It has been way too long since WKU has taken the gridiron, but luckily, we have had to suffer the bye week following a, while ugly, strong win at Army. The win put WKU bowl eligible for the third time in FBS history, and for the third straight season. Today, the Tops face off against another bowl eligible FBS team in Texas State.
While the Bobcats are bowl eligible, the resume isn’t nearly as impressive. While one might argue that WKU hasn’t had great success against a somewhat weak schedule, don’t forget – the Tops are 4-1 out of conference, and 3 of those wins include an SEC team, Navy (when they were the nation’s top rushing attack at the time) and Army (who also was the best rushing team in the nation when WKU played them two weeks ago). The Bobcats best win, record wise, came against a now 5-6 Prairie View A&M team who plays in the SWAC. Other wins for the Bobcats include a winless Southern Miss team, Wyoming, future SBC team Idaho, and winless Georgia State. One could argue that another solid win on the resume for TXST is South Alabama, who shocked WKU back in week 3, but what was looking to be an improbable and magic season for the Jaguars has become abysmal and more of what we expected.
Never the less, this is the first time WKU will face a team who is bowl eligible during the game, and while the Bobcats haven’t had impressive wins, they still have six.
The Bobcats don’t have much of a passing attack, and the already nearly non-existent attack got even more depleted earlier this morning, when it was announced that starting QB Tyler Jones has a broken throwing hand (whatever that means) will dress and could play, but it’s looking like Tyler Ardnt will be the man running the offense. How bad is this passing offense? The leading receiver on the team, Andy Erickson (24 rec, 249 yards) doesn’t have a touchdown, and the two players with multiple touchdowns (Terrence Franks and Ryan Carden) only have 6 and 5 receptions all year, respectively.
So, with that lack of passing game, that means the Bobcats rely heavily on the rushing, and they have two big backs who carry most of the load. Robert Lowe leads the team in yards with 855 and rushing scores with 9. The other back, Chris Nutall, is the only other non-QB player on the team with more than 400 yards of offense, and he has 463 with six rushing TD’s.
While WKU does rely on the run heavily as well, they also have a reliable passing game that they can go to to keep the Bobcat D honest. There’s been little to no controversy around Brandon Doughty lately, Antonio Andrews has a rushing title to take back, and Willie McNeal will most likely continue to be the deep threat.
Long story short, if the Tops can maintain the Bobcat rushing attack, this should be an easy W for WKU. But, if there’s anything we know about this team, it’s that nothing comes easy.
The game will be broadcast on the four-letter’s baby, the Longhorn Network, so your best bet will probably be tuning in for Randy Lee’s call via the old fashioned radio.
Stand up and cheers.