WKU travels to Old Dominion for the first time in program history.
Head coach Jeff Brohm, defensive lineman Gavin Rocker and wide receiver Nacarius Fant were available to the media on Monday to preview Saturday's game at No. 5 LSU.
The win was the first home win over Middle Tennessee since 1989 and first overall since 2011.
Jeff Brohm, a native Kentuckian and one of the state’s most notable football products, enters his second season as the head football coach at WKU.
A 12-year collegiate coaching veteran with experience in the Big 10, Big East, Conference USA and Sun Belt conferences, Brohm came to the Hill as the offensive coordinator in 2013 where he directed a high-flying, high-scoring offensive attack that shattered 18 single-season school records including total offense, individual passing yards and individual rushing yards.
He obliterated those marks once he was given the controls to direct his version of the offense.
In 2014, the Hilltoppers completed their transformation from a ground-and-pound, run-first program to one of the nation’s premiere passing offenses with their ability to move the ball seemingly at will against opponents.
In one season under Brohm, WKU broke 50 school and conference records including the school’s single-season and single-game records in total yards (season/game), touchdown passes (season/game), points scored in a season, and a host of others.
The head coach’s biggest credit, however, may lie in the right arm of senior quarterback Brandon Doughty, the nation’s top passer in 2014. In his first season as a starter, Doughty threw 14 touchdowns to 14 interceptions but improved dramatically with Brohm directing the offense.
Doughty’s 49 touchdown passes and 4,830 yards were national-best numbers as he earned Conference USA Most Valuable Player honors and the Sammy Baugh Award, given to the nation’s top quarterback. Doughty was even more deadly at home where he finished the year without throwing a single interception to 24 touchdowns - the only QB in the country with more than 60 attempts who can make that claim. To put it into perspective, if Doughty had never played a single road game on the year, he would have still broken WKU’s single season touchdown passes record, a record that had stood since 1985 with 22).
The head coach’s success is not a one-year wonder. Under his tutelage, 20 players in offenses he coordinated went on to be drafted into the National Football League while four quarterbacks, Stefan LeFors, Brian Brohm, Hunter Cantwell, and Rusty Smith went on to play in the NFL directly out of Brohm’s quarterback room.
Brohm’s quarterbacks have averaged 3,247 passing yards per season, marks that would have ranked No. 28 nationally in 2014. Since 2003, Brohm has also been a part of 90 total wins as either an offensive coordinator or quarterbacks coach.
Brohm inherited a program that is in the midst of a highly successful transition into the FBS. The the Hilltoppers are one of just 29 programs heading into bowl season that have at least seven wins in four consecutive seasons and one of just eight Group of Five teams to accomplish that feat.
As the assistant head coach and offensive coordinator for the Tops, along with Doughty’s improvement, running back Antonio Andrews, now with the Tennessee Titans, broke his own school record, set in 2012, and became just the 11th player in FBS history to rush for 1,700 yards or more in consecutive seasons when he piled up 1,730 rushing yards in 2013.
For his efforts, Andrews was named the Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year and earned five All-American team distinctions. Andrews is also the school's first ever first-round invitee to the Reese's Senior Bowl, the nation's preeminent all-star game for graduating seniors.
Under Brohm's direction, the Hilltopper offense was No. 2 in the Sun Belt, finishing the regular season just two-tenths of a yard per game away from the top spot, averaging 458.5 yards per game.
Known for his development of signal callers, Brohm spent two years at Illinois before making the move to UAB for the 2012 season. In his second year working with Illinois quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase, Brohm guided the sophomore to improved numbers in passing yardage, completion percentage and passing efficiency in 2011. Scheelhaase's 138.0 rating was the fourth-best season mark in Illini history.
Brohm began molding Scheelhaase in 2010 and he quickly showed results, throwing 13 touchdowns and one interception over the last seven games of the season after throwing four touchdowns and seven interceptions in the first six games. Scheelhaase also broke the Illinois records for rushing by a quarterback and by a freshman with 868 yards Prior to going to Illinois, Brohm spent the 2009 season as the quarterbacks coach at Florida Atlantic in the Sun Belt Conference, where he was reunited with his college coach, Howard Schnellenberger. While Brohm was at FAU, the Owls averaged 27.4 points per game, 279.7 yards passing per contest and 432.1 yards of total offense per game.
Brohm served as the quarterbacks coach at Louisville from 2003-06, assistant head coach and passing game coordinator in 2007, and the assistant head coach and offensive coordinator in 2008.
Under Brohm's direction, the Cardinals' passing attack flourished, including a record-breaking season in 2007 with Brohm's younger brother, Brian, as quarterback. Brian Brohm threw for 4,024 yards including 30 touchdowns, on his way to repeating second team All-Big East accolades. Brian finished second in the nation in passing efficiency and completed 68.8 percent of his throws in 2006.
In his first season as an assistant coach at Louisville, Brohm guided quarterback Stefan LeFors to a No. 1 national ranking in passing efficiency and completion percentage, and watched as the southpaw narrowly missed setting NCAA records in both categories.
Brohm began his NFL career in 1994 with the San Diego Chargers, who played in Super Bowl XXIX. He played for the San Francisco 49ers from 1995-97, where he was the backup quarterback to Hall of Famer and ESPN analyst Steve Young in 1997.
From 1998-2000, Brohm played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Denver Broncos and the Cleveland Browns. In 2001, he played in the XFL for the Orlando Rage and was named first team All-XFL as he owned the league's highest QB rating at 99.9.
Brohm was one of four family members to earn a gridiron letter from Louisville. He wrapped up his four-year collegiate career as one of the most prolific offensive players to wear Louisville's jersey. As a three-year starter for the Cards, Brohm ranks among the all-time leaders for passing yards, touchdown passes, completions, total offense and completion percentage.
A Louisville native, he was voted the team's MVP in both 1992 and 1993, and always will be remembered for a gritty performance in leading Louisville to an 18-7 victory over Michigan State in the 1993 Liberty Bowl, one of Schnellenberger's six career bowl victories. Playing with two steel pins and one steel plate in the index finger of his throwing hand, Brohm completed 19-of-29 passes for 197 yards and a touchdown, all while playing in 20-degree temperatures and freezing rain to earn the game's MVP award.
As a student-athlete at Louisville, Brohm played two seasons of baseball with the Cleveland Indians' organization while playing football for the Cards. Brohm also was named the Kentucky High School Player of the Decade for the 1980s before attending Louisville, where his number was honored in 2006 for his contributions as a Cardinal quarterback.
Brohm received his bachelor's degree in business administration from Louisville in 1994. He and his wife, Jennifer, have a son, Brady, and daughter, Brooke.
THE Jeff Brohm FILE
PLAYING CAREER (Quarterback)