Bowling Green, Ky. — The Western Kentucky University football team scrimmaged for the first time this pre-season in a workout that lasted just over two hours. In the end it was the defense that controlled the scrimmage limiting the offense to just two scores – a three-yard touchdown run by freshman quarterback Kawaun Jakes, and a 25-yard field goal by Zac Minturn. On the ground, Tyrell Hayden and Bobby Rainey rushed for 28 yards, with three of Rainey’s seven carries going for at least nine yards.
"As far as keeping the offense out of the endzone the defense performed very well," Head Coach David Elson said. "We kept things simple and we were good on first downs. We'll have to continue that because you can't be good on third down if you're not good on first down."
In addition to rushing for 21 yards, David Wolke finished the scrimmage 6-for-12 through the air for 59 yards, while K.J. Black threw for 80 yards, completing eight of 14 attempts. Jakes and fellow freshman Marcus Vasquez combined to go 5-for-7 through the air for 42 yards as they combined to
"I thought David had some good plays," Elson said. "It is hard for us to evaluate the quarterbacks coming right off the field but the numbers will tell." "Right now the offense just has to remember that the quarterbacks still aren't live which puts the defense in a good position to make plays." They are a big part of our running game so the offense has a weapon that they couldn't fully utilize today."
Defensively, Ryan Beard led the unit with six total tackles - including a tackle for loss - while L.J. Harbison and Ben Duvall turned in five stops each. Mark Santoro also came through with an interception late in the scrimmage.
The team will take Sunday off before returning to Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium on Monday for two practices. The morning practice will begin at 8:30 a.m. and the evening practice will take place from 6:30 to 8:15 p.m. On Tuesday the team will return to the field for a single practice that will begin at 2:45 p.m. and conclude around 5 p.m.
This marks the 90th football season for WKU and its first as one of the 120 schools who comprise the Football Bowl Subdivision (Division I-A). The Hilltoppers, who have posted 12 consecutive winning seasons, open the 2008 season at Indiana on August 30.