Looking to regroup from a 35-0 loss at #1 Alabama, the Hilltoppers take on a team from the Southeastern Conference for the second straight week, heading to Lexington to battle Kentucky. Both teams come into the game 1-1 on the season as the Wildcats rebounded from a week-one loss at Louisville to pick up a 47-14 home win over Kent State last weekend. This marks the fourth time since 2008 that WKU and UK have met on the gridiron, and the third time the two teams will face off at Commonwealth Stadium.
Kentucky leads 3-0
In Lexington: UK leads 2-0
First Meeting: UK 41-3, Sept. 27, 2008
Last Meeting: UK 14-3, Sept. 1, 2011
Clay Matvick, play-by-play
Matt Stinchcomb, analysis
Allison Williams, sideline
Radio: Hilltopper/IMG Sports Network
(103.7 WPTQ-FM; 1450 WWKU-AM in Bowling Green)
Randy Lee, play-by-play
Leo Peckenpaugh, analysis
Scott Thompson, sideline
Internet: live audio on wkusports.com
Throughout its history, the Hilltoppers hold a 174-101-15 all-time record against other teams from the Commonwealth of Kentucky. That record comes against 14 different in-state opponents, but WKU is looking for its first win against Kentucky as the Wildcats have won all three of the previous meetings.
The Hilltoppers saw their streak of 120 straight games with at least one score snapped last week as they were shut out for the first time since a 14-0 loss to Western Illinois on Sept. 14, 2002.
This week's game at Kentucky marks the 15th game in WKU's program history against one of the current members of the Southeastern Conference. The Toppers are still looking for their first victory over an SEC team.
- Despite that trend, WKU is looking to become the second Sun Belt Conference team to win over an SEC opponent in as many weeks. Last Saturday in Little Rock, Louisiana-Monroe upset #8 Arkansas 34-31 in overtime.
Defense Slows Tide - Despite a 35-0 loss last week to top-ranked Alabama, the WKU defense was able to hold its own statistically against the Crimson Tide. The Hilltoppers held Alabama to just 103 rushing yards on 31 attempts - an average of just 3.3 yards per carry. Overall, the Tide managed 328 yards of total offense, which was 103 fewer than they put up a week earlier in a 41-14 win over nationally-ranked Michigan.
Going Behind Enemy Lines - Much of the reason for some of those yardage totals last week was thanks to WKU's ability to win battles against one of the top offensive lines in the nation. The Hilltoppers recorded six sacks against Alabama last Saturday. They also had six sacks last year in an overtime win at Louisiana-Monroe. Quanterus Smith - in his first action of the season - set a new career high with three of those sacks, accounting for 27 lost yards. Overall, WKU had eight tackles for loss in the game, tallying 60 yards. Six different players accounted for those eight tackles for loss.
Doyle Leads Attack Again - For the second straight game in 2012, and fifth consecutive game dating back to last season, senior tight end Jack Doyle led the Hilltopper attack through the air. Doyle hauled in seven catches for 45 yards against Alabama, on the heels of a five-catch, 76-yard effort in the opener against Austin Peay. Even with two standout efforts this season, and leading the Toppers in receiving last year, the end zone had alluded Doyle for quite some time. In fact, he has caught 67 passes since last catching a touchdown. That last scoring catch came on Oct. 9, 2010 at Florida International. Doyle played in just two more games that season before being sidelined with an injury, then hauled in a team-best 52 catches for 614 yards last season without a score.
Kawaun Stays Consistent - Through two games, senior quarterback Kawaun Jakes has been as consistent in the passing game compared to any point in his career. Jakes has completed over 70 percent of his passes (38 of 54), averaging 237 yards per game over the first two weeks. His 161.14 efficiency rating also ranks second in the Sun Belt Conference early in the season.
All-Purpose Antonio - Through two weeks of the season, junior running back Antonio Andrews has shown his ability to do more than just run out of the backfield. With 180.0 all-purpose yards per game in the first two weeks, he currently leads the Sun Belt Conference and ranks eighth nationally in that category. Additionally, Andrews ranks among the national leaders in punt return average (11th, 1st in SBC), kick return average (tie for 41st) and receptions (tie for 83rd).
WKU To Honor National Championship Team - Ten years ago, WKU won its only team national championship as the Hilltoppers defeated McNeese State 34-14 to capture the 2002 Division I-AA Football title in Chattanooga, Tenn. Members of that team will be back on the Hill next Saturday (Sept. 22) to be recognized at WKU's game against Southern Miss. Additionally, the 1992 "Save the Program" team will also be honored. Jack Harbaugh, who was the head coach of both of those squads, will also be on hand for a special recognition.