The Blue Raiders are becoming very familiar with tropical vacations in the month of December. After spending time in the Bahamas this time last year, Coach Rick Stockstill announced on Dec. 4 that he had accepted a bid to play in the Hawaii Bowl on Christmas Eve.
“For this team to go back-to-back years to the Bahamas and then to Hawaii is pretty incredible that we get to experience that,” said sophomore quarterback Brent Stockstill.
Sophomore Richie James anticipates some fun in the sun during the Blue Raiders’ stay. When asked what he is looking forward to the most James replied, “The beach, definitely. Not a lot of people get this opportunity. We’re a lot of 20-year-olds going to Hawaii, so it’s going to be a great experience.”
However, he recognizes it won’t be all the beach.
“We understand that we’re going there to win a game, but we’ll also enjoy it,” James continued. “It’s going to be a good process, and Coach Stockstill will have a plan for us, and we’ll be alright.”
Unfortunately, the Blue Raiders will be at a slight disadvantage in this game. Not only will they be playing in Hawaii, but they will be playing Hawaii.
“Their fans get into it. The city rallies behind them. It’s going to be fun. It’s going to be a great challenge for us to go into their place and try to steal a win,” said Brent Stockstill.
The late bowl game should be in MT’s favor, however. The Blue Raiders have had a number of injuries this season, but none have been as big as the week-10 injury Stockstill suffered against UTSA. With the extra few weeks to rehab, optimism is high that he will be available Christmas Eve.
“He’s had four weeks since his surgery, and we have three weeks now before we play . . . I think the date is great, and hopefully we’ll have Brent back for it. We’re a different team when he is in there,” said Rick Stockstill on Dec. 4.
This game will air on ESPN and is scheduled to kickoff at 6 p.m. Christmas Eve.