Hilltopper Football players Brandon Doughty, Kylen Towner and Juwan Gardner received national accolades on Monday for their performances in WKU’s 66-51 win over Old Dominion. Doughty was recognized as a Manning Award Star of the Week, Towner was tabbed the National Kick Returner of the Week by the College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) and Gardner was selected as a CFPA Honorable Mention National Defensive Back of the Week.
Doughty, who completed 23-of-26 passes for 371 yards and five touchdowns against the Monarchs, was also named the CFPA National Player and Quarterback of the Week. The redshirt senior became the first quarterback in the FBS to throw more touchdowns (5) than incompletions (3) in a conference game this season and had the highest single-game efficiency rating (271.78) of a quarterback to throw 25 passes against FBS competition this season.
Towner, a redshirt freshman, was named the CFPA National Kickoff Returner of the Week after accumulating 186 yards on five returns against the Monarchs, including the 94-yard touchdown return to open WKU’s third-quarter scoring. Towner’s 186-yard effort was the third highest single-game total in WKU history and his touchdown return was WKU’s first since Oct. 6, 2011 at Middle Tennessee.
Additionally, redshirt freshman Juwan Gardner was tabbed an Honorable Mention National Defensive Back of the Week by the CFPA following his 96-yard interception return touchdown on Saturday. Gardner recorded the longest defensive touchdown in WKU history and the longest by a freshman player in the FBS this season with his fourth-quarter play that cushioned WKU’s advantage to 63-51 in the fourth quarter.
Through seven games, Doughty has already set WKU single-season records for passing yards (2,871) and touchdowns (24) and is only 23 completions away from breaking Jeff Cesarone’s 29-year old record of 253 completions in 1985. The national accolades for Doughty marks the second time this season he has been honored by the Manning Award and the second time the CFPA has tabbed him the National Performer and Quarterback of the Week.
The Manning Award, sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl, named eight quarterbacks as its “Stars of the Week.” College football fans can now go to the Allstate Sugar Bowl Facebook page to vote for what they think was the best performance from this past weekend. When voting closes on Friday at 11 a.m. (Central), the top vote-getter will be announced as the Manning Award Quarterback of the Week.
Fans can vote here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10154721919785459.1073741878.297090315458&type=1
Doughty enters the week ranked second nationally with 410 passing yards per game and third overall with 2,871 yards despite having two open weeks already. He and the Hilltoppers will return to the gridiron Tuesday to prepare for Saturday’s C-USA showdown at Louisiana Tech.