Hilltoppers learn nothing from bye, fall to FAU 45-38


When a team is lucky enough to have a bye off a fluke loss, it’s a chance for the coaching staff to review film, go over what was done wrong, use practice time to fix what’s wrong, and then go out and execute better in the following game. That’s generally how it works in football.

Unless that team is Western Kentucky.

The Hilltoppers prove that they either A.) don’t realize anything is wrong, B.) didn’t implement the correct game plan or C.) the players simply don’t care that they’re a team that could be great and are settling for mediocre results, as the second bye week in four weeks turns out to all be for naught, and let a 24-7 lead slip away and have only 99 second half yards, allowing the Owls to steal a 45-38 win.

The first half offense for the Tops wasn’t the best, but it was good enough, and saw Brandon Doughty throw three touchdown passes – a 50 yard floater to Taywan Taylora 30 yard strike to Willie McNeal and a 22 yard throw to Mitchell Henrywhich was the best drive the Tops put together all game, answering an FAU score before halftime and going 72 yards in five plays and 44 seconds. However, that’s where the good news would end.

The second half saw WKU score just one more time, a Leon Allen two yard run with 2:13 left in the third quarter, but the Owls would find the endzone four times.

WKU finished the game with 402 yards of total offense, and Doughty went 28-of-44 for 335 yards and an interception to accompany his three TDs. WKU couldn’t establish much of a rushing game – running for only 67 total yards – with Allen going for 58 yards on 12 carries and two scores, while Ace Wales had 22 yards on seven carries.

Defensively, the Hilltoppers gave up 619 yards of offense, and allowed Lucky Whitehead to slip for eight receptions and 125 yards. QB Jaquez Johnson also threw for over 300 yards – 325 – on 23/34 throwing, and also had himself three touchdowns.

This was a game that, by all accounts, the Hilltoppers should have won. I feel like I’ve said this before. In fact, I have said this before. There’s no reason the Tops shouldn’t be 5-2, 5-1 or even maybe 6-0. This team, for whatever reason, will not learn from their mistakes, and it’s turning into a wasted season, and an angry and disappointed fan base.

Hope to see you all back at Smith Stadium next week, but I fear the worst, and there might be more silver and blue than red and black.