Middle Tennessee State Gets Up off the Mat Against Georgia Tech

Chad Minton@@chad_mintonCorrespondent IOctober 5, 2012

Sep 29, 2011; Atlanta, GA, USA; Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders linebacker Christian Henry (28) and linebacker Leighton Gasque (40) celebrate their team's 49-28 victory over Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Liles-US PRESSWIRE

Ever since Dwight Dasher led the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders to their first ever bowl win over Southern Mississippi in 2009, this team has been face down on the floor.

This offseason was particularly rough as the Blue Raiders turned in one of the worst recruiting classes in the nation. Even worse than South Alabama, who just started playing college football.

To make matters even worse, the Blue Raiders opened the season with an ugly home loss to McNeese State, and it seemed that this program was really heading to an ugly place.

With a shocking 21-point win at Georgia Tech to now put them at 3-1 on the season, perhaps the Blue Raiders still have some gas in the tank to get back onto the national stage.

It's important to not get too out of hand over this 3-1 start. To get here, the Blue Raiders beat two of the worst teams in the FBS by defeating Memphis and Florida Atlantic.

This win over Georgia Tech is just one example of why you can't ever overlook any opponent, and the Yellow Jackets did just that.

The Blue Raiders deserve all the credit in the world for turning this season around and giving themselves suddenly something to play for.

Bowl berths are extremely important for programs like Middle Tennessee State, and now they have an excellent chance at winning six or seven games.

On a smaller scale, players getting national attention also can give a program some much needed national recognition.

Benny Cunningham did just that by rushing for 217 yards and five touchdowns in the win against Georgia Tech.

That amazing stat line will get people talking about not only Cunningham, but the program as well.

With their loss to McNeese State, the Blue Raiders needed an upset somewhere along the way to give themselves a chance at making the all important bowl game for these smaller programs.

What this win really did for the Blue Raiders was revamp a program that was struggling in recruiting and losing its small national attention that it gained in 2009.

If the Blue Raiders can get a win against a Louisiana-Monroe program that has suddenly gotten some national recognition, then the Blue Raiders can really get people talking about them.

Out of seemingly nowhere, the Blue Raiders could have gotten back some of that 2009 magic by taking down the Yellow Jackets at Bobby Dodd Stadium.