Hilltopper Gameday - The Illinois Game
Sept. 4, 2014
The Matchup:WKU vs. Illinois
Saturday, Sept. 6, 2014, 11:00 a.m. CT
Memorial Stadium (60,670), Champaign, Ill.
TV: Big Ten Network
Chris Denari (Play-By-Play)
Jeremy Leman (Analyst)
Rebecca Haarlow (Sideline)
Tickets: Call 1-866-ILLINI-1 | Buy Online
2014 Team Captains:At their first team meeting of the fall, six Hilltoppers - five seniors - were voted as team captains by their teammates. On offense, QB Brandon Doughty, OL Cameron Clemmons and WR Willie McNeal. On defense, DB Cam Thomas, LB Terran Williams and DL Gavin Rocker. Doughty and Thomas are both repeat captains.
Keeping Continuity:Of the 20 schools to make a change at their head coaching position during this past offseason, only WKU was able to maintain continuity through the old and new staff. Coach Brohm is the only head coach this season who was on staff with his team at least the season before. Of those 14 teams that made coaching changes, only Brohm and four others have previous experience coaching within that program.
Since shifting to a high-flying offense to start the 2013 season, WKU has proven to be potent on their opening drive. In 12 games in 2013, WKU opened nine of them with a score, tallying seven touchdowns and a pair of field goals on their opening possession. The Hilltoppers continued their hot streak against Bowling Green, driving 83 yards for a score.
Additionally, in his nine starts last season, Brandon Doughty was 22-of-24 for 282 yards and three touchdown passes on opening drives. Doughty was perfect against BGSU, going 7-for-7 for 63 yards to push his total on opening drives to 29-of-31 for 345 yards.
Tough Out of ConferenceAfter going 0-12 against non-conference foes in their first three years as an FBS team, WKU has turned it around and has been on a hot streak against teams from outside their conference.
Over the past two seasons, the Hilltoppers are 7-3 against non-conference opponents with their only losses coming at Tennessee, at Alabama and Central Michigan in the bowl game. Over that span, no other C-USA team has beaten as many teams out of conference.
Youth + ExperienceThe Hilltoppers feature one of the youngest teams in the country - and Conference USA's youngest - as they have 67 freshmen and sophomores making up their 105 fall camp roster. That mark is No. 25 nationally and the highest in C-USA.
However, head coach Jeff Brohm has countered this with the league's most experienced collegiate coaching staff, tallying 238 years of combined experience. The next closest - Middle Tennessee with 187.
With two players eclipsing 100 APY in the 2014 opener, the Hilltoppers have now had an individual go for 100 or more APY in 45 consecutive games, dating back to Oct. 9, 2010 against FIU - the last time a Hilltopper individual was held under 100 APY.
569 and Above
Only six FBS quarterbacks have thrown for more than 569 yards in a game since the 2004 season - Brandon Doughty's total in the 2014 season opener - and of those six, only West Virginia's Geno Smith threw more touchdowns (8 vs. Baylor 9/29/12) in their monster performance.