WKU Football

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WKU’s upcoming football season features road trips to Vanderbilt, Indiana, and LSU.

The Hilltoppers’ 2015 schedule includes eight Conference USA games, with five of those contests at home. WKU kicks off the season September 5 in Nashville, against the Vanderbilt Commodores. The team’s home and league opener is the following week against Louisiana Tech.

See the entire WKU 2015 football schedule here.

WKU returns 17 starters from last season’s team that finished 8-5, including a win in the Bahamas Bowl.

One of those returnees is quarterback Brandon Doughty, who led the nation in passing yards and touchdown passes last season.

WKU Athletics

 Update: 12:31 p.m.

Brandon Doughty has been named the Most Valuable Player by Conference USA. The league's 13 coaches voted Doughty as the top performer.

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The NCAA has granted WKU quarterback Brandon Doughty a sixth year of eligibility, it was announced Wednesday. 

Doughty’s 2011 and 2012 seasons were marred by injury, but since returning to health Doughty has etched his name in the school record books, breaking WKU single-season passing records in both 2013 and 2014.  He also holds the school’s career touchdown record. He also holds the Conference USA single-game passing record

“My time at WKU has been very special and I am looking forward to the opportunity to come back for my sixth year to build on what we’ve started this season,” Doughty said. “Having to deal with injuries for two seasons was really tough and I never would have made it through without my faith in God and the support from my coaches, teammates and the athletic department staff.”

Doughty and his Hilltopper teammates begin full preparations Thursday for their Bahamas Bowl appearance December 24th.  The team takes on Central Michigan at 11 a.m. central that day.

For the second time in the last three seasons, the WKU football team will face Central Michigan in a bowl game.  The Toppers learned Sunday afternoon they’ll be playing in the Bahamas Bowl on Christmas Eve day.  Central Michigan beat WKU 24-21 in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl in 2012. 

WKU head coach Jeff Brohm says the matchup of 7-5 teams should make  for a competitive game.

“This is a great challenge for us, this is a team that beat us in the bowl game a couple years ago, so I know our players that’ve been here are looking forward to showing how far we’ve come since then,” said Brohm.  “But it will definitely be a challenge for us. But we’re happy to be play another game.  To play it in a setting like this against a good, solid football team is going to be fun for our guys.”

Game time is 11 a.m. CST on December 24th.  Because of finals week, the team will wait until Thursday to begin full preparations for the game.

Athletic Director Todd Stewart says WKU didn’t officially know it was in the Bahamas Bowl until Sunday afternoon.  But he says the process of making sure everyone on the team had a passport began several weeks ago.

“The conference told us we were one of the teams that was in line to possibly be in the Bahamas Bowl. And you really can’t wait until 10 days out or two weeks out to do all that. So we started a lot of that, and that process is well along,” said Stewart. 

WKU quarterback Brandon Doughty threw eight touchdown passes Friday, as the Hilltoppers won at previously undefeated Marshall.

Trailing by 10 points in the fourth quarter, the Thundering Herd rallied to tie the score with less than a minute in regulation.

After the game went into overtime, Marshall scored a touchdown on the team's opening possession. WKU responded with a 25-yard touchdown pass from Doughty to Jared Dangerfield, and then won the game on a successful two-point conversion. On the game's final play, Doughty rolled to his right and found Willie McNeal in the endzone for the winning score.

Hilltopper running back Leon Allen carried the ball 33 times for 237 yards and a touchdown, and Doughty completed 34 of 50 passes for 491 yards, in addition to his eight touchdowns.

WKU finishes its regular season with a 7-5 record, and now awaits to hear if the team will be invited to a postseason bowl game.

The WKU football team is entering its final regular season game with the chance to knock off an unbeaten team.

The Hilltoppers travel to Hungtington, West Virginia, for a Friday game against the Marshall Thundering Herd. Marshall is ranked 19th in the nation, and is looking to go 12-0 with a win against WKU.

Hilltopper Head Coach Jeff Brohm says he knows his time is a big underdog this week.

“We’re playing now with some confidence, and we’ve improved a bit every week. We understand that for this game, it’s going to take all three facets of the game to play their best. Our offense is going to have to play very well, obviously our defense is going to have to play very well, our special teams is going to have to not give up the big play and try to make a few big plays on its own.”

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The WKU volleyball team captured the Conference USA championship and the football team became bowl eligible this weekend. 

WKU volleyball beat Rice 3-2 to win the conference tournament championship on Sunday and now advances to the NCAA tournament. The team will find out when it will play next during the tournament selection show Nov. 30. 

The football team powered past UT-San Antonio 45-7 on Saturday at L.T. Smith Stadium.  With the win, the Toppers became bowl eligible for a fourth straight season.

Also, the women's basketball team appeared in the finals of the preseason Women's National Invite Tournament, but fell to Mississippi State 88-77 on Sunday afternoon in Starkville, Miss.

Photo Gallery: WKU vs. Army Football

Nov 15, 2014
Abbey Oldham

WKU defeated the Army Black Knights 52-24 at L.T. Smith Stadium on Saturday, November 15, 2014. Before the game, the Golden Knights parachuted into the stadium; Dr. Gary Ransdell did a tandem jump with one of the Knights into the practice field with the game ball. Leon Allen carried the ball for 345 yards, breaking the single game record for WKU and Conference USA. WKU has one more home football game Saturday, November 22 at 11AM against University of Texas San Antonio. 

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The pregame entertainment prior to WKU’s game with Army this weekend will come from above.

The U.S. Army Parachute team, known as the “Golden Knights” will be performing along with a special guest – WKU president Gary Ransdell. 

Ransdell is scheduled to do a tandem jump while holding on to the game ball.

“This is one way that I think we can highlight the importance of military service, not only to this university, but certainly, most importantly, to our nation and what those young men and women mean to our freedoms and their efforts to protect those freedoms,” said Ransdell.  “So that’s the primary reason I’m doing this.”

And while Ransdell doesn’t regularly jump out of planes, he’s no rookie either.

“I’ve done this once before, this is not my maiden voyage,” said Ransdell.  “I did it at Fort Knox with the Golden Knights a few years ago and it was an amazing experience.  There were 8-10 people standing around watching that one, so this one will be a little bit different.”

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WKU's search for its first conference win of the season goes on. The Toppers fell to 0-3 in Conference USA play after a 45-38 loss to Florida Atlantic on Saturday in Boca Raton, Fla.

A 61-yard touchdown pass thrown by quarterback Jacquez Johnson put FAU ahead with just 1:23 remaining in the fourth quarter.

Despite scoring at least 34 points for the eighth consecutive game, WKU lost its fourth game of the year to drop to 2-4.

WKU returns home Saturday for 3 p.m. matchup with Old Dominion at L.T. Smith Stadium.

WKU Athletics

Jimmy Feix, who became the first Western Kentucky University football player to earn All-America honors, and later, the school's winningest head coach, died Sunday afternoon.  He was 83 years old.

“He is the coach. He’s the heart-and-soul of Hilltopper football,” said Paul Just, WKU’s sports information director emeritus.   “He lived it as a player, he lived it as an assistant coach, he lived it as a head coach; he lived it as the A.D.”

Funeral arrangements are pending.  Feix is survived by his wife Frankie, two adult sons and several grandchildren.  News of Feix’s passing was announced by the university Sunday night.

James Wyne Feix was born in Henderson on Aug. 1, 1931 and first made his mark on the Hill in the early 1950s as a quarterback for Western.  He was named to the All-Ohio Valley Conference team in 1951 and 1952. He led the team to a conference championship in 1952.

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