It's Homecoming week on the Hill, and the atmosphere couldn't be more electric after the Hilltoppers picked up their first win since 2008 last week with a convincing 54-21 victory at Louisiana-Lafayette. WKU now turns its attention to North Texas, which will bring a 1-6 overall record and 1-3 mark in the Sun Belt Conference to Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium for a 2 p.m. (CDT) kickoff. WKU is looking for its first-ever victory over UNT. The Mean Green have won the contest each of the last three seasons.
Happy Homecomings - This will be WKU's 81st Homecoming contest, as the Hilltoppers have posted a 51-26-3 (65.6%) record in such games since defeating Louisville 7-6 on Nov. 5, 1927. The Toppers are looking to snap a three-game Homecoming losing skid, last winning in 2006 with a 41-3 triumph over Indiana State.
Long Wait Is Over - For the Hilltopper football team, it had been 763 days since they tasted victory before last week's 54-21 win over Louisiana-Lafayette. The victory brought an end to a 26-game losing streak, and also gave head coach Willie Taggart his first career coaching victory. Ironically, Taggart's first win came on the very same field in Lafayette where he played his last collegiate game for WKU in 1998.
Jakes Has Big Day - Sophomore quarterback Kawaun Jakes had one of his best career games, and led his team to victory for the first time as a starting QB. Jakes completed 18 of 22 pass for a season-high 262 yards. That included hitting on 14 of 17 passes in the first half. He also finished with 28 rushing yards and a pair of one-yard touchdown runs. Jakes' 262 passing yards and 290 yards of offense were his most since his first career start at Navy when he threw for 276 yards and posted 320 offensive yards.
Jakes and Tinius Named POWs - For the first time in his career, Kawaun Jakes was named the Sun Belt Conference Offensive Player of the Week on Monday. He also became the first WKU player to earn the league's Offensive Player-of-the-Week honor. On Sunday, Jakes was also named the league's Player of the Week by Rivals.com. Additionally, junior Casey Tinius was named Special Teams Player of the Week after accounting for 12 points on Saturday, including tying a career long with a 47-yard field goal. Tinius was also honored by the league last season after kicking four field goals at ULM.
Rainey Passes 2,000 Yards - Despite running for just 67 yards in WKU's victory over ULL, junior running back Bobby Rainey reached a milestone last Saturday as her surpassed 2,000 career rushing yards. He became the 14th player in Hilltopper history to eclipse 2,000 yards on the ground. His 119.7 yards per game in 2010 still leads the Sun Belt Conference, and ranks 11th nationally. He is also 162 yards away from his first 1,000-yard season.
Freshman Duo Shines - The youth movement of WKU Football continued on Saturday, with two more true freshmen stepping up to make big plays on offense. Rookie running back Antonio Andrews - who came into the game with three carries for nine yards in his first three games - ran seven times for 52 yards and his first two career touchdowns against ULL. One of those scoring runs was from 30 yards out. Freshman tight end Demetrius Coley made his first two career grabs against Cajuns, both going for big yards. His first career grab was a 31-yard catch on third down to set up a Hilltopper score. Coley did it himself the next time, taking a 43-yard Jakes pass to the end zone for his first career TD.
Day For The Defense - Not only did the Hilltopper defense register a pair of sacks and five tackles for loss against Louisiana-Lafayette, it also got into the end zone on two occasions. The first came when a Quanterus Smith forced fumble fell into the hands of Jamarcus Allen, who went 69 yards for a score early in the second quarter. Then early in the fourth, Derrius Brooks made his first career interception and returned it 63 yards for a score. It marked the first time WKU had scored two defense touchdowns since Sept. 8, 2007 when it had two fumble returns for scores against West Virginia Tech.
Scoring In Bunches - The Hilltoppers left little in doubt, scoring 54 points in their victory over the Ragin' Cajuns. The 54 points were the most since an 87-0 victory over West Virginia Tech on Sept. 8, 2007. After missing a field goal on its opening possession, WKU scored the next nine times it had the football. In fact, the only one of the Toppers' 11 possessions it did not have a chance to score was its last when it was in victory formation.
Lots Of Points In Little Time - Leading 10-7 in the second quarter, the Hilltoppers scored three times in three minutes to take a 20-point lead into intermission. After Kawaun Jakes capped off an 8:33 drive with a touchdown run at the 3:02 mark, WKU forced a three-and-out, and got help with a botched snap on the punt. Two plays and 37 seconds into the next drive, Antonio Andrew scored his first career touchdown with 1:48 to go before halftime. The defense then got a fourth-down stop to get the ball a third time with 38 seconds on the clock. After five plays got WKU down to the 33, Casey Tinius knocked through a 47-yard field goal to cap off 17 points in three minutes.
Stockton Heads Into HOF - Former Hilltopper wide receiver and return man Joey Stockton is one of five former Hilltopper greats to be inducted into the WKU Athletic Hall of Fame during homecoming week. He is joined in the 2010 class by Chuck Durrant (Track & Field), Al Ellison and Tellis Frank (Men's Basketball), and Bill Powell (Swimming Coach). Stockton - who lettered from 1994-97 - still holds the WKU records for career kickoff return yards and career all-purpose running.