With game two of a three-game home stand looming Saturday against Army and the battle for bowl eligibility in full swing, WKU Football continued its preparation Wednesday evening at Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium.
WKU is preparing for an Army squad that rushes for nearly 300 yards per game and rides the momentum of another fourth-quarter shutout into Saturday’s contest. The Hilltoppers are coming off their most impressive defensive outing of the season as the unit only surrendered seven-second half points against UTEP and allowed just two touchdowns overall on its side of the ball.
In its last two home games, the WKU defense has not surrendered a point in the fourth quarter and held opposing quarterbacks to 4-of-13 passing with two interceptions returned for Hilltopper touchdowns. The Hilltoppers lead the nation with four defensive scores of 80 yards or longer and have five touchdowns overall on the season, which is the most on the Hill since 2007.
Defensive coordinator Nick Holt has a knack for game plans that slow down triple option attacks such as Army’s, as he’s one the past four games against triple option teams he’s faced, including three-straight at WKU. The key for WKU’s defense of the triple option the past two seasons, according to Holt, has been proper work.
“We’ve been allotted a lot of preparation time by our head coach,” said Holt. “We’ve done a good job of coaching our concepts and the kids have bought in. They believe. It started last year and its carried over to this year. It’s a tough offense but hopefully we’ll be prepared to slow them down a little bit.”
Sophomore defensive back Marcus Ward racked up five tackles in WKU’s last win over a triple-option team (Navy, Sept. 27) and said that having seen the attack the past two seasons gives the Hilltoppers confidence.
Saturday’s game versus Army is slated for an 11 a.m. (CT) kickoff and will be televised nationally on CBS Sports Network. Numerous festivities surround the game, including WKU President Dr. Gary Ransdell parachuting the game ball in with the U.S. Army Parachute Team, the Golden Knights.
WKU will return to the gridiron Thursday for a final day of preparation for Army.