BOWLING GREEN, Ky. - The Western Kentucky University football team returned to Feix Field at Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium Tuesday afternoon for the second practice of the season. As was the case with the opening practice on Monday, the team practiced in helmets and shorts for just over two and a half hours. But unlike Monday the weather was a little more forgiving on this afternoon, as temperatures were in the lower 80s and clouds provided welcome cover.
The team sandwiched individual position drills around various seven-on-seven and full team offense and defense work. The defense showed positive signs going up against the Hilltopper offense making good reads, deflecting passes and taking a few the other way.
"Our defense has to really challenge our offense by tipping the ball, stripping the ball and being ball hawks," Hilltopper head coach David Elson said. "The better our defense is at that, the better our offense will be at securing the football. Today our defense was very opportunistic and did a good job. It's a really good sign for our defense. They run well, and there's some speed and athleticism that's good to see both on the defensive line and in our linebacker corps."
The team returns to the practice field on Wednesday afternoon for a similar practice in shells. Practice moves to full pads on Friday leading up to the first two-a-days on Saturday.
WKU, the newest of 120 Football Bowl Subdivision Members, is eligible for a post-season bowl berth and the Sun Belt Conference championship in 2009. The Hilltoppers open the 2009 season at Tennessee on September 5 at 11:21 a.m., and opens the home portion of its schedule the following week against South Florida at 6:30 p.m.
WKU’s 511-337-30 all-time record in 90 seasons of football equates to a .600 winning percentage, ranking 26th among all 120 Division I Football Bowl Subdivision schools and tops in the Sun Belt Conference. WKU’s 948 APR in football is also higher than all other Sun Belt Conference programs.