Vanderbilt, MTSU to renew football series

Tuesday, March 25, 2008 at 12:57pm

Vanderbilt and Middle Tennessee State have reached agreement on a four-game football series to begin in 2015.

The Commodores and Blue Raiders will rekindle the rivalry at Floyd Stadium on the MTSU campus. The teams will play at Vanderbilt Stadium in 2016 and 2018, with a second trip to Murfreesboro in 2017.

Vanderbilt holds a 12-3 overall record in the series that dates to 1920, but MTSU has captured the last three games played, including a 17-15 decision in 2005.

Vanderbilt Vice Chancellor David Williams said representatives from both universities have been in negotiations for more than two years in an effort to renew the series on a multiple-game basis. Discussions started in January 2006 after Vanderbilt and ESPN officials announced a nationally televised Vanderbilt-Michigan game in Ann Arbor to open the 2006 college football season. Previously, Vanderbilt had been scheduled to open that seaason against Middle Tennessee.

"When we announced the Michigan game, we told everybody willing to listen that Vanderbilt would reschedule Middle Tennessee in football," Williams said. "We also said that Vanderbilt would work to schedule a home and away series with the Blue Raiders. After a great deal of work by (Middle Tennessee Athletics Director) Chris Massaro and Brian Reese from our staff, we're now prepared to make that announcement.

"The Vanderbilt-Middle Tennessee games will garner tremendous local interest for both teams. This series will be good for our program and good for the Middle Tennessee program. And finally, with the approach of each season, it's going to be help excite college football fans throughout the region."

The series will feature early-season games between the Commodores and Blue Raiders. The teams are scheduled to play Sept. 5, 2015 at Middle Tennessee; Sept. 10, 2016 in Vanderbilt Stadium, Sept. 2, 2017 in Murfreesboro, and Sept. 1, 2018 on campus in Nashville.

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