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).
WKU took its early season frustrations out on Morgan State behind 291 all-purpose yards and five touchdowns from Antonio Andrews in a 58-17 win Saturday night.
Andrews' five scores broke the WKU (2-2) record for most rushing touchdowns in a single game. Andrews wasted no time getting things started with a 65-yard touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage against the Bears (0-4). The senior finished with 17 carries for 213 yards on the ground. True freshman quarterback Todd Porter earned his first collegiate start for the Hilltoppers and all four quarterbacks saw time on the field. In Porter's NCAA debut, he completed five of 10 passes for 76 yards and threw one interception. WKU amassed 588 yards of total offense while Morgan State tallied 317 yards. Linebacker Xavius Boyd led all defenders with 10 tackles and Andrew Jackson followed closely with nine in the Hilltoppers' victory.
After starting the season with three games away from home, the WKU football team is gearing up for its first contest at L.T. Smith Stadium.
The Hilltoppers host Morgan State this Saturday night, and hope to get back in the win column after dropping their last two games.
WKU head coach Bobby Petrino says players and staff are excited to finally play in Bowling Green.
"I'm looking forward to the routine for a home game, and what you do, and how you prepare," the first-year Hilltopper coach said. "I'm looking for a crowd that will come out with a lot of energy and excitement. It's always great to play at home. And hopefully that's something that will really help us and give us energy and help in our preparation."
This will be the first time WKU has played Morgan State, which brings an 0-3 record into Saturday's game.
WKU opened the season with a win in Nashville against Kentucky, but then lost at Tennessee and at South Alabama.
Tyrell Pearson's interception return with just more than two minutes left set up a 1-yard plunge by Trey Fetner that lifted South Alabama to a 31-24 win over visiting Western Kentucky in the Sun Belt Conference opener for both teams Saturday night.
The Hilltoppers (1-2, 0-1) took a 21-10 lead in the first half but could only manage a field goal in the second half - that coming on a 44-yard boot to start the fourth quarter by Garrett Schwettman after the Jaguars tied the game at 21-21.
Aleem Sunanon kicked a 37-yard field goal two minutes later to tie the score at 24-24.
Ross Matheny completed 11 of 15 passes for 193 yards to lead South Alabama (2-1, 1-0).
Brandon Doughty was 27 of 47 for 282 yards and three touchdowns to lead Western Kentucky, but he was also intercepted three times.
An online article highlights clashes between WKU football coach Bobby Petrino and a medical trainer who was fired in the spring.
The Chronicle of Higher Education story about friction between coaches and athletic trainers singled out the relationship between Petrino and former WKU associate athletic trainer Danny Cobble. The Chronicle’s story says Petrino questioned Cobble’s medical abilities, grew impatient with return-to-play times for players, and pushed back against decisions made by physicians.
Cobble says he was fired in the spring after being at WKU since 2009. When asked by the Courier-Journal about the article, A WKU athletics spokesman said neither coach Petrino or WKU Athletic Director Todd Stewart would comment.
The Chronicle story spotlighted an incident in which Cobble says a doctor ordered surgery for an unidentified WKU football player. Cobble says Petrino wanted to treat the player with a cortisone shot instead. The player eventually had surgery.
The Chronicle surveyed hundreds of athletic trainers and staff for their story. Of the 101 who responded, 53 said they felt pressure from football coaches to get players back on the field faster than the trainers felt was medically prudent.
You can read the full article from The Chronicle of Higher Education here.
WKU kicks off its 2013 football season Saturday night against Kentucky.
While the contest is technically a home game for WKU, it's being played at LP Field in Nashville. The game marks the debut for both WKU coach Bobby Petrino and UK head coach Mark Stoops.
Petrino says season-openers are always a major challenge for the coaching staff.
"We have to do a good job on the sidelines making sure we're coaching our guys in between series, and really understanding what Kentucky is trying to do to us, and making sure our players stay into it mentally," said Petrino.
Petrino has 75 career wins as a head coach, and his teams have made seven bowl appearances. The UK game marks Petrino's return to coaching following his 2012 firing as head coach of Arkansas. Petrino was let go by the SEC school after he lied to Arkansas officials about a motorcycle accident involving his mistress.
As college football season approaches, student-athletes are having to brush up on the rules regarding autographs and eligibility.
The reverberations of the NCAA’s inquiry into whether Texas A&M quarterback and Hesiman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel signed autographs for memorabilia dealers will be felt in Kentucky this weekend. In Louisville, the athletic department has advised the Cardinals football team not to sign autographs at this weekend’s fan event.
But that will not be the case at WKU’s Football Fan Fest On Saturday.
“They’ll all be available for autographs throughout the event,” said Michael Schroeder, Assistant Athletic Director for Communications at WKU.
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.