiller and Jacoby Ford will continue to be a challenge leading upt to Saturday's game.

"We don't have anybody as fast as they are," Stockstill said. "We don't have a Heisman candidate—all that. It's pretty tough to simulate what you're going to see in the game on Saturday."

It's been a tough pre-season for Middle Tennessee after losing several players to injuries and suspensions. Four players have been lost for the year to injuries (two knees, a shoulder and a back).

Stockstill believes Middle Tennessee will enter Death Valley with a good attitude.

With a productive camp under their belts, the Blue Raiders must continue the good work on the defensive side of the ball if they'll have a chance to knock off a second ACC team in as many years.

"We can't blow assignments, miss tackles—we have to do our jobs and responsibilities. If we do that, we'll have a chance," he said.

"We've got to be good tacklers and play with great effort and passion. There's not a whole lot we can do to simulate what we're going to see in the game. We'll try doing it as close as we can. But we're going to go in there hard and get after it." Top Stories