MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Phillip Tanner rushed for three touchdowns and Middle Tennessee rolled up 654 yards total offense to beat Austin Peay 56-33 on Saturday night.
Tanner had 127 of the Blue Raiders' 353 yards on the ground as the teams played for the first time since 1997. Quarterback Jeff Murphy was 23-for-36 for 301 yards passing, but scored his only touchdown on an 11-yard run.
The Blue Raiders' defense also contributed to the scoring, with Darin Davis' touchdown on a 38-yard interception return.
Middle Tennessee (1-1), coming off a 24-17 loss to Minnesota, took a 35-17 halftime lead.
The Governors made it 42-33 with 2:51 left in the third quarter on a 16-yard fumble return by Jeremy Ross, but the two-point conversion failed.
D.D. Kyles scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns to seal the win.
Jake Ryan was 16-for-40 for 224 yards and two touchdowns for Austin Peay (1-1).