Middle Tennessee State DT Zaylin Wood runs for a TD after an interception against Miami. Sep 24, 2022; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders defensive tackle Zaylin Wood (7) runs with the ball for a touchdown after intercepting a batted down pass against the Miami Hurricanes during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Entering Saturday, Middle Tennessee State had never beaten an AP Poll-ranked team in 24 tries.

That all changed Saturday afternoon in South Florida as the Blue Raiders shocked the No. 25 Miami Hurricanes, coming away with a 45-31 road victory.

The Blue Raiders were 25.5 point underdogs against the Hurricanes, but they never played the part. MTSU jumped out to a 24-3 lead early in the second quarter, and this 69-yard strike from Chase Cunningham to Elijah Metcalf put the Blue Raiders up 31-10 in the third quarter.

Miami did not help its own cause, with plays such as this bumbling backfield collision:


Yet Miami fought back and seemed poised to cut the lead to 31-24, until being stopped on fourth-and-goal at the 1. MTSU took possession and on the very next play Cunningham threw a 98-yard TD strike to DJ England-Chisholm. Cunningham finished with 408 passing yards and three touchdowns on only 25 attempts.

Miami countered with a 91-yard kickoff return on the next play, but the Blue Raiders could not be stopped, scoring again to put the game out of reach. And that led to quite a bit of excitement from their players after they wrapped up the win.

The Blue Raiders upset sparked a festival of crazy memes and reactions on social media all afternoon.


And finally, it’s worth noting that Middle Tennessee State is now, improbably, 3-0 all-time against Miami, although the two teams had not met in almost 100 years.

[Photo from Jasen Vinlove/USA Today Sports]

About Arthur Weinstein

Arthur spends his free time traveling around the U.S. to sporting events, state and national parks, and in search of great restaurants off the beaten path.