Hilltoppers Media Center

2016 Statistics | Media Guide| Game Notes

Head Coach | First Season

Click to enlarge

   Sanford In the News

    • Served as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Notre Dame in 2014 and 2015
    • Previously coached at WKU under then-first year head coach Willie Taggart as passing game coordinator/QBs coach in 2010
    • Former letterman and quarterback at Boise State with experience coaching in five consecutive BCS bowl games (Three Fiesta, Two Rose) from 2010-14
    • Introduced as WKU's 20th head coach on Dec. 14, 2016

Hilltopper Offense

Mike White
#14 | QB | 6-4 | 215 | R-Junior

Click to enlarge

   White In the News

    • Is second in the nation with four games of 220-plus passer rating this year and ranks fifth overall with a 178.7 rating
    • Ranks ninth in passing touchdowns (31), while 10th in completion % (67.3) and passing 1st downs (147)
    • Is one of two QB averaging 10-plus yards per pass attempt (Baker Mayfield) and one of 12 QB averaging 300-plus yards
    • White's 517 passing yards in Week 1 ranked third for a single game in program history, while ranking 10th in the history of C-USA football
    • According to ESPN Stats and Info, White's QBR of 98.3 was the best by an FBS quarterback in a Week 1 game over the past 10 years
    • Won Conference USA Offensive Player of the Week, with Manning Award, Davey O'Brien Award and CFPA recognition in Week 1

Anthony "Ace" Wales
#20 | RB | 5-10 | 195 | R-Senior

Click to enlarge

   Wales In the News

    • Stands fifth in the country in rushing touchdowns and leads all Conference USA players with 126 points
    • Has rushed for 83-plus yards and 1-plus touchdown in nine straight games (140 rushes for 1,065 yards and 18 TD)
    • Is one of 33 RB averaging 100-plus yards, while one of seven RB with 150-plus rushes averaging 7-plus yards per attempt
    • Ranks eighth all-time in WKU program history in rushing yards (2,888) and fourth in rushing touchdowns (36)
    • Had 158 yards and three touchdowns on 27 carries at Middle Tennessee, all were season-highs until his four-touchdown performance vs. FIU

Taywan Taylor
#2 | WR | 6-1 | 195 | Senior

Click to enlarge

   Taylor In the News

    • Named one of 10 Biletnikoff Award semifinalists in 2015 and 2016, leads the nation with 964 first-half yards
    • Ranks seventh in the country with 1,392 receiving yards, leads the nation in catches of 30-plus, 40-plus, 60-plus and 70-plus yards
    • Is the all-time FBS and FCS leader in receiving yards (3,896) and touchdowns (38) among Kentuckians
    • Holds WKU program records for catches (237), receiving yards (3,896) and receiving touchdowns (38)
    • Had single-season program records for receiving yards (1,467), catches (86) and touchdowns (17) in 2015

Nicholas Norris
#15 | WR | 5-9 | 175 | Senior

Click to enlarge

   Norris In the News

    • Ranks 37th in the nation in catches (67), 23rd in yards (1,103) and is one of 11 receivers with 13 touchdowns
    • One of four players in the nation with two catches and two rushes of 50-plus yards (S. Grant, J. McNichols and J. Mixon)
    • Ranks 223rd in NCAA history with 2,876 receiving yards, which puts him 10th among all active players
    • Scored three touchdowns on three touches vs. HBU (34-yard catch - 1Q, 19-yard catch - 2Q, 85-yard rush - 3Q)
    • Set career highs with 11 catches and 187 receiving yards at Miami (Ohio) in Week 3
    • 2016 Biletnikoff Award Watch List

Forrest Lamp
#76 | OL | 6-4 | 300 | R-Senior

Click to enlarge

   Lamp In the News

    • Most efficient pass blocker in the nation thru Week 8 (according to PFF) with only one QB pressure allowed in 228 attempts
    • Started 39 consecutive games at LT before missing two games this season (vs. Vanderbilt and vs. HBU), has started seven games since
    • Has been named to ProFootballFocus.com Team of the Week on two occasions this season (at #1 Alabama and at Louisiana Tech)
    • Rated as the top offensive tackle from the Group of 5 leagues by ProFootballFocus.com in 2015
    • Did not allow a sack and just 11 QB pressures last season, as the WKU offensive line finished No. 19 nationally in sacks allowed
    • 2015 All-C-USA First Team and 2016 Preseason All-C-USA, Outland Trophy Watch List and Wuerffel Trophy Watch List member

Hilltopper Defense

Omarius Bryant
#9 | DL | 6-3 | 310 | Senior

Click to enlarge

   Bryant In the News

    • Forced 10 QB hurries in the last six games, increasing his team-leading number to 15 this season
    • Had a career-high two sacks at Miami (Ohio), he's tied for third on WKU with three sacks
    • Recorded WKU's first sack of the season at No. 1 Alabama on Jalen Hurts in the first quarter
    • Returns as the leading tackler among WKU defensive tackles after posting 30 as a junior
    • Transferred from Southwest Mississippi CC, where he led the Bears with 86 tackles in 2014

Chris Johnson
#3 | DL | 6-2 | 290 | Junior

Click to enlarge

   Johnson In the News

    • Has 0.5-plus tackles for loss in five of the past six games, as he leads WKU with 11.5 tackles for loss and four sacks this season
    • Had a career-high four tackles for loss among WKU's 13 total vs. Vanderbilt to lead the team
    • Had the first two sacks of his WKU career at Miami (Ohio), to match Omarius Bryant for a game-high
    • Made four tackles (two solo, two assisted) in his debut as a Hilltopper vs. Rice in the opener
    • Comes to WKU after spending two seasons at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College

Keith Brown
#2 | LB | 6-1 | 240 | G-Senior

Click to enlarge

   Brown In the News

    • Is 16th in the country and ranks second among Conference USA players with 116 total tackles this season
    • Led team in tackles vs. Vanderbilt (12) and at Marshall (14), while adding one sack and 2.5 tackles for loss in each contest
    • Led team for eighth-straight game vs. FIU with 11 tackles (three solo, eight assisted), including one tackle for loss and 0.5 sacks
    • Led team with 12 tackles (nine solo, three assisted), while adding one sack, 1.5 tackles for loss and one fumble recovery at Miami (Ohio)
    • Comes to WKU with former teammates Tyler Ferguson and Nick Dawson-Brents from Louisville

Joel Iyiegbuniwe
#4 | LB | 6-2 | 225 | R-Sophomore

Click to enlarge

   Iyiegbuniwe In the News

    • Is tied for third on WKU with 9.5 tackles for loss this season, including a career-high three tackles for loss vs. Vanderbilt
    • Recorded six tackles (three solo, three assisted) vs. FIU, including 1.5 tackles for loss and one QB hurry
    • Had a career-high 1.5 sacks, while adding two tackles for loss and one forced fumble that led to a WKU field goal at Miami (Ohio)
    • Led the team with a career-high 10 total tackles (seven solo, three assisted) at #1 Alabama

T.J. McCollum
#6 | LB | 6-3 | 240 | R-Junior

Click to enlarge

   McCollum In the News

    • Had a team-high seven tackles (six solo, one assisted) vs. North Texas, including one tackle for loss to go along with one QB hurry
    • Led the Hilltoppers with 12 tackles (five solo, seven assisted) vs. Rice, despite not playing most of the second half
    • UAB transfer started all 14 games in 2015 and led WKU in tackles (106) and tackles for loss (11.5)
    • One of just seven C-USA linebackers to eclipse the 100-tackle mark as his 106 were fourth-most
    • 2015 All-C-USA Honorable Mention and 2016 Preseason All-C-USA First Team (Athlon)