Bowling Green, Ky. — In preparation for its final scrimmage of preseason camp, the Western Kentucky University football team went through a two-hour workout Tuesday afternoon at Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium.
The mock game that will take place Wednesday at Jimmy Feix Field is slated to begin at 6 p.m. (CDT), although the coaches and players will treat it like a regular Saturday. The hopes of head coach David Elson and his staff are that by going through their normal routine, the players will be prepared for the first regular-season contest by facing numerous game-day distractions that could throw them out of rhythm.
“Every day is important for us. We tell all of the guys that we evaluate every play as well as all that they do in meetings,” he said. “We are going to have some fun with it for the fans, but we’ll be in game uniforms with referees under the lights for the first time. Hopefully we’re going to learn and continue to grow as a team by putting them in this situation.”
Despite the attention to detail that he wants everyone involved to maintain, Elson believes that it will still be a fun event for the players to be in front of a crowd for the first time in 2007.
There will not be a traditional scoring system in the mock game because, according to Elson, he wants to see both the offense and defense execute their game plans. He also stated that the staff would use the final scrimmage as the last chance to evaluate every individual before putting together the depth chart for the Florida game and then concentrating on preparation for the Gators.
The clock will be run under normal rules and regulations in the first half, then run continuously over the final two periods.
After reviewing tape of Saturday’s first full scrimmage, Elson stated that he saw things on both sides of the ball that made him happy — on offense it was the opening 20-play touchdown drive that caught his attention for its efficiency and effectiveness, while defensively it was the performance of several individuals. He also noted that he was pleased with the team’s execution as well as the understanding that WKU newcomers displayed.
“The energy and the effort was really, really good when you consider that we were at the end of the second week of camp,” he said. “I was pleased with the focus and concentration, we were able to get everything we needed done.”
After taking Sunday off, the Hilltoppers practiced twice in pads on Monday. In addition to continuing to work on specific situations, the coaches also installed a few plays on both sides of the ball. Tuesday’s two-hour workout was conducted in just helmets and shoulder pads with no contact drills.
WKU will open the regular season at 11:30 a.m. (CDT) at third-ranked Florida in a contest that will be televised live regionally by Lincoln Financial Sports.