Bowling Green, Ky. — Four members of the 2008 Western Kentucky University football senior class — Dan Cline, Chris Franklin, Greg Ryan and Travis Watters will serve as team captains on Saturday when the Hilltoppers inaugurate the renovated Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium on Saturday at 6 p.m. (CDT) against instate rival Murray State.
Cline — a two-year starter from Centerville, Ohio — leads all Topper defenders with 15 consecutive starts dating back to the beginning of the 2007 season. WKU’s left end has posted four total tackles in the first three games of the season, including a tackle for loss. He has also twice been credited with quarterback pressure. Cline finished among the team leaders in tackles a year ago — posting a career-best 29 stops.
Franklin — a product of Louisville, Ky. — has seen action at defensive back in each of WKU’s first three games. In fact, he has played in six straight games going back to last season. A former walkon, Franklin was awarded a scholarship by head coach David Elson during fall camp.
This will be the third time in four weeks that Ryan has served in a captains role, and will do so this week against his hometown team. A Murray, Ky., native, Ryan will be playing his first game in Smith Stadium since Nov. 18, 2006 as he opted to redshirt the 2007 campaign. A veteran on the offensive line, he has graded out at over 90 percent in each of the past two contests.
Watters is coming off one of the best defensive performances of his career last Saturday at Alabama. Also a native of Louisville, Watters equalled a career high with 10 total tackles to pace the WKU defense last weekend. He also picked up his fifth career interception against the Crimson Tide. Watters is currently tied for second on the team with 19 total tackles through three games, and also has a pair of pass breakups to go along with his interception.
After three straight weeks on the road, the Hilltoppers finally get to play a home game as they entertain the Racers in another battle for "The Red Belt". This game has been designated as a "White Out" - all Topper fans are encouraged to wear white as they fill up the venue. Single game and season tickets are still available for the Hilltopper football season by calling the WKU ticket office at (270) 745-5222 or 1-800-5-BIG RED.