WKU Football capped its preparation for Friday’s showdown at No. 24 Marshall on Wednesday morning with a practice full of loose energy at Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium.
The Hilltoppers have been in a playoff mentality the past month and that mindset has helped result in three-straight victories and a fourth-straight season of bowl eligibility. With WKU climbing back above .500 for the first time since beginning the season at 1-0, head coach Jeff Brohm and his squad have dubbed Friday’s contest against the undefeated Herd as their championship game.
“We’ve improved every week, lately,” said Brohm. “We’ve been in playoff mode every game where every game is important and we have to win to advance. Now, in our opinion, we’re in our championship game against an undefeated team that is the champion. We’re trying to sneak up, prove our worth and find a way to pull it off.”
Friday’s nationally televised game on FS1 features two of the nation’s top offenses and the top ranked offenses in Conference USA. WKU quarterback Brandon Doughty leads the nation with 36 touchdown passes and is second with 3,853 yards in 2014 while Marshall’s quarterback-running back combo of Rakeem Cato and Devon Johnson have led the Herd to the nation’s widest scoring margin at +28.4 and most yards (6,187).
“They’re good in all facets of the game,” Brohm said of Marshall. “They have a very good offense. They have a very good defense. Talented quarterback and a talented running back. They lead the league in almost all the categories and they’re undefeated. They know how to win. They’ve done it the last couple of years. They’re going to be on their home turf, their last home game so we’ve got to play exceptional in all facets of the game to get a win.”
WKU has won seven of its last eight games played in the month of November and is 11-5 in the month over the past four seasons. The Hilltoppers have yet to defeat a nationally ranked team as an FBS member, however, but they’ll get their sixth shot when they visit No. 24 Marshall.