With QB Brent Stockstill out for the season, MTSU turns to John Urzua

Middle Tennessee quarterback Brent Stockstill, one of the top passers in Conference USA and the nation this season, will miss the rest of the year after suffering a broken right collarbone in Saturday's loss to UTSA.

"(Brent) asked the doctors if he could go back in and play," coach Rick Stockstill, Brent's father, said Monday. "The doctors said no and that it could kill him."

"Brent asked if anyone had ever played with a (broken collarbone) and the doctors said no. Brent asked if he could be the first. I think that just shows the toughness and competitiveness he has for this team."

Redshirt freshman John Urzua, replaced Stockstill against UTSA,  steps into the starting lineup with some big shoes to fill. 

Stockstill, MTSU's all-time leader in touchdown passes (57), was on his way to breaking several of his own school passing records. Through nine games he was completing 63.9% of his passes for 2,801 yards, 27 TDs and just five interceptions.

"John will come in and do a good job, and our other players have to really do a good job of rallying behind him," said Rick Stockstill, whose team plays at Marshall Saturday on ASN

"[John] has an extremely strong arm and can make all the throws … the more reps he gets this week in practice against our defense and when he knows the plan going in, he's going to do a tremendous job. He'll do everything he can to lead this offense."

Marshall ranks  eighth in passing defense (259.3 yards per game), 10th in rush defense (207.8 yards per game given up). 11th in C-USA total defense and

The Blue Raiders also feature running back I'Tavius Mathers and wide receiver Richie James. Mathers leads C-USA with 1,181 rushing yards while James is third with 125.8 receiving yards per game.

Brent Stockstill, who had surgery on Sunday, met with the media on Monday. "Coming out after halftime I tried to be there as much as I could," he said. "It's my job to be there, be a leader and be a coach on the field. If there is a positive, it's for me to help the guys and tell John what I'm seeing or coach what I'm seeing. Just being another set of eyes and I look forward to that."

Middle Tennessee, ASN's Team of the Week last week, is 6-3 overall (3-2 in C-USA) and bowl eligible. Stockstill might be available for a bowl game, but that will depend on when they play.

Above: Redshirt freshman John Urzua steps into the starting lineup for Middle Tennessee. (Courtesy Brent Beerends/MT Athletic Communications)
Middle: Brent Stockstill was on his way to breaking several of his own school passing records this season. (Courtesy Brent Beerends/MT Athletic Communications

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