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WKU @ FAU Home Opener really shaping up to be a barn burner.

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WKU @ FAU Home Opener really shaping up to be a barn burner.

From the WKU Herald

Posted: Tuesday, September 20, 2011 12:30 am  |  Updated: 2:49 pm, Wed Sep 21, 2011.

WKU routed; Doughty, Vasquez likely out for season Brad Stephens College Heights Herald

It was a loss that caused Head Coach Willie Taggart to say he’d understand if fans didn’t come back to watch.

And after WKU fell 44-16 to Indiana State Saturday at Smith Stadium, perhaps many won’t.

“It was a game we could win, and we wanted to win at home,” Taggart said. “We need to do that and our fans deserve that. I appreciate them all showing up, and if they decide not to come I understand that.”

It was the 17th consecutive home loss for the Toppers, and it came at a severe price for WKU.

Redshirt freshman quarterback Brandon Doughty and junior wide receiver Marcus Vasquez both sustained knee injuries and are likely out for the season, Taggart said.

“Those guys are getting MRIs on their knees, but  chances are they are done for the year,” he said Monday on the Sun Belt's weekly conference call.

Doughty, making his first college start, hurt his knee after getting hit while scrambling on the team's first offensive series.

Meanwhile Vasquez, the Toppers' leading receiver this season,  was injured on the game's next-to-last play.

The two catastrophic injuries bookended a nightmare game for WKU.

The Toppers have struggled since joining the Football Bowl Subdivision, going 2-25 since 2009. But perhaps no loss in that time frame was as bad as their loss Saturday to the Sycamores.

It was a game where the Toppers (0-3) sustained injuries, missed tackles and were dominated up front by a Football Championship Subdivision opponent.

In the words of Head Coach Willie Taggart, “everything” went wrong Saturday.

“To put it all in a nutshell, we’re not fundamentally sound right now,” said Taggart, who addressed the media alone following the loss. “That’s what’s getting us beat.”

Doughty was replaced after the injury by junior  quarterback Kawaun Jakes, which Taggart said altered WKU's game plan.

“It changed things,” Taggart said. “I was planning on Brandon playing the whole game, so it was unfortunate he went down. That’s the kind of luck we’ve been having here.”

Jakes found some success in the passing game, going 22 of 30 for 237 yards — a season high.

But the Toppers struggled running the ball, as senior running back Bobby Rainey found little room until late in the game.

Defensively, WKU was largely unable to contain wide receiver Justin Hilton and running back Shakir Bell.

Hilton repeatedly slipped by Topper cornerbacks Cam Thomas and Derrius Brooks en route to picking up 143 yards and two touchdowns.

Meanwhile, Bell took advantage of multiple missed tackles to amass 221 rushing yards.

The 209 total rushing yards gained by the Sycamores mean the Toppers have surrendered 619 yards on the ground over their last two games.

Taggart said his team’s missed tackles were especially frustrating considering WKU had put special emphasis on tackling during the previous practice week.

“Because of what we saw (against Navy) we worked our tails off in tackling drills,” Taggart said. “But for whatever reason, it happened, and we’re going to keep stressing it and keep working on it.”

Indiana State’s dominance over WKU caught some by surprise, as the Sycamores have traditionally struggled in FCS play, much less when competing against FBS competition.

Indiana State Head Coach Trent Miles said after his team’s win that he expected the outcome.

“Our kids have had a taste of winning and their expectation level is extremely high,” Miles said. “We’re not shocked. We’d be extremely disappointed if we didn’t perform that way.”

WKU now has a bye week before starting Sun Belt Conference play Oct. 1 against Arkansas State.

Taggart told fans after the game to “not give up on our football team.”

“I believe in this team,” he said. “I’m not going to give up on it, and I hope everyone else doesn’t either.”

GO OWLS!
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Re: WKU @ FAU Home Opener really shaping up to be a barn burner.

dusky256fc said

“I believe in this team,” he said. “I’m not going to give up on it, and I hope everyone else doesn’t either.”

Now, if everyone can just get on board with this here at FAU as well, we are good to go!
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Re: WKU @ FAU Home Opener really shaping up to be a barn burner.

Rick said

dusky256fc said

“I believe in this team,” he said. “I’m not going to give up on it, and I hope everyone else doesn’t either.”

Now, if everyone can just get on board with this here at FAU as well, we are good to go!

I will be there every game, win or lose.

GO OWLS!
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Re: WKU @ FAU Home Opener really shaping up to be a barn burner.

dusky256fc said

Rick said

dusky256fc said

“I believe in this team,” he said. “I’m not going to give up on it, and I hope everyone else doesn’t either.”

Now, if everyone can just get on board with this here at FAU as well, we are good to go!

I will be there every game, win or lose.

I think all of us here will be. We are the die hard. Its the ones that arent coming now that we need to come that are the issue.

I have come here to chew bubble gum and kick @$$ and I'm out of bubble gum.

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Re: WKU @ FAU Home Opener really shaping up to be a barn burner.

well I unfortunately will not be able to attend, not because they are losing, because if I could, I would go to every game no matter what.

I am faced with a choice of going to the opening game or a new computer I desperately need, I work at home, so my job depends on it… and no little PC either, I need an upgraded Mac. I am saddened but it is what I have to do. Hopefully a pilgrimage next year could be in order to check out the new digs…. just wish the opener was on TV so I could see it live!

You all represent and make us owls proud!

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Re: WKU @ FAU Home Opener really shaping up to be a barn burner.

By the way that article reads WKU is a mirror image of FAU.

The only question is whether or not this will be a 6-3 pillow fight or if it will be a high scoring affair.

I hate to say it, but onne thing we are most certainly guaranteed to see is poor play from both sides.

GO OWLS!!!

You can run kitties, but you can't hide!!!
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Re: WKU @ FAU Home Opener really shaping up to be a barn burner.

"It was the 17th consecutive home loss for the Toppers, and it came at a severe price for WKU."

This quote would have been true for FAU if not for Howard.  Everybody, especially a few need to take a moment of silence after reading this post and just realize and remember that.

That being said, its going to be a pillow fight on October 15th…thats for sure.


Teambeer is the most knowledgeable FAU sports fan I know, way smarter than me.
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Re: WKU @ FAU Home Opener really shaping up to be a barn burner.

Strange that they were thumped by Indiana State. I follow the Missouri Valley Football Conference closely and not long ago ISU was a doormat and WKU was the dominant force. Now WKU moves up to FBS and they are surpassed by a vastly improved ISU team that was laughable just two years ago. If my memory serves correctly ISU went on a 20+ game losing streak prior to turning the corner last season.

GO OWLS!!!

You can run kitties, but you can't hide!!!
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Re: WKU @ FAU Home Opener really shaping up to be a barn burner.

owlfan1 said

By the way that article reads WKU is a mirror image of FAU.

The only question is whether or not this will be a 6-3 pillow fight or if it will be a high scoring affair.

I hate to say it, but one thing we are most certainly guaranteed to see is poor play from both sides.

GO OWLS!!!

This is what I really care about when watching any football game.  That is, are the teams playing at a high level and are they both executing their assignments?  I don't believe this will be the case come Oct. 15th and that is what continues to dishearten me about FAU.
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Re: WKU @ FAU Home Opener really shaping up to be a barn burner.

theSmiths said

I hate to say it, but one thing we are most certainly guaranteed to see is poor play from both sides.

I'm going with a UF fan who will be attending her first FAU game because her fiance is now an FAU student.

Pretty sure she's going to be irritated to go from SEC level to SBC quality as we struggle to do basic things like snap the ball.


P.S. I don't respond to guest posts. All guests are encouraged to register with the site.
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