That game ended when free safety Kevin Byard intercepted FAU quarterback Jaquez Johnson. That was a typical big play for the 5-foot-11, 216-pound sophomore, who was a Freshman All-America pick by the Football Writers Association of America.
"I go against him every day in practice. I've played against NFL defenders, both in junior college and here," Kilgore said. "I know what they look like and I know he's got a chance to be a very special player. He's very dynamic, open-field tackling and making plays on balls.
"I'm excited to see what he can do against a very good passing attack this week. In this game, he'll have to have some impact plays, that's for sure."
Jordan Parker is the team's leading rusher (526 yards, four TDs), with Reggie Whatley (343 yards, three TDs, 6.0 per carry) one of the team's fastest players. Kilgore has thrown for 1,086 yards and six TDs, but has eight interceptions.
Nine different receivers have at least a catch per game, led by Tavarres Jefferson's 25 for 320 yards and a touchdown. Kyle Griswould is next with 24 catches for 191 yards.
Griswould returns punts, and has this statistical oddity: He owns a 57-yard TD return, but has lost 16 yards on the other seven attempts.
Linebacker T.T. Barber leads the team in tackles (76), tackles for loss (seven) and has two interceptions. Jimmy Staten and Patrick McNeil (combined 37 tackles, four for loss) are the bedrock defensive tackles.
Stockstill, in his eighth season, entered C-USA as the league's dean of coaches. The early 1980s Florida State quarterback is 46-48 overall, 33-23 in Sun Belt/C-USA play, and he improved his team from 2-10 in 2011 to that 8-4 last year.
He led the Blue Raiders to a 10-3 mark in 2009, the first time a Sun Belt team won 10.
"I'm proud of everything we've done here, what we've accomplished at Middle Tennessee," he said. "I've very fortunate and honored to be coach here."
Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5130, dougsm...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/dougsmock.