The WKU football team is no doubt still smarting from not receiving a bowl bid.
Maybe some postseason awards will ease the pain a bit.
Senior running back Antonio Andrews was named the Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year Wednesday, while senior linebacker Xavius Boyd won the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year honors.
Andrews rushed for a school-record 1,730 yards this season, and led the nation in all-purpose yards for the second straight campaign. The Ft. Campbell High School graduate scored on a conference-leading 16 rushing touchdowns.
WKU and area school systems are teaming up to combine athletics and academics. The Lady Hilltoppers game against Georgia State on Jan. 8 will be attended by more than 2,100 students in grades K through 8 from Bowling Green Independent Schools, and schools in Glasgow and Logan County.
The effort is the third "Spread the Red Education Game" to be held at WKU.
Teachers in the schools are using historical statistics and biographical information on the WKU players as learning tools by incorporating them into history, reading, math, and geography lessons. Bowling Green Superintendent Joe Tinius says another benefit of the effort is getting young children on a college campus.
"Whenever we bring students to campus, we will always have many of them talk about how they had never been there before, and that they didn't know that a particular building was in Bowling Green. And that's a little hard for some of us to understand, and comprehend," Tinius said. "But I think as an educator it makes me realize that we need to take advantage of every opportunity to get our kids on campus."
The next WKU men’s basketball recruiting class features players from three different parts of the country.
WKU head basketball coach Ray Harper announced today that the school has received national letters of intent from Justin Johnson of Hazard, Kentucky; Derrick Clayton from Castro Valley, California; and Avery Patterson of Decatur, Georgia.
Johnson is a 6'7" forward who averaged over 16 points and 10 rebounds a game as a junior at Perry County Central High School last season.
Clayton is a 6'5" guard who scored 17 points a game as a junior in California.
Patterson is from the same high school in Georgia that produced current Hilltopper Niger Snipes. Coach Harper says he believes the 6'1" guard can compete for playing time as a freshman next season.
WKU senior Antonio Andrews has been named a semifinalist for the 2013 Doak Walker Award, given annually to the nation’s best college running back.
Andrews leads the nation in all-purpose yardage with nearly 2,200 yards and ranks second nationally in total rushing yards.
Andrews is one of ten semifinalists being considered for the award. Members of the Doak Walker Award National Selection Committee will next cast their votes for three finalists, who will be named November 25.
The winner of the award will be announced December 12.
The WKU men’s basketball team opens up its season in unusual fashion Monday evening.
Actually, make that Tuesday morning.
The Hilltoppers are on the road at Wichita State for a game that begins at midnight Tuesday morning. The unorthodox scheduling is a result of WKU’s participation in ESPN’s Tip-Off Marathon, an event the network has billed as “24 hours of hoops.”
The WKU-Wichita State game is being televised on ESPN2.
The WKU women’s basketball team is also kicking off its regular season, and looking to win on the road against Vanderbilt for the first time in nearly 15 years. The Lady Hilltoppers play the Commodores tonight at 7 p.m. at Memorial Gymnasium in Nashville.
The WKU women’s team won its season-opener Saturday against Austin Peay.
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.