Four new opponents highlight the WKU Hilltoppers’ 2014 football schedule. The school’s athletic department announced the schedule Monday afternoon. It will be the first year for the ‘Toppers in Conference USA and they’ll open up the schedule on Thursday, Aug. 28 against Bowling Green State at L.T. Smith Stadium.
They’ll take on Illinois for the first time in school history September 6th and will also face conference opponents Old Dominion, Texas-El Paso and Texas-San Antonio for the first time.
Army travels to Bowling Green to take on WKU November 15th. The school also announced its ticket plans for the 2014 season on Monday.
A Saturday afternoon matchup with Arkansas State wraps up Western Kentucky's 2013 regular season. The Hilltoppers have won three straight games heading into Senior Day. Standouts Antonio Andrews and Luis Polanco will be playing their final game at Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium.
"The first year here we were 2-10 and we gradually progressed as time went on and just really learned how to truly play the game and how to continue to have fun as you're learning it," said Andrews. "And we really got to know each other along the way."
At 7-4 heading into Saturday's game, WKU is bowl eligible for a third straight year. Saturday's game will be broadcast by ESPN3 and kickoff is set for 3 p.m.
Antonio Andrews rushed for 110 yards, Brandon Doughty had 206 yards passing and Keshawn Simpson ran for four touchdowns to help Western Kentucky and coach Bobby Petrino beat Georgia State 44-28 on Saturday.
Petrino made his first appearance at the Georgia Dome since abruptly resigning 13 games into his only season as Atlanta Falcons coach six years ago.
The announced crowd of 5,377 barely acknowledged Petrino in pre-game introductions. Over 69,000 fans were at his last game in Atlanta, a 34-14 Monday night loss to the New Orleans Saints on Dec. 10, 2007.
Petrino shocked the Falcons with his sudden departure for Arkansas the following day. He went 34-17 with the Razorbacks, but was fired in April 2012 after acknowledging an extramarital affair.
Western Kentucky (5-4, 2/3 Sun Belt Conference) snapped a two-game losing streak. Ronnie Bell had two touchdown passes for Georgia State (0-9, 0-4).
Alonzo Harris rushed for 115 yards and two touchdowns to lead Louisiana-Lafayette to a 37-20 victory over Western Kentucky on Tuesday night.
Terrance Broadway had a 1-yard TD run and also threw for a score for the Ragin' Cajuns (4-2, 2-0 Sun Belt), who have won four in a row since a 48-27 loss at Kansas State last month. Louisiana-Lafayette had 198 yards rushing in the second half and finished with 254 on the ground for the game.
Antonio Andrews had 28 carries for 154 yards for the Hilltoppers (4-3, 1-2), who led 10-0 after the first quarter. Andrews, who had a 1-yard TD run in the fourth quarter, went over 1,000 yards for the season.
Western Kentucky committed four turnovers, including Al Riles' 99-yard interception return that made it 10-7 with 6:41 left in the second quarter.
Just five days after a win over Navy, the WKU Hilltoppers travel to Louisiana tonight for a Thursday night matchup with the University of Louisiana-Monroe. WKU is now 3-2 on the season. Head coach Bobby Petrino says the team is looking to build on last week’s win.
“You know, when I watched [the video of] the Navy game of our defense and our special teams, I was impressed at how hard we played, how much we were flying around and how many bodies we got to the football on all the different plays,” said Petrino. “If we play with that intensity and that speed, I think we’ll be fine.”
Louisiana-Monroe is 2-3 on the season. This will be WKU’s second Sun Belt Conference game of the season. Kickoff is set for 6:30 CDT/7:30 EDT and the game is being nationally televised on ESPNU. Click here for a full game preview.
Bobby Petrino likes to throw the ball all over the field. Antonio Andrews runs the ball so well the coach has changed his ways with Western Kentucky for now.
Andrews ran for 182 yards and two touchdowns as the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers downed Navy 19-7 Saturday, beating the Midshipmen at their own ground game.
The senior running back outgained the nation's best rushing offense all by himself as Western Kentucky (3-2) held Navy to 107 yards, well below the 398 yards the Midshipmen averaged through the first two games. The Hilltoppers outgained Navy 417-183 in total offense and held the ball 37 minutes.
Petrino called it a great win. And yes, he says the Hilltoppers are a little different on offense.
"We're running the ball, and we had to just stick to it today and work hard at moving the sticks, work hard at working the clock when we had the lead," Petrino said. "I'd love to take a couple shots there, but that's not what we needed to do to win the game."
The Western Kentucky University football team travels to Mobile, Alabama this Saturday, hoping to get back into the win column as they begin Sun Belt Conference play. They’ll be facing South Alabama for the first time.
After an impressive 35-26 win over Kentucky to start the season two weeks ago, WKU stumbled in a 52-20 loss to Tennessee. The game featured seven Hilltopper turnovers.
South Alabama is also 1-1 on the season. The Jaguars were edged by Southern Utah in their season opener, 22-21, but then topped Tulane 41-39.
It will cost less to tailgate this year at WKU football games.
The university’s athletic department has announced that several parking lots that in previous years carried a $20 parking fee, will now be free on a first-come first-serve basis.
Those areas include McLean Hall, "The Valley", Bates Runner Hall and the Service Supply Building lawn.
WKU offers 30 tailgating areas within a half-mile of Houchens Industries- L.T. Smith Stadium. Tailgate areas open at 8 a.m. on Saturday game days The Hilltoppers’ home-opener is September 21st against the Morgan State Bears.
For the first time in school history, a football team from the SEC will visit Bowling Green to take on the Hilltoppers. WKU announced a three-game series with Vanderbilt University on Wednesday.
The first game will take place in 2015 in Nashville, with the Commodores coming to the WKU Campus in 2016.
“It’s a great compliment that Vanderbilt wanted to schedule that game with us – two games at their place and one at ours as a part of that three-game series. We're certainly looking forward to that starting in a few years,” said Michael Schroeder, Assistant Athletic Director for Communications at WKU.
The WKU men’s basketball team will burn the midnight oil during their season opener. The school announced Monday that the Hilltoppers will take on Wichita State at midnight on November 12, as part of ESPN 2’s Tip-Off Marathon.
ESPN is airing more than a dozen games in over 24 hours of basketball to kick off the new season.
Both WKU and Wichita State are coming off of NCAA tournament appearances, with the Shockers making last season’s Final Four. The Hilltoppers went 20-and-16, and won the Sun Belt Conference tournament.
You can see the 2013-14 WKU men's basketball schedule here.