This article will be a bit simpler than the rest in this series for the season: Michigan has never played Middle Tennessee State in football.
There are a few things, however, to know about the Blue Raiders.
They went 8-6 last year, losing in their conference title game and then again in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl to Appalachian State.
Middle Tennessee State also played three power five teams in 2018, including two that were ranked. In week one, the Blue Raiders lost to Vanderbilt 35-7. In week three, they lost 49-7 to No. 3 Georgia. Then in mid-November, they lost to No. 17 Kentucky 34-23. All three games were on the road.
This season, they will again play three power five team: Michigan, Duke and Iowa.
While Michigan has not played Middle Tennessee State before, the Blue Raiders have played the other in-state Big Ten team — in basketball.
On March 18, 2016, No. 2 seed Michigan State lost to No. 15 seed Middle Tennessee State 90-81 in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. Reggie Upshaw Jr. scored 21 points and crowd favorite Giddy Potts added 19 and five rebounds.
At the time, it was the biggest upset in NCAA Tournament history. Here’s to hoping that upset luck doesn’t translate to the football field.