Archive | WKU Football

WKU prepares for homestand

WKU prepares for homestand

Posted on 22 October 2014 by Allen

WKU

After a stretch of four of five games on the road WKU Football hit the gridiron Tuesday knowing four of the next five games will come at the confines of Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium.

The Hilltoppers have seen their ups and down through the first half of the season, winning just two of six games despite featuring the nation’s fifth best offense (547 ypg). Long known for its traditional ground-and-pound style, WKU has proved deadly in the aerial attack this season, averaging 416 yards through the air through six games.

First-year wide receivers coach JaMarcus Shephard has developed one of the nation’s deepest receiving corps, as WKU enters the weekend as one of three teams in the nation with six different receivers with 20 or more catches. Additionally, the Hilltoppers are also one of six FBS programs that feature three receivers that have eclipsed the 30 reception mark.

“I think when you look at it on film, our blocking has really been awesome. They’ve done a really good job with that” said Shephard. “Obviously we’ve been successful , probably a little more successful than we’ve been in the past in terms of catching the ball and yards after the catch. I think we have almost 900 yards after the catch. That’s a big deal.”

Of WKU’s 2,500 yards through the air, 890 have come after the catch due to WKU’s downfield blocking. Seven FBS teams have not eclipsed 890 total passing yards this season.

Junior wide receiver Jared Dangerfield has been WKU’s top wideout in terms of receptions in 2014, hauling in 34 catches for 349 yards and four touchdowns. He ranks third in C-USA with 5.7 receptions per game and currently leads the Hilltopper receivers with four touchdowns.

“We’re deep, we’re real deep,” Dangerfield said of his receiving corps. “We’ve got a good rotation. When I’m off the field, the person that’s in is going to handle his business.”

WKU’s aerial attack will be on display at Smith Stadium Saturday as the Hilltoppers host C-USA foe Old Dominion at 3 p.m. (CT). The game will be a “Blackout” as the Hilltoppers will don their black uniforms while fans are encouraged to wear their black.

The Hilltoppers will return to work Wednesday as they continue their preparation for the Monarchs.

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5 Toppers named to All-CUSA team by Steele

5 Toppers named to All-CUSA team by Steele

Posted on 17 October 2014 by Allen

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Phil Steele released his Midseason All-Conference USA Teams on Friday and five Hilltopper Football players were represented on the two teams, which included a pair of First Team selections in senior tight end Mitchell Henry and redshirt junior linebacker Nick Holt.

Redshirt senior quarterback Brandon Doughty, the nation’s No. 2 passer with 433 yards per game, was tabbed a Second Team selection while his top wideout Taywan Taylor and offensive lineman Forrest Lamp also garnered Second Team accolades.

Henry, who was named to the John Mackey Award Midseason Watch List earlier this week, leads the nation in receiving yards per game by a tight end (70.3) and has 281 yards and two touchdowns on 18 receptions overall in 2014. He was named the John Mackey Tight End of the Week following his performance at Middle Tennessee, where he tallied seven receptions for 128 yards and two touchdowns.

Holt, who is the son of WKU defensive coordinator Nick Holt, leads Conference USA and ranks 22nd nationally with 10.2 tackles per game and is one of just 29 players nationally averaging more than 10 tackles per game this season.

Doughty has been one of the nation’s most prolific passers during his senior season, ranking second nationally in passing yards per game (433.0) and completions per game (36.0). He owns two of the top five passing performances (yards) in the FBS this season and set a C-USA and WKU record with 593 yards passing against Middle Tennessee on Sept. 13. He’s been nearly unstoppable in his last eight games dating back to 2013, tossing for 2,977 yards and 22 touchdowns compared to five interceptions in that span.

Taylor, a sophomore wide receiver, has been Doughty’s most productive weapon with 327 yards on 26 catches through five games. His 12 receptions and 185 yards against Bowling Green State in the season-opener are the highest single-game totals by Conference USA receivers in 2014.

Lamp, a redshirt sophomore, has protected Doughty’s blind side at left tackle, allowing just one sack in 261 drop backs while anchoring the nation’s third best offense (576.0 ypg) and No. 2 passing attack (433.0).

Henry, Holt, Doughty, Taylor and Lamp aim to continue their productive seasons at Florida Atlantic on Saturday as WKU looks for its third win of 2014. Saturday’s kickoff is set for 11 a.m. (CT) at FAU Stadium on the American Sports Network and the game will air locally in Bowling Green on WKU-PBS, in Louisville on WAVE, in Lexington on WTVQ and in Nashville on WUXP.

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Henry Named To John Mackey Award Midseason Watch List

Henry Named To John Mackey Award Midseason Watch List

Posted on 14 October 2014 by Allen

WKU

WKU senior tight end Mitchell Henry has been named to the 2014 John Mackey Award Midseason Watch List, an award given annually to college football’s most outstanding tight end, the organization announced Monday morning.

Henry has hauled in 18 receptions for 283 yards and a pair of touchdowns five games into his final season on the Hill. His selection to the John Mackey Award Midseason Watch List marks the third time in the past four seasons the Hilltoppers have had a tight end on the list as Jack Doyle also made the cut in the 2011-12 seasons.

Henry is one of 33 tight ends in the nation and one of four Conference USA tight ends on the midseason watch list. He leads a deep WKU receiving corps with 70.2 receiving yards per game, a clip that ranks him third among all pass catchers in Conference USA.

The John Mackey Award named Henry its tight end of the week on Sept. 17 after he tallied career highs in catches (7), yards (128) and touchdowns (2) in a conference battle at Middle Tennessee earlier this season. He’s been a consistent big play threat for the nation’s No. 2 passer Brandon Doughty (433.0 ypg), averaging over 15 yards per catch.

Semifinalists for the John Mackey Award will be named on Nov. 17 and finalists will be decided on by Nov. 24. Doyle, who is in his second NFL season with the Indianapolis Colts, was a semifinalist for the award in 2012.
The John Mackey Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA) which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. The 21 awards boast 678 years of tradition-selection excellence. The John Mackey Award recipient is selected by vote of the John Mackey Award Selection Committee and the 2014 John Mackey recipient will be announced on Dec. 10. The award will also be presented live on Dec. 11 at The Home Depot College Football Awards Red Carpet Show on ESPNU.

NFL Hall of Fame member John Mackey is considered to be the best to have played the tight end position. A tight end by whom all others are measured, Mackey was a role model on and off the field as demonstrated by his Super Bowl Championship, his commitment to community and his place in history as the first President of the NFLPA.

The John Mackey Award has been presented since 2000 and lists thirteen NFL alumni, which includes: two-time Super Bowl Champion Daniel Graham (’01), 2006 Super Bowl Champion Dallas Clark (’02), Kellen Winslow II (’03), two-time Super Bowl Champion Heath Miller (’04) of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Marcedes Lewis (’05) of the Jacksonville Jaguars, 2008 Super Bowl Champion Matt Spaeth (’06) of the of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Fred Davis (’07), Chase Coffman (’08), Aaron Hernandez (’09), D.J. Williams (’10) of the New England Patriots, Dwayne Allen (’11) of the Indianapolis Colts, Tyler Eifert (’12) of the Cincinnati Bengals and Austin Seferian-Jenkins (’13) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

John Mackey Award Midseason Watch List

Rory Anderson, Sr, South Carolina
Kennard Backman, Sr, UAB
EJ Bibbs, Sr, Iowa St
Gerald Christian, Sr, Louisville
Evan Engram, So, Ole Miss
Billy Freeman, So, San Jose St
David Grinnage, So, NC State
Connor Hamlett, Sr, Oregon St
Mitchell Henry, Sr, WKU
Jeff Heuerman, Sr, Ohio St
Bucky Hodges, Fr, Virginia Tech
Austin Hooper, So, Stanford
OJ Howard, So, Alabama
Jesse James, Jr, Penn St
Malcolm Johnson, Sr, Mississippi St
Ben Koyack, Sr, Notre Dame
Tyler Kroft, Jr, Rutgers
Jimmay Mundine, Sr, Kansas
Nick O’Leary, Sr, Florida St
Casey Pierce, Sr, Kent St
Joel Ruiz, Jr, Georgia St
Tyreese Russell, Sr, Eastern Michigan
Wes Saxton, Sr, South Alabama
Cam Serigne, Fr, Wake Forest
Jean Sifrin, Jr, Massachusetts
Justin Sinz, Sr, Purdue
Jonnu Smith, So, FIU
Randall Telfer, Sr, USC
Eric Tomlinson, Sr, UTEP
CJ Uzomah, Sr, Auburn
Clive Walford, Sr, Miami, FL
Alex Welch, Sr, Miami, OH
Maxx Williams, So, Minnesota

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Hilltoppers work hard despite bye

Hilltoppers work hard despite bye

Posted on 07 October 2014 by Allen

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WKU Football returned to the gridiron at Houchens-Industries L.T. Smith Stadium on Tuesday afternoon for a spirited scrimmage session to start off the second idle week of the season.

WKU’s team captains Cam Clemmons, Brandon Doughty, Willie McNeal, Gavin Rocker, Cam Thomas and Terran Williams hand-picked their squads and the teams battled for nearly two hours under pleasant fall conditions.

“We definitely wanted to increase the intensity,” head coach Jeff Brohm said of Tuesday’s practice. “We want to find guys who want to fight and find a way to win. We wanted guys to come out here in game-like situations, not knowing the script, and get lined up, make calls, make plays and I think we got something out of that.”

Junior linebacker Dejon Brown has racked up 28 tackles in his last three games and told the local media Tuesday was all about using Saturday’s loss to UAB as fuel to work harder going forward.

“It was a time for us to have friendly competition with each other,” said Brown. “It was time to come and take out any aggression from the last came we had and put our effort into showing coach that we do have what it takes to win games.”

The Hilltoppers will continue their idle-week work on Wednesday as a Conference USA matchup with Florida Atlantic looms in Boca Raton, Fla. on Oct. 18.

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Brohm talks UAB

Brohm talks UAB

Posted on 02 October 2014 by Allen

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After week of challenging, high-energy practices WKU Football concluded its preparation for its inaugural Conference USA home game versus UAB on Thursday afternoon at Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium.

WKU enters the game as one of two teams in the FBS with six-straight performances with 34 or more points, joining Texas A&M in the streak that dates back to the 2013 season. Should the Hilltoppers eclipse the 34-point mark again versus the Blazers Saturday, it would be the second-time in program history opening the season with five-straight 34-point games.

Calling the plays for the fourth-best offense in the country (594.3 ypg) is head coach Jeff Brohm, who has been encouraged by a strong week of preparation from his Hilltoppers.

“We’ve had a good week of practice,” said Brohm. “I think our guys definitely have some confidence built from the last game. At the same time we know we had to fight hard to win and it’s going to be the same way this week. We have to come ready to play for 60 minutes.”

WKU’s offense has been off the charts through the first four weeks of the season, stringing together at least 100 yards of offense in 15 of 16 quarters. Directing the offensive assault has been redshirt senior quarterback Brandon Doughty, who leads the nation in total offense with 458 yards per game.

Illinois has been the only team to somewhat slow the Hilltoppers and a large part of its defensive success was its ability to use press coverage. Brohm anticipates the Blazers using a similar defensive tactic this week.

“Defensively, they give you a lot of different looks,” said Brohm of UAB. “They try to press up a little bit to try and take away the quick stuff that we like to do so they are definitely going to challenge us. We’ve got to find ways to be physical on the outside and continue to make plays.”

Saturday’s game will be broadcast on the Conference USA Digital Network and on WKUSports.tv. Fans can purchase a WKUSports.tv subscription for $9.95 a month or a C-USA Digital Network subscription for $14.95 per month.

The contest will mark the first Conference USA home game for WKU and will kick off at 6:00 p.m. (CT). The first 1,000 fans through the gates will receive a free inaugural C-USA season t-shirt.

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WKU prepares for UAB

WKU prepares for UAB

Posted on 01 October 2014 by Allen

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Coming off three-straight road games and a win at Navy, WKU Football returned to the gridiron Tuesday to begin its on-field preparation for its inaugural Conference USA home game against UAB, which is set for Saturday at Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium.

The Hilltoppers are riding the momentum of a 36-27 win over the Midshipmen, a game in which the offense continued its torrid pace with 551 yards of total offense and 36 points. WKU has strung together six-consecutive performances with 34 or more points dating back to 2013, the longest streak since accomplishing the feat in eight-straight games from Nov. 16, 2002 to Sept. 20, 2003.

It all starts up front for WKU, who has dealt with a flurry of offensive line injuries during the early parts of the season. Offensive line coach Neil Callaway told the local media Tuesday that the key to success as a unit, no matter who is in the lineup, is communication.

“We’ve got to be tied together up front. All five of us have to be on the same page doing the same thing,” said Callaway. “We’ve got to communicate as a group.”

Ten different offensive lineman have seen action through four games for WKU, but that has prevented the Hilltoppers from being the fourth best offense in the nation with over 594 yards per game. Offensive coordinator Tyson Helton tips his hat to Callaway’s coaching for consistency regardless of who is getting snaps.

“I think they’ve done a really good job,” said Helton. “I think one thing Coach Callaway does great is he’s always rolling guys, always putting them in different spots. He anticipates a little injury here or a guy going down there but when the next guy comes in we don’t miss a beat.”

Saturday’s game against UAB will mark the first Conference USA home game for WKU and will kick off at 6:00 p.m. (CT). The first 1,000 fans through the gates will receive a free inaugural C-USA season t-shirt. The Hilltoppers will return to the field Wednesday to continue preparing for its first showdown with the Blazers since 1997.

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Brohm says team is hungry

Brohm says team is hungry

Posted on 25 September 2014 by Allen

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After nearly two weeks of practices WKU Football concluded its preparation for its upcoming contest at Navy on Thursday evening with a two-hour session at Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium.

The Hilltoppers (1-2) and Midshipmen (2-2) put the finishing touches on their four game home-and-home series on Saturday at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium at 2:30 p.m. (CT). Saturday’s game will be nationally televised on CBS Sports Network, which can be found on Time Warner Cable (968 and 531), Direct TV (221) and Dish Network (158) in the Bowling Green area.

WKU’s offense has been the story of 2014, averaging 608 yards and 46.7 points per game through the first quarter of the season. It was the Hilltopper defense, however, that provided the spark in WKU’s 19-7 triumph over the Mids in 2013 as they shut down Navy’s highly-touted triple-option attack.

Despite defeating Navy a season ago head coach Jeff Brohm stressed to the local media that last season’s win won’t have his Hilltoppers overconfident on Saturday.

“This football team is hungry,” said Brohm. “We’ve lost two in a row and we’ve got to try and get back on the winning track. We have to do that on the road and that’s always tough to do. It’s going to be extremely challenging.”

The WKU and Navy coaching staffs will be wearing Coach to Cure MD patches this week to raise awareness and funding for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy research. Fans are encouraged to donate online at www.CoachtoCureMD.org or donate $5 by texting CURE to 90999.

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Toppers concerned with Navy D

Toppers concerned with Navy D

Posted on 23 September 2014 by Allen

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WKU Football continued its preparation for Saturday’s showdown at Navy under pleasant fall conditions Tuesday evening at Houchens-Industries L.T. Smith Stadium.

The Hilltoppers and Midshipmen conclude their four-game home-and-home series that began in 2009 when they meet at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. The game will kick off at 2:30 p.m. (CT) and will air on CBS Sports Network, marking WKU’s 32nd-straight televised game.

While the WKU defense faces the challenge of stopping Navy’s triple-option attack, the Hilltopper offense will have its hands full against a Midshipmen defense that limited WKU to a season-low 19 points in 2013. Navy is the only team to hold the Hilltoppers under 20 points in their last 20 games dating back to 2012 and redshirt senior quarterback Brandon Doughty understands the challenge that the Midshipmen will bring.

“Navy’s defense is pretty good,” said Doughty. “They have a lot of guys coming back. We played them last year and they held us tight. They work hard and they’re going to get to the ball. They’re veterans and they do things right.”

Offensive coordinator Tyson Helton has directed an offense averaging 608.7 yards through three games, led by Doughty who has tossed for 1,459 yards and 12 touchdowns. Following Tuesday’s practice, Helton emphasized that the offense will have to stay sharp as Navy’s ball control style will limit possessions for his unit.

“We have to make every series count for us, we really do,” said Helton. “We won’t get as many opportunities as we have had the past three games. “

The Hilltoppers return to the gridiron Wednesday as they further prepare for their rematch with Navy.

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WKU Football’s Cam Clemmons Selected As Senior CLASS Award Candidate

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WKU Football’s Cam Clemmons Selected As Senior CLASS Award Candidate

Posted on 19 September 2014 by Allen

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WKU offensive lineman Cam Clemmons has been announced as one of 30 Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) candidates for the Senior CLASS Award, an honor given annually to student-athletes who have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition.

An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.

Clemmons becomes the fourth WKU athlete since 2011 to earn candidacy for the Senior CLASS Award, joining volleyball’s Ashley Potts (2013), soccer’s Chrissy Tchoula (2013) and baseball’s Matt Rice (2011). Both Potts and Rice were finalists for the award in their respective sports. Clemmons is the first Hilltopper Football player to be named a Senior CLASS Award candidate since moving to the FBS level.

Clemmons has demonstrated academic excellence throughout his career, holding a 3.18 cumulative GPA as a biochemistry major. In the community, Clemmons has volunteered his time to various organizations including the Salvation Army, Boys and Girls Club, Curbside Ministry and United Way.

On the field, Clemmons has started more games than any active Hilltopper (34) and has helped pave the way for three-straight 1,600-yard rushers. Lining up at right tackle this season, Clemmons has anchored an offensive line that has helped generate the top two single-game offensive performances in school history with 708 yards versus Bowling Green and 718 at Middle Tennessee.

Clemmons is one of three players representing Conference USA on the list of 30 candidates. The 30 candidates will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the regular season, and those 10 names will be placed on the official ballot. Ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans, who will select one candidate who best exemplifies excellence in the community, classroom, character and competition. The Senior CLASS Award winner will be announced during bowl season in early January.

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Henry chosen as Mackey TE of the week

Henry chosen as Mackey TE of the week

Posted on 17 September 2014 by Allen

WKU

The John Mackey Award has tabbed WKU senior Mitchell Henry as its John Mackey Tight End of the Week following his career outing against Middle Tennessee, the organization announced Wednesday morning.

Henry put up career numbers against the Blue Raiders, hauling in seven catches for 128 yards and a pair of touchdowns, all of which were personal bests. Not only did Henry fill up the stat sheet, but he also delivered in key situations. His first score was a 19-yard reception to give WKU a 31-24 lead in the fourth quarter while his second trip to the end zone came from 25-yards out on the first play of overtime.

The two-touchdown performance by Henry marked the second multi-score game of his career. He also found the end zone twice at Arkansas State on Sept. 29, 2012.

Henry is the first Hilltopper tight end to receive the John Mackey Tight End of the Week award since Jack Doyle received the honor on Oct. 12, 2011 after grabbing six receptions for 100 yards in a double overtime win at Middle Tennessee. The national honor is Henry’s second of the week as he was also named the College Football Performance Awards National Tight End Performer of the Week on Monday.

Henry was placed on the John Mackey Award Watch List before the season and through three games he has tallied 14 catches for 225 yards and a pair of scores.

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MTSU tops WKU in 3 OT Thriller

MTSU tops WKU in 3 OT Thriller

Posted on 13 September 2014 by Allen

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Middle Tennessee quarterback Austin Grammer ran for three touchdowns and threw for another as the Blue Raiders turned back rival WKU, 50-47, in three overtimes in front of 24,911 at Floyd Stadium Saturday.

It was the C-USA opener for both teams and proved to be another epic battle in the 64th meeting between the rivals. Middle Tennessee (2-1) leads the all-time series 34-29-1 and dealt the Hilltoppers (1-2) the setback in their first game as a C-USA member.

Grammer, who rushed for 125 yards and threw for 218, completed a 25-yard touchdown pass to Ed’Marques Batties in the third overtime to send Middle Tennessee to victory. Batties’ second reception of the game followed Garrett Schwettman’s 27-yard field goal that had provided the Hilltoppers a 47-44 lead.

Grammer ran for a career-high 125 yards and his three rushing touchdowns also were a career best. He accounted for 343 yards total offense to lead the Blue Raider offensive attack. Middle Tennessee piled up 541 yards total offense.

WKU managed 718 yards total offense, including quarterback Brandon Doughty completing 43-of-66 passes for 593 yards; however, Middle Tennessee’s defense rose to the occasion when it mattered most.

In addition to Grammer, tailback Reggie Whatley ran for 74 yards and Shane Tucker finished with 67 yards and a touchdown.

Middle Tennessee had taken a 34-31 lead on Cody Clark’s 29-yard field goal with 2:39 remaining, but WKU answered when Schwettman connected from 24 yards out with 20 seconds remaining to force overtime.

The Hilltoppers went on top 41-34 on their first possession of the first overtime but the Blue Raiders answered when Grammer ran in from the 1 to even the slate.

The teams traded field goals in the second overtime to send the game into a third OT tied a 41-41.

WKU took a 47-44 lead on Schwettman’s 27-yard field goal to start the overtime but Middle Tennessee secured victory when Grammer found Batties in the middle of the field. Batties hauled in the reception and rambled into the end zone where he was mobbed by his Blue Raider teammates.

After a high-scoring first half neither team was able to get on the scoreboard in the third quarter. Middle Tennessee went ahead 31-24 on Tucker’s 2-yard run with 11:37 remaining in regulation. WKU came right back and evened the score when Doughty hit Mitchell Henry from 19 yards out.

Clark’s 29-yard field goal had given Middle Tennessee a 34-31 lead with 2:29 remaining but the Hilltoppers forced OT when Schwettman connected on a 24-yard effort with 20 seconds remaining in regulation.

The first half was highlighted with offensive superlatives as the rivals combined for 664 yards total offense by halftime. WKU racked up 393 yards on 50 offensive plays in the first half and Middle Tennessee totaled 271 yards in the first two quarters.

The Hilltoppers went to the air for the majority of its first-half success with Brandon Doughty throwing for 324 yards and two touchdowns. His counterpart, Grammer, was equally impressive although he did most of his damage on the ground. Grammer rushed for 110 yards and two touchdowns in the first half to lead a Raider ground game that accounted for 167 yards.

Middle Tennessee jumped out to a 14-3 lead in the first quarter. Grammer’s career-long 59 yard run put the Blue Raiders on the board with 7:20 remaining in the opening frame. Cody Clark’s PAT capped a two-play, 67-yard drive.

After WKU’s Garrett Schwettman put the Hilltoppers on the board with a 20-yard field goal, Middle Tennessee came back with another quick scoring drive. Parker’s 7-yard run capped a four-play, 65-yard drive in just one minute that provided a 14-3 cushion with 1:23 remaining in the first quarter.

WKU got hot in the second quarter and scored on three straight drives to vault to a 24-14 lead but the Blue Raiders scored the final 10 points of the half to even the score, 24-24, at intermission. Clark’s 37-yard field goal pulled the Blue Raiders to within 24-17 with 1:58 to play.

Even though the first half didn’t contain many defensive highlights the biggest was turned in by Middle Tennessee’s Shane Tucker, who intercepted Doughty in the waning stages of the half to give the Blue Raiders possession. Grammer’s second rushing touchdown of the half capped a seven-play, 54-yard drive and Clark added the point after as Middle Tennessee rallied to tie the game 24-24 with 13 seconds remaining.

The Blue Raiders will step out of conference when they face in-state rival Memphis on the road Saturday. Kickoff is 6 p.m.

MT GAME NOTESCAPTAINS: Today’s game captains were S Kevin Byard, OL Isaiah Anderson, and FB Chase Pennycuff. 8TH LARGEST: Middle Tennessee’s announced crowd of 24,911 ranked as the eighth largest crowd in school history. It was the most in Floyd since 25,908 came to see the Blue Raiders’ 2010 opener against Minnesota.
GRAMMER TOPS 100: For the second time in his career and the first of the season, quarterback Austin Grammer topped the 100-yard rushing mark. Grammer finished the game with a career-high 125 yards and a a personal-best three rushing touchdowns.
ANOTHER PICK FOR D: With Jared Singletary’s interception in the second quarter, the Blue Raiders have now collected 27 interceptions in its last 21 games. MT now has three on the season after registering 15 in 2013.
GOAL LINE STAND: Late in the third quarter, the Blue Raider defense came up with a big goal line stand when WKU had it 1st and Goal from the 6-yard line. On second down, WKU’s Leon Allen was ruled as scoring a touchdown but after a review it was ruled he fell short at the 1-yard line. MT then held on the next two plays to regain possession. LB Trey Wafford made the stop on 4th down. WORKING OT: Middle Tennessee and WKU needed three overtimes to decide Saturday’s C-USA opener. It marked Middle Tennessee’s seventh OT game as an FBS member. The Blue Raiders are now 4-3 in those games. It marked the Blue Raiders’ third OT game in three seasons. Prior to 2011, MT had not played an OT game since 2003 when it played three. It marked the second time in three seasons MT and WKU played into OT. WKU beat Middle Tennessee 36-33 in double OT Oct. 6, 2011. The three OTs are the second-most of the FBS era. Middle Tennessee and UL-Lafayette played four overtimes in 2003.

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Four Hilltopper Greats to be Inducted Into WKU Athletic Hall of Fame

Four Hilltopper Greats to be Inducted Into WKU Athletic Hall of Fame

Posted on 10 September 2014 by Allen

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Four great names in the history of Western Kentucky University Athletics will be inducted as the 24th class into the WKU Athletic Hall of Fame in ceremonies set for Homecoming Weekend this fall.

The 2014 class includes Dan King (men’s basketball, baseball), Lee Murray (football, baseball, football coach), Darnell Mee (men’s basketball) and Chris Price (football).

The induction of the 2014 class brings the number of former WKU student-athletes and coaches to earn berths in the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame to 138 since its founding in 1991.

The 2014 class will be inducted in a ceremony highlighting the annual W-Club Homecoming Brunch, set for 10:00 AM (CT) Saturday, Nov. 8, on the main floor at E.A. Diddle Arena on the WKU campus in Bowling Green.

Tickets for the event, which is open to the general public, are $15.00 each and can be purchased or reserved:

- online at alumni.wku.edu (click on “Events”, scroll down the list and click on “W-Club Homecoming Brunch, click on the “Registration” box and fill out the reservation form)

- by calling 1-888-WKU-ALUM (1-888-958-2586) or, locally in the Bowling Green area, (270) 745-4395

- by contacting either W-Club Treasurer Bill Edwards at (270) 745-6026 or bill.edwards@wku.edu or W-Club Secretary Paul Just at (270) 792-4247 or paul.just@wku.edu

Each W-Club member who has paid 2014-15 dues may claim two complimentary tickets to the event. However, seating is limited and reservations must be made either online or with Edwards or Just to ensure seating is available. Non-members and the general public are welcome but must purchase tickets. Letterwinners who have not yet paid their 2014-15 dues may do so online via credit card or at the door with a prior reservation.

The inductees will also be honored in ceremonies on Jimmy Feix Field at halftime of the annual Homecoming Football Game, set to kickoff at 3:00 that afternoon.

DAN KING / Men’s Basketball, 3 letters (1952-54); Baseball, 3 letters (1952-54)

Dan King was a key player on three Western Kentucky University NIT teams (including the 1954 club that placed 4th in tha tournament) that won 80 of 94 games (an 85.1% success ratio), two Ohio Valley Conference championships (1952 and ’54) and took OVC tourney titles all three years. A talented 6-5 forward who E.A. Diddle once called the fastest big man he had ever coached, King scored 886 points in those three seasons, averaging 10.1 ppg for his career. He averaged 10.7 points and 8.3 rebounds as a sophomore on his 26-5 team. As a junior, he tallied 414 points (the 10th best single season total in school history at the time), averaging a career-best 13.8 points and 8.9 rebounds for that 25-6 squad. King was also a stellar performer on the diamond, leading the Topper baseballers to an overall record of 42-17-1 and two OVC championships (’52 and ’53). On one memorable day, King pitched both games of a doubleheader and won both contests. He signed pro contracts with Brooklyn (baseball 1954) and Baltimore (NBA); he played one season (’54-55) with the Bullets. After his playing career, he enjoyed a career as a teacher and coach. In 1972 he was named to the Amateur Softball Association All-World Team after helping his Louisville Jiffy Club to the ASA World Championship. He is a member of both the ASA and the Clinton County (Tenn.) Sports Halls of Fame. King returned to WKU in early 1960s and served a season (1964) as freshman basketball coach and two seasons (’63 and ’64) as the Hilltopper baseball coach. A native of Paris, Tenn., King passed away in 2003 at age 72 in Louisville.

DARNELL MEE / Men’s Basketball, 3 letters (1991-93)

Darnell Mee earned All-America honors in 1993 when he was also a unanimous All-Sun Belt Conference pick (and the SBC Tourney MVP). He finished his three-year career on The Hill with 1,253 points, ranking him 18th on the all-time leaders list. As a senior, he became just the 10th Hilltopper to score 600 points in a season (606) and he set a school record for three-point field goals made in a game (8). Mee, who remains the only Hilltopper to come up with 100 steals in a season (100 in ’93), led WKU in steals all three years and still holds WKU records for steals in a game (9, twice), season (100) and career (259). His three teams were a collective 61-31 (66.3%), played in the 1993 NCAA Sweet Sixteen (narrowly missing a berth in the Elite Eight), went to the NIT in ’92 and won one SBC tourney title (’93). He was drafted in the 2nd round (7th pick; 34th overall) by the Golden State Warriors in 1993 and played at Denver (’93-95). He moved on to international basketball in 1995, playing for teams in Australia, France, Germany and Italy over the next 14 years. Mee spent the bulk of his pro career in Australia’s National Basketball League, playing one season at Canberra (’95-96), four at Adelaide (’97-01), two at Wallagong (’03-05) and five at Cairns (’02-03 and ’05-09). A five-time NBL Defensive Player of the Year, he earned a berth on the All-NBL first team twice. He was a key member of two MBL championship teams with the Adelaide 36ers (1998 and ’99). Later, Mee returned to The Hill to complete his degree and earn a Master’s while serving as a student assistant on the Hilltopper basketball staff. A native of Cleveland, Tenn., he resides in Antioch, Tenn.

LEE MURRAY / Football, 2 Letters (1961-62); Baseball, 2 Letters (1962-63); Assistant Football Coach (1969-77, 1992-94)

A two-sport standout on The Hill in the early 1960s, Lee Murray was an outstanding end in football and was the first athlete in Hilltopper gridiron history to be named the team’s “Most Valuable Player” two straight years. His two Topper football teams went 6-3-0 and 5-3-0, respectively, and he was the team captain and most valuable defensive player as a senior. An outfielder, he was WKU’s only player on the Ohio Valley Conference’s first All-Conference Baseball Team in 1962. After three successful seasons as head coach at Louisville Shawnee HS, Murray returned to WKU as an assistant coach in 1969 and spent nine seasons working with some of the Toppers’ finest teams, including NCAA Division-II national runner-up teams in 1973 (12-1-0) and 1975 (11-2-0). He worked with the receivers his first two years and then moved to the defensive secondary in 1971 before taking over as defensive coordinator in 1973. He developed some of the finest defensive units in WKU history. His 1971 defense led the nation in pass defense, giving up only 57.5 yards/game; and, his Toppers ranked in the Top 10 in the nation in scoring defense three times (’73-75) and were 4th in total defense in both ’74 amd ’75. The 35 interceptions his ’73 club came up with is still a WKU record. He retired from coaching after the 1977 campaign, but remained a part of the WKU scene as an administrator in the Downing University Center until his retirement. Murray came out of retirement in 1992 to help out after football narrowly missed being dropped and put in three more seasons on the Topper staff (1992-94). Murray is a member of both the Louisville High School Coaches Association and the Franklin County (Ala.) High School halls of fame. Overall, the 12 WKU teams he helped coach went 81-43-4 (a solid 64.8%). Murray, who calls Russellville, Ala., his hometown, now resides in Cumming, Ga.

CHRIS PRICE / Football, 4 letters (1999-02)

Chris Price, a three-time All-America pick on the offensive line (at guard), was on virtually everyone’s first team as a senior in ’02 when he played a key role in the Hilltoppers’ amazing run to the NCAA I-AA National Championship. He was a first-team all-conference selection three straight years – for his undefeated Ohio Valley Conference championship team in ’00 and in the Gateway Football Conference in both ’01 and ’02. In that 15-game ’02 campaign, the Hilltoppers ran almost 1,000 plays (996, to be exact) and amassed a school record 5,479 total yards, a lot of work in the trenches for the linemen. The four Hilltopper teams he played on were a combined 37-14 overall (31-9 – 77.5% – in his last 3 years), winning two conference titles (OVC in 2000 and GFC in ’02) and placed 2nd in the Gateway in ’01 and 3rd in the OVC in ’99. The Hilltopper offensive units he played for ranked among the Top 10 in the nation in rush offense all four of his varsity seasons – seventh in 1999, ninth in ’00, second in ’01 and sixth in ’02. Those clubs made three appearances in the I-AA championship playoffs, winning 5 of 7 games – including that ’02 national title. Price came to The Hill from Indianapolis, Ind., and currently resides in Madisonville, Ky.

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WKU prepares for Middle Tennessee

WKU prepares for Middle Tennessee

Posted on 09 September 2014 by Allen

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Following a narrow defeat at Illinois last weekend WKU Football returned to the gridiron Tuesday at Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium to begin preparing for Saturday’s inaugural Conference USA game at long-time rival Middle Tennessee.

The Hilltoppers (1-1) and Blue Raiders (1-1) renew their rivalry that stretches back 100 years after taking a one-year hiatus in 2013. WKU trails the all-time series 29-33-1 but has won two of its last three games at Floyd Stadium. The rivalry has a history of going down to the wire, particularly in the last three meetings that have been decided by a combined nine points.

WKU redshirt senior quarterback Brandon Doughty, who leads the nation with eight touchdown passes and ranks second with 866 yards, will make his first start against Middle Tennessee Saturday. Following Tuesday’s practice Doughty told the local media that he’s looking forward to renewing the rivalry.

“It’s crazy because being the old dog, a lot of these guys don’t understand the whole Middle Tennessee rivalry so I’m trying to explain,” said Doughty. “Having a rivalry and having fans wanting to come down and see it is unbelievable. I’m really excited to be a part of it.”

The game will be pivotal in the Conference USA East Division standings as both teams pursue their first league title. Despite the weight of a rivalry and conference game, offensive coordinator Tyson Helton emphasized that WKU needs to work on the little things and not make the game bigger than it is.

“It’s always good to have a conference rival but at the end of the day it is the next game,” said Helton. “It’s the next conference game. We are more focused on winning the next game. We just have to stay consistent and do all the right things and we will be fine.”

The Hilltoppers return to the gridiron on Wednesday as they continue their preparation for their 64th clash with Middle Tennessee. 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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Jeff Brohm prepares to head back to Illinois

Jeff Brohm prepares to head back to Illinois

Posted on 04 September 2014 by Allen

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WKU Football put the finishing touches on its preparation for Big 10 foe Illinois Thursday afternoon at Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium.

The Hilltoppers (1-0) and Fighting Illini (1-0) meet for the first time when WKU visits Memorial Stadium Saturday in Champaign, Ill. but it will be familiar territory for head coach Jeff Brohm, who was the quarterbacks coach at Illinois during the 2010-11 seasons.

“It’s a great stadium,” Brohm said of Memorial Stadium. “It’s a great, traditional atmosphere. Illinois is going to be hungry. They are definitely going to be prepared. They didn’t play as good as they wanted to last week, which means they are going to come out even more on fire.”

With Brohm calling the plays the Hilltoppers gashed defending MAC champion Bowling Green for a school record 708 yards in the season-opener. Despite the success and hype around the offensive output this week, Brohm said WKU’s offense doesn’t have pressure on it going into Saturday’s game.

“I don’t think so,” Brohm emphasized when asked about feeling pressure. “We want to play hard, we want to play fast, we want to make plays, we want to take care of the ball, do the small things and if we do that I think we can be successful.”

Saturday’s game pits two quarterbacks who were stellar in their season debuts last weekend. Hilltopper quarterback Brandon Doughty set school records with 46 completions, 569 yards and six touchdowns while Illini slinger Wes Lunt tossed for 285 yards and four touchdowns in a 28-17 win over Youngstown State.

WKU and Illinois will square off on the Big Ten Network at 11 a.m. (CT), which can be found on channel 529 for Time Warner Cable customers, 610-2 for Direct TV customers and 5443 for DISH subscribers.

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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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