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More on Western Kentucky.

First, here's a blog about WKU football written by the beat writer for the Bowling Green Daily News. And here's a link to WKU's depth chart (pdf). Some personnel highlights:
  • KJ Black and Notre Dame transfer David Wolke split time last year, and Black is listed as the starter this year. Last year, it was a fairly even split: Black had 134 attempts, Wolke 124; Black had 1007 yards, Wolke 922; each had an excellent completion percentage (65.7/62.1), but WKU gained most of its yards on the ground. Of the two, QBs, Wolke was the superior runner, averaging 5.1 yards per carry and scoring five rushing touchdowns.
  • At the running back position, the Hilltopper return lots of experience and productivity. Tyrell Hayden and Steven Willis, the starter and backup, were WKU's leading rushers last season. Hayden gained 1134 years and scored 10 touchdowns while averaging 5.5 yards per carry; Willis gained 438 yards and averaged 7.8 yards per carry and scored 6 touchdowns.
  • WKU returns less experience at fullback, or at least less production: starter Jared Johnson carried the ball 11 times last season, and David Miller caught one pass and had no carries.
  • WKU certainly isn't a pass-first team, but is #2-#4 receiving leaders from last year--Jake Goebler, Quinterrence Cooper, and Jessie Quinn, return at WR.
  • WKU runs a 3-4 defense, and all three of its starting linemen (Dan Cline, Jon Belcher, Robert Clark)had significant playing time last year (although WKU's two sack leaders are gone).
  • WKU returns three linebackers who received substantial playing time last year (Blake Boyd, Alonzo Higgins, and Ben Sowders) but Darvis McBride played little.
  • Senior cornerback Marcus Minor, a product of Arlington High School in Indianapolis, was second in tackles on last year's team. His corner counterpart is a redshirt freshman (Trent Calhoun).
  • Every Hilltopper who intercepted more than one past last year is gone.

The most recent odds list IU as about a 20 point favorite. Still, the breadth of WKU's rushing attack, in light of IU's 2005 near-miss against Nicholls State and the 2006 loss to Southern Illinois, concerns me a bit.