NASHVILLE -- Nearly a dozen former Middle Tennessee prep standouts return home Saturday representing both Western Kentucky and Louisville in the Music City Showdown.
Kickoff is for Saturday's game at Nissan Stadium is slated for 3:00 p.m.
While the Hilltoppers (1-1) and Cardinals (1-1) are different in many ways, they share a few things in common.
Both are coming off their first wins of the season. Each team has a new coach at the helm in 2019 with Western Kentucky being led by Tyson Helton and Louisville headed up by former Appalachian State head coach Scott Satterfield.
The Cardinals and Hilltoppers also boast talent from the Middle Tennessee region.
Nine players are headed back home to the Midstate:
Jeremy Darvin (Father Ryan)
Carson Flake (Davidson Academy)
Parker Howell (Christ Presbyterian Academy)
Quin Jernighan (La Vergne)
Keshawn McClendon (Rossview)
T.J. Springer (Maplewood)
Rusty Staats (Watertown)
Demarquez Trotter (East Nashville Prep)
Nick Okeke (Smyrna)
Western Kentucky's Daylen Powell also played high school football in South Carolina but is originally from Hendersonville.
“It’s really a dream come true," WKU's Jeremy Darvin said. "Growing up I lived in James A. Cayce apartments which is less than two miles from Nissan Stadium, so I was – and still am – a huge Tennessee Titans fan.
"One of my goals is to play for the Titans or in Nissan Stadium in the NFL. While I haven’t made it to the NFL yet, this is still a blessing to be able to play there in college. Especially with the opponent being Louisville, a good Power Five ACC team who also happens to be an in-state team in Kentucky.
"Going out there and playing in front of my hometown will be very exciting. I have a lot of family and friends coming to the game and I plan on putting on a show.”
So while both teams will be looking to take bragging rights up I-65 after Saturday night's game, the Middle Tennessee natives from both squads leave winners regardless of the outcome.
Tickets for the Music City Showdown are still available and can be purchased online. For more information, visit WKU's online ticket portal. Want to follow the game on social media? Be sure to visit the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl's official Twitter for gameday updates.