Archive | WKU Football

Brandon Doughty Named To 2015 Maxwell Award Watch List

Brandon Doughty Named To 2015 Maxwell Award Watch List

Posted on 09 July 2015 by Allen

Doughty WKU

WKU quarterback Brandon Doughty has been named to the 2015 Maxwell Award Watch List, an award given to America’s College Player of the Year, the Maxwell Football Club announced Tuesday morning.

Doughty, the reigning Conference USA MVP who was granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA in December, becomes the third WKU player to land on the Maxwell Award Watch List in the past five seasons. Former All-Americans and current NFL running backs Antonio Andrews (2013) and Bobby Rainey (2011) both garnered the recognition entering their final seasons at WKU.

He is one of 80 FBS players recognized on the Maxwell Award Watch List and one of only 16 players from a Group of Five program on the preseason list. Doughty is one of 31 quarterbacks recognized and joins running backs Kenneth Dixon (LA Tech), Devon Johnson (Marshall) and Aaron Jones (UTEP) as Conference USA representatives.

Doughty led the nation with 4,830 passing yards and 49 touchdowns in 2014 while leading the Hilltoppers to an 8-5 record and their first FBS bowl win in program history. His 49 scoring tosses established a C-USA single-season record and ranked sixth all-time in FBS history. Doughty enters 2015 as the nation’s active career leader in passing yards (7,800) and touchdown passes (63).

He was the driving force behind a season-ending five-game winning streak, which was highlighted by a Popeyes Bahamas Bowl victory over Central Michigan and a road triumph at previously undefeated No. 19 Marshall. Doughty set an FBS record for touchdown passes in a road game with eight against the Thundering Herd and followed up that performance with 486 yards and five touchdowns in the bowl win.

Behind Doughty’s arm, WKU ranked No. 2 nationally in passing offense and No. 4 in total offense in 2014. The Hilltoppers are primed for another explosive season with Doughty under center and four of his top five receivers returning from an offense that broke 49 school records last fall.

Doughty is the second WKU player to be honored on a preseason watch list in 2015, joining redshirt junior center Max Halpin, who was named to the Rimington Award Spring Watch List in May.

Semifinalists for the Maxwell Award will be announced November 2, 2015, while the three finalists for the award will be unveiled November 23, 2015. The winners of the 2015 Maxwell Award will be announced as part of the Home Depot College Football Awards Show held on December 10, 2015. The formal presentations of this award will be made at the Maxwell Football Club Awards Gala hosted by Tropicana Hotel & Casino Atlantic City on March 11, 2016.

Season Tickets Now Available: Season tickets begin at just $75 per person and are now on sale through the WKU Ticket Office. New for 2015 is the “Big Red Family Plan” – a four-pack of reserved seats for just $150, or just $37.50 per person for the entire season, less than $8 per game for reserved seating inside Houchens-Smith Stadium. Call 1-800-5-BIG-RED or visit WKUSports.com to lock in tickets today.

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Six Toppers finish Season on NFL Rosters

Six Toppers finish Season on NFL Rosters

Posted on 30 December 2014 by Allen

WKU

Seven former Hilltopper Football players represented WKU in the NFL during the 2014 season, a program record that included six of the seven being on active 53-man rosters.

WKU’s emergence as a consistent winner at the FBS level has resulted in the production of professional players that have succeeded early in their NFL careers over the past three seasons. The 2014 season proved to be the most collectively successful for former Hilltoppers in the NFL as the six active players combined to play in 70 games, score four touchdowns and make 26 tackles.

Three former players, Jack Doyle and Andrew Jackson of the Indianapolis Colts along with Quanterus Smith of the Denver Broncos, aided their teams to division titles and postseason berths.

Former All-American running back Bobby Rainey rushed for over 400 yards and tacked on more than 300 receiving yards while scoring a pair of touchdowns for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during his third season in the NFL. The versatile back has scored eight touchdowns for the Bucs over the past two seasons and is tied with Jeremi Johnson (Cincinnati Bengals 2003-09) for the most NFL touchdowns scored by a former Hilltopper.

Doyle, a 2012 John Mackey Award semifinalist for WKU, played in every game for the Colts’ top-ranked passing offense and hauled in a career-best 18 catches for 118 yards and two touchdowns. He scored his first-career touchdown on Monday Night Football versus the Philadelphia Eagles and added another score in a Week 17 win at Tennessee. Doyle’s touchdown catch against the Titans gave quarterback Andrew Luck his league-leading 40th scoring toss of the year. He consistently lined up at fullback and was also a major special teams contributor, which led to high praise from head coach Chuck Pagano.

“He’s doing a great job. Jack, he’s a warrior man,” Pagano told the media on Sept. 25. “Whatever you ask Jack to do, he’s going to go out and get the job done. I love Jack Doyle, that whole locker room loves Jack Doyle. You can’t have enough Jack Doyle’s around.”

Jackson, a three-time All-Conference linebacker for the Hilltoppers who was selected by the Colts in the sixth round of the NFL Draft, was a major special teams contributor for Indianapolis this season and made a career high five tackles and recorded his first-career sack in the regular-season finale at Tennessee. He totaled 10 tackles and a sack during his rookie season, where he was active for 13 games.

Smith was drafted in the fifth round of the 2013 draft after leading the FBS in sacks as a senior for the Tops but missed his rookie season due to injury. He bounced back nicely in his second season, making 11 tackles and breaking up two passes as a reserve for Pro Bowl defensive end DeMarcus Ware. He’s a consistent presence in Denver’s defensive line rotation and helped the Broncos tie for the best record in the AFC (12-4).

Two-time All-American running back Antonio Andrews was activated late in his rookie season by the Tennessee Titans and saw action primarily on the kick return team. He played significant snaps at running back in the Titans’ regular-season finale versus the Colts and hauled in his first two career catches for 11 yards.

Jonathan Dowling, who led the FBS in forced fumbles in 2013 and was a two-time All-Conference safety for WKU, played in seven games for the Oakland Raiders as a rookie. He was used primarily as a gunner on special teams and made four tackles before being placed on injured reserve on Dec. 6. Dowling was drafted by Oakland in the seventh round of the 2014 NFL Draft.

Former Hilltopper defensive back Derrius Brooks spent the first half of the season on the Buccaneers practice squad before landing on injured reserve with a leg injury of Oct. 27.

Doyle and Jackson kick off postseason action for the pro Hilltoppers this Sunday when the Colts host the Bengals on Sunday at 12 p.m. (CT) on CBS. Smith and his Broncos have a first-round bye and will host a divisional game on Jan. 11 at 3:40 p.m.

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Toppers look to stop Central Michigan in Bowl

Toppers look to stop Central Michigan in Bowl

Posted on 13 December 2014 by Allen

WKU

WKU Football returned to the field for its second of 11 practices leading up to the Popeye’s Bahamas Bowl on Friday afternoon as it continued its work for a postseason rematch with Mid-American Conference foe Central Michigan.

The Hilltoppers’ No. 6 ranked offense grabbed most of the headlines during the 2014 regular season but the defensive unit showed up big on plenty of occasions throughout another seven-win campaign. WKU was the only team in the country to score four defensive touchdowns of 80 yards or longer and scored five total. Of those five, three came in game-winning or game-clinching fashion in the fourth quarter.

The defense continually made red zone stops and ranked 21st nationally with an opponent red zone score percentage rate of 75. In WKU’s last three home games it held opponents to 320.3 yards per game and under 20 points per game while surrendering only a 38 percent conversion rate on third down. The Hilltoppers won a 67-66 shootout with Marshall in the regular-season finale but despite surrendering 66 points, they forced a season-high four turnovers.

The captain of the Hilltopper defense, redshirt senior defensive back Cam Thomas, told the local media Friday that the late-season improvement was just a matter of gaining experience and confidence.
“I knew we would come around, it just took time,” said Thomas. “It’s a young group. Guys didn’t play a lot of football together. In previous years we had guys who had been together since we came in. To have those (young) guys come in late in the season and get their mojo back – it was great.”

“A lot of negativity came around this defense this year and sometimes you’re going to love them and you’re going to hate them but we got the job done the last four games. We plan on doing it this game.”

Thomas and the Hilltopper defense became used to aerial attacks in Conference USA play but in the Bahamas Bowl they will be challenged with a potent Central Michigan ground game that churns out nearly 160 yards per contest.

The Bahamas Bowl will be played at 11 a.m. (CT) on Dec. 24 and will be broadcast nationally by ESPN with Steve Levy, Lou Holtz and Mark May on the call. The Hilltoppers will continue their prep for Central Michigan on Saturday with a morning practice session.

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WKU prepping for Bahamas Bowl

WKU prepping for Bahamas Bowl

Posted on 11 December 2014 by Allen

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It’s been 13 days since the WKU Football team has officially been on the gridiron but after beating previously unbeaten Marshall, securing a berth in the inaugural Popeye’s Bahamas Bowl and finishing up finals in the classroom the Hilltoppers began their postseason preparations Thursday afternoon at Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium.

WKU rides a four-game winning streak into its second FBS bowl appearance, which coincidentally will be played against Mid-American Conference foe Central Michigan, who handed the Tops a 24-21 defeat in the 2012 Little Caesar’s Pizza Bowl. This year, the Hilltoppers take their high-flying, sixth-ranked offense (525.3 ypg) to the Bahamas to face off against a Central Michigan defense that enters bowl season ranked 16th nationally in total defense (331.2 ypg).

It’s been nearly two years since the Hilltoppers and Chippewas met in Detroit, Mich. and only 11 active Hilltoppers that played in the 2012 bowl game remain on WKU’s roster. Among those 11 is redshirt senior offensive lineman Cameron Clemmons, who told the media that the sting of the 2012 loss is a motivating factor heading into the Christmas Eve showdown at Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium in Nassau.
“In 2012 we got the bowl and as much fun as we had, we still remember the bad taste of losing that game,” said Clemmons.

“We put ourselves in a position to get this bowl and finish with a five-game winning streak. It’s the only way to finish.”

With a postseason destination like the Bahamas, it could be easy for players to get distracted from the primary goal of winning the bowl game. But with a slew of veterans who have been in this position before like tight end Mitchell Henry, WKU is focused on bringing its first FBS postseason victory back to Bowling Green.

“There’s definitely a lot of emphasis on locking in,” said Henry. “You’re out here at practice and you can see, we’re all locked in and focused. At the end of the day it is still a business trip: go down there and win the game. We’re going to go down there and have fun. We’re going to have fun while we are here but at the end of the day we want to send the seniors out right, get the first (FBS) bowl win in school history and make some history here.”

The Bahamas Bowl will be played at 11 a.m. (CT) on Dec. 24 and will be broadcast nationally by ESPN with Steve Levy, Lou Holtz and Mark May on the call. The Hilltoppers will continue their prep for Central Michigan on Friday with another two-hour practice session.

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WKU’s Brandon Doughty Wins 2014 Sammy Baugh Award

WKU’s Brandon Doughty Wins 2014 Sammy Baugh Award

Posted on 11 December 2014 by Allen

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WKU redshirt senior quarterback Brandon Doughty picked up his second major award of the postseason on Thursday as he was announced as the winner of the 2014 Sammy Baugh Award, which is presented to college football’s top passer by the Touchdown Club of Columbus.

Doughty, who was named the 2014 Conference USA Most Valuable Player on Wednesday, becomes the first quarterback in WKU history to receive the Sammy Baugh Award and just the third in Conference USA history to win the award. Louisville’s Stefan LeFors, who was WKU head coach Jeff Brohm’s pupil at the time, won the Sammy Baugh Award in 2004 while Houston’s Case Keenum earned the honor in the 2009 and 2011 seasons.

Doughty joins a prestigious list of college football quarterbacks to win the Sammy Baugh Award, including Heisman Trophy winning signal callers Sam Bradford, Chris Weinke, Danny Wuerffel, Ty Detmer and Vinny Testaverde. The award is named after Pro and College Football Hall of Fame quarterback Sammy Baugh, who was a Consensus All-American at TCU and five-time All-Pro with the NFL’s Washington Redskins. Doughty will officially be presented the award at the 60th Touchdown Club of Columbus Awards on Feb 7., 2015 at the Sheraton Capitol Square in Columbus, Ohio.

In his historic 2014 season, Doughty has established 14 WKU single-season, single-game and records while also setting Conference USA records with 593 passing yards at rival Middle Tennessee and by throwing six touchdowns in one half in a win over previously undefeated Marshall. He ended the Herd’s quest for an unbeaten season with eight total touchdown passes on Nov. 28, which was the most by a road quarterback in FBS history.

He enters bowl season as the nation’s leader in passing yards (4,344) and touchdowns (44) and ranks 35th and 16th in those categories in FBS single-season history, respectively.

Doughty guided the Hilltoppers to their fourth-consecutive bowl eligible season and second bowl berth in FBS history with a 7-5 mark in the regular season. Behind 1,339 yards and 19 touchdowns from Doughty in the final month of the regular season, WKU rattled off four-straight wins in November to earn its trip to the Popeye’s Bahamas Bowl on Dec. 24.

Doughty puts the finishing touches on his stellar 2014 campaign when WKU faces Central Michigan in the Popeye’s Bahamas Bowl in a nationally broadcast contest on ESPN in Nassau on Christmas Eve.

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National And C-USA Awards Roll In For WKU Football Following Win Over Marshall

National And C-USA Awards Roll In For WKU Football Following Win Over Marshall

Posted on 01 December 2014 by Allen

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WKU Football’s redshirt senior quarterback Brandon Doughty and redshirt sophomore defensive back Branden Leston headlined a handful of standout performances in the Hilltoppers’ 67-66 overtime win over previously undefeated and No.19/24 Marshall last week and the duo has picked up plenty of national and Conference USA recognition for their performances.

Doughty, who was named a Manning Award Star of the Week and the Conference USA Offensive Player of the Week on Monday, connected on 34-of-50 passes for 491 yards and set an FBS record for touchdown passes in a road game with eight against the Herd’s ninth ranked passing defense. The national leader in touchdown passes (44) and yards (4,344) became just the eighth quarterback in FBS history to toss eight touchdowns in a game and the third to accomplish the feat against a nationally ranked opponent.

He shredded Marshall’s C-USA leading defense for 214 yards and four touchdowns in the first quarter alone and helped the WKU offense generate 738 yards against a Marshall defense that entered the contest ranked 14th nationally in total defense. With Doughty at the helm WKU only trailed once in the entire contest and that was in overtime, where he responded with a 25-yard touchdown strike to Jared Dangerfield before tossing the game-winning two-point conversion to Willie McNeal.

The Manning Award Star of the Week and C-USA accolades mark the fourth time this season Doughty has picked up honors from both organizations. He was also recognized as an Honorable Mention National Quarterback Performer of the Week by the College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) on Monday. The awards add on to Doughty’s stellar season in which he has established 12 WKU single-season, single-game and career records while ranking Top 10 nationally in nine different statistical categories.

Leston was tabbed the National Defensive Player and Defensive Back of the Week by the CFPA after intercepting Marshall’s senior quarterback Rakeem Cato three times to set up 21 Hilltopper points. Leston racked up eight tackles and tied an FBS high for interceptions in a game this season with his three off Cato, who entered the contest with eight interceptions and was a 2014 Davey O’Brien and Johnny Unitas Golden Arm semifinalist. He became the sixth player in WKU history to record three interceptions in one game and the first since Jonathan Dowling had three against Kentucky on Sept. 15, 2012.

With Doughty nabbing C-USA Offensive Player of the Week honors, WKU extended its league-high honorees to seven this season. Doughty has collected four offensive player of the week accolades, junior defensive back Wonderful Terry has won two defensive awards while junior running back Leon Allen holds one league honor.

Allen also played a huge role in WKU’s win over Marshall, racking up 237 rushing yards and finding the end zone twice. The bruising back also tallied 51 receiving yards to finish with 288 yards from scrimmage and he was selected as a CFPA Honorable Mention National Running Back and All-Purpose Performer of the Week for his efforts.

Redshirt junior tight end Tyler Higbee caught three of Doughty’s eight touchdowns to tie an FBS high by a tight end this year and he too was recognized by the CFPA as a Honorable Mention National Tight End Performer of the Week. Higbee recorded career highs in catches (6), yards (99) and score three touchdowns in the first half to spark a 49-point first half in the win.

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Toppers gear up for Marshall

Toppers gear up for Marshall

Posted on 26 November 2014 by Allen

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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.

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Doughty picks up another honor

Doughty picks up another honor

Posted on 24 November 2014 by Allen

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WKU Football redshirt senior quarterback Brandon Doughty threw for over 300 yards and five touchdowns for the third time this season in the Hilltoppers’ 45-7 win over UTSA last weekend and his efforts were rewarded with him being named a Manning Award Star of the Week for the third time in 2014, the organization announced Monday.

Doughty connected on 26-of-35 passes for 346 yards and five touchdowns in the rout, which was sparked by three touchdown passes of 47 yards or longer in the opening 26 minutes to jump out to a 21-0 advantage. He added a pair of touchdown passes to redshirt junior wide receiver Jared Dangerfield and led three second-half scoring drives to ice the victory that made WKU bowl eligible for the fourth-consecutive season.

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 at this link: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10154815955590459.1073741882.297090315458&type=1

The College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) also recognized Doughty as an Honorable Mention National Quarterback of the Week. WKU redshirt junior defensive lineman Gavin Rocker was also awarded honorable mention distinction by the CFPA after tallying two sacks, forcing and recovering a fumble in WKU’s dominant defensive effort against UTSA.

Doughty’s 36 touchdown passes lead the nation, his 3,853 yards rank second nationally and he is one of just four FBS quarterbacks with 25 more touchdown passes than interceptions this season. He capped his 2014 home slate with 2,107 yards and 24 touchdowns and zero interceptions. Doughty leads Conference USA with eight 300-yard performances and three five-touchdown performances in 2014.

He has been the orchestrator of the best offense in program history as the unit has established single-season records for points, yards, passing yards, passing first downs, touchdown passes, completions and first-quarter points this season. The Hilltoppers are also on pace to set team records for touchdowns, points per game, yards per game, passing yards per game and first downs.

Doughty’s accolades add to a long list of awards for the senior slinger who has been tabbed the Conference USA Offensive Player of the Week three times, a Manning Award Star of the Week three times, the CFPA National Quarterback Performer of the Week twice and received one Senior Bowl Offensive Player of the Week honor in addition to landing on Phil Steele’s Midseason Conference USA First Team.

Doughty and his Hilltopper teammates will face their stiffest test of the season Friday when they travel to No. 19 Marshall in search of win No. 7. For the most up-to-date information on WKU Football, follow the team on Twitter at @WKUFootball or on Facebook by liking ‘WKU Football.’

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Toppers prepare for Army

Toppers prepare for Army

Posted on 13 November 2014 by Allen

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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.

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Doughty And Terry Tabbed C-USA Players Of The Week

Doughty And Terry Tabbed C-USA Players Of The Week

Posted on 10 November 2014 by Allen

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WKU Football’s redshirt senior quarterback Brandon Doughty and redshirt junior defensive back Wonderful Terry have been named the Conference USA Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week after their pivotal roles in the Hilltoppers’ 35-27 win over UTEP, the league announced Monday afternoon.

Doughty turned in his seventh 300-yard performance of the season and led WKU back from a 13-point deficit late in the third quarter while Terry recorded the game-winning touchdown by returning an interception 90 yards in the fourth quarter. The C-USA Offensive Player of the Week honor is Doughty’s third this season while the Defensive Player of the Week is Terry’s second. As a team, WKU joins Marshall as the only programs to garner Offensive and Defensive Player of the Week accolades in the same week in 2014.

Doughty connected on 23-of-34 passes for 324 yards and three touchdowns, with two of those touchdowns sparking 21 unanswered points from WKU in the final 18 minutes. Trailing 27-14 with 3:35 left in the third quarter, Doughty led back-to-back 70-yard touchdown drives and capped both with scoring tosses while also getting a touchdown from his defense to put the Hilltoppers in front 35-27. The Hiltoppers only had four second-half possessions and had the ball for less than 10 minutes but they managed to churn out 207 yards with Doughty completing 10-of-14 passes for 138 yards and two touchdowns in the final 18 minutes to complete the comeback.

With the Miners leading 27-21 with 12:40 to go and threatening to extend their lead deep in WKU territory, Terry jumped in front of a quick pass to the outside, intercepted it and raced 90 yards for his third defensive touchdown of the season. Terry’s interception put WKU ahead for good at 28-27 and sparked a dominant quarter for the Hilltopper defense as it did not allow a point or third-down conversion in the final frame. His play was a part of 21 unanswered points for WKU as it rallied from a 13-point second-half deficit to halt the Miners’ three-game winning streak.

The C-USA honors add to tremendous 2014 campaigns for both Doughty and Terry. Through nine games, Doughty has already established WKU single-season records for completions (268), yards (3,329) and touchdown passes (28) while ranking Top 3 among FBS quarterbacks in all three categories. He is the only quarterback in the nation with over 700 yards passing and no interceptions on third down and has been extremely lethal at home, where he’s completed 76.5 percent of his passes for 1,583 yards and 16 touchdowns compared to no interceptions.

Terry, who was also named an Honorable Mention National Defensive Back of the Week by the College Football Performance Awards Monday, is now one of three players in the FBS with three defensive touchdowns in 2014 and became the first Hilltopper to accomplish the feat since Bobby Sippio in 2000. He has three of WKU’s five defensive scores this season, with the others coming at Illinois (95-yard fumble return) and Navy (43-yard interception return).

Both Doughty and Terry will get back to work with the Hilltoppers Tuesday as they continue their climb toward bowl eligibility. WKU (4-5, 2-4) welcomes Army (3-6) to Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium Saturday in a nationally televised contest at 11 a.m. (CT) on CBS Sports Network.

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Toppers need a win vs Miners

Toppers need a win vs Miners

Posted on 06 November 2014 by Allen

WKU

A full week of practices for WKU Football closed Thursday evening at Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium as the Hilltoppers wrapped up their preparation for Saturday’s homecoming showdown with Conference USA foe UTEP.

Saturday will mark WKU’s 83rd homecoming game on the Hill and at halftime, Dan King, Darnell Mee, Lee Murray and Chris Price will be inducted into the WKU Athletic Hall of Fame.

The Hilltoppers look to get back to their winning ways against a Miner team that rides a three-game winning streak into the matchup. WKU has put on offensive shows in all of its home games so far this season, averaging 54.7 points per game while churning out an average of 604 yards per game at Smith Stadium.

With a quarter of the season left and the Tops sitting at 3-5, head coach Jeff Brohm knows it’s time for WKU to get things rolling in the right direction if it wants to play in the postseason.

“We’ve told these guys it’s a playoff mentality. We’ve got to win this football game. Bottom line,” Brohm told the local media Thursday. “We’re here in front of our home fans. We have to get back to playing Hilltopper Football – physical, fast, making plays, doing everything right and having fun doing it.”

Brohm also said that with Saturday’s game being homecoming, it adds more incentive in addition to the win now mindset.

“That’s huge motivation,” said Brohm. “We know there are going to be people here that support the program and went to school here that are with family and friends and want to have a good time. In order to do that, we have to put on a show and perform well.”

WKU certainly has disappointed the home crowd with point production this season as it has scored 164 points in three home games in 2014. The Tops will have their hands full with a UTEP defense that has only allowed 14 points in its last two outings.

Saturday’s homecoming kickoff against UTEP is set for 3 p.m. (CT) at Smith Stadium. Fans are asked to wear red to the game and the first 1,000 fans to the game will receive free WKU foam fingers.

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Toppers prep for UTEP

Toppers prep for UTEP

Posted on 05 November 2014 by Allen

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With a three-game home stand ahead and a homecoming showdown with Conference USA rival UTEP looming, WKU Football hit the gridiron for a high-energy practice session Tuesday evening at Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium.

The Hilltoppers are coming off a tough loss at league unbeaten Louisiana Tech where they were held to season lows in points and yards while committing a season-high five turnovers. As head coach Jeff Brohm noted in his Monday press conference, it’s time for the Tops to move on and get better and that’s what WKU accomplished Tuesday.

Offensive coordinator Tyson Helton’s offense is still on pace to re-write nearly every WKU record despite last week’s setback. Led by redshirt senior quarterback Brandon Douhgty’s 3,005 yards and 25 touchdowns, Helton’s unit is one of 12 in the FBS averaging over 40 points per game in 2014.

After being held under 300 yards for the first time since Nov. 10, 2012, and being stifled to 4-of-15 on third down last week in Ruston, the Hilltoppers are determined to re-establish themselves as an elite offense this week against UTEP.

“They’ve had seven good games and they were off last week, obviously,” said Helton. “I think the guys are fired up now. They’re excited. ‘Hey, we’ve got something to prove’. They can’t wait to play the next game.”

One of Doughty’s many weapons this season has been senior tight end Mitchell Henry, who has hauled in 22 catches for 371 yards and three touchdowns for the Hilltoppers’ high-scoring attack. The John Mackey Award Midseason Watch List member said the key component to bouncing back this week is confidence.

“Offensively, we have to focus on what LA Tech did to us,” said Henry. “Teams are going to watch that film, press us more, blitz and we have to come up with schemes to defeat that and get our confidence back, which I think we did in today’s practice.”

Saturday’s game will feature contrasting styles as WKU’s Conference USA-leading passing attack duels one of the league’s top rushing offenses, as UTEP average over 200 yards on the ground per game. Kickoff for the homecoming contest is set for 3 p.m. (CT).

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Toppers prep for La Tech

Toppers prep for La Tech

Posted on 30 October 2014 by Allen

WKU

Another week of preparation is in the books for Hilltopper Football as it finished up its work for Louisiana Tech Thursday afternoon at Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium.

WKU (3-4, 1-3 C-USA) tangles with Conference USA unbeaten LA Tech (5-3, 4-0 C-USA) Saturday in Ruston, La. in front of a national audience on Fox Sports Network and other regional networks across the country. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. (CT) at Joe Aillet Stadium.

Saturday’s matchup features a contrast in strengths as the Hilltopper offense averaging 45.6 points per game faces a Bulldog defense surrendering 16 points per game in Conference USA action. WKU showed its offensive versatility in a 66-51 win over Old Dominion last week, gaining 371 yards through the air and 230 yards on the ground.

Head coach Jeff Brohm told the local media following Thursday’s practice that the Hilltoppers will need to display that kind of balanced attack again to hand the Bulldogs their first league loss.

“It’s important for us to run the ball and try to control the time of possession a little bit, but we don’t want to take away from our game too much” said Brohm. “We like to play at a good pace but we like to have positive plays, get yards in the running game and not put everything on the passing game.”

“We were able to get more balance last week. This week will be more of a challenge. There are a lot of different look we’re going to see, a little more pressure they’re going to put on us. It’s a good test for us.”

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WKU trio pick up weekly honors

WKU trio pick up weekly honors

Posted on 27 October 2014 by Allen

brohm louisville

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.

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Scores

Temple 37 Vanderbilt 7 F
Alabama 33 West Virginia 23 F
Arkansas 21 Auburn 45 F
LSU 28 Wisconsin 24

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