Hilltoppers look to sweep triple option offenses in matchup against Army


The Hilltoppers road to bowl eligibility, all of a sudden, doesn’t seem so tough. It was the defense that pulled out the victory last week against the Miners, which put WKU at 4-5, and now a win today against Army and a win next week against UTSA – both of which aren’t just out of the question, but are more than achievable – then we’re in business.

But, first thing’s first.

The Hilltoppers look to make a bit of small history – with a win today, the Tops will become the first non-independent program to sweep Army and Navy in back-to-back years since Boston College did so in the 2000-2001 seasons. Yeah, pull that stat out today and let me know what kind of looks you get.

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The Tops are looking to continue trends from last week in just about every facet of the game.

Brandon Doughty

looked like his old self, as he threw for 324 yards and three touchdowns, earning yet another C-USA Player of the Week honor. The Hilltoppers went back to a consistent run game, and

Leon Allen

had 14 touches for 48 yards and a score. The defense of the Tops played

well in the second half

(I’m still trying to reconcile how that’s possible), and Army plays right into the wheelhouse of Nick Holt-lead defenses. Holt has schemed against eight triple-option teams, and six times he’s been able to hold them under 25 points (it would be seven of eight if Navy hadn’t scored 27 earlier this season).

The Black Knights enter today with a 3-6 record, with wins coming against Buffalo, Ball State and Connecticut last week. Army has also lost to Yale and Kent State. So…take that as you will. Of course, with a triple-option attack, they’re going to put up a lot of yards and come into the game ranked sixth in the country in that category (298.3 yards per game) but have trouble scoring points (92nd – 24.8 ppg) and, something WKU fans know all too well, they like to give up points too (106th – 32.8 ppg).

And, while it is a “triple” option, it’s really a two-headed monster for the Knights, as Larry Dixon (140 carries, 739 yards, five touchdowns) and Angel Santiago (146 carries, 673 yards, eight touchdowns) are the two leading rushers for Army. Another quick fun fact for you – the first rush of the game today will be the 500th on the season for Army. Pretty nifty stuff.

The Tops will be without the services of two key guys – Ace Wales and Cam Thomas. And, while these loses should hurt a bit more, with the game Doughty is coming off of and the lack of passing the Tops’ defense will see, it’s better to have them rest up one more week and hopefully be ready to go next week.

It’s an early morning, yes, but hopefully you’ve gotten up and are ready to cheer for Dear Old Western!