Here are five things to watch during Middle Tennessee's upcoming season:
NO MORE BENNY: Benny Cunningham is in training camp with St. Louis in the NFL. He ran for 600 yards in just five games before being injured. But the Blue Raiders have leading rusher Jordan Parker back, and he led the team with 851 yards as a freshman.
NO SACKS ALLOWED: The Blue Raiders ranked second nationally in fewest sacks allowed in 2012, giving up only seven all season.
NONCONFERENCE UPSET?: The Blue Raiders routed Georgia Tech 49-28 last season, and they have two opportunities in 2013 for headline-grabbing upsets. They visit North Carolina Sept. 7 and BYU on Sept. 27.
EASY SCHEDULE: For moving to a new conference, the Blue Raiders could not have drawn up a better schedule if they tried. They host league favorite East Carolina on Oct. 5 and the East's other contender Marshall on Oct. 24. Their toughest league games will be Oct. 12 when they visit North Texas.
BOWLING: Middle Tennessee has been bowl eligible in three of its last four seasons, one of only two Sun Belt teams to do that in that span. The Blue Raiders have been bowl eligible in four of the past seven seasons under Stockstill.