Hilltopper Football Fall Camp Notebook — Aug. 16

By: Chris Glowacki - WKU Athletic Media Relations
By: Chris Glowacki - WKU Athletic Media Relations

Bowling Green, Ky. — Coming off a scrimmage during Wednesday afternoon‘s practice, the Western Kentucky University football team was right back to work Thursday morning, practicing in shorts and shells at Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium. WKU has moved past the midway point of the 2012 fall camp, as it takes the field for practices 13 and 14. The Hilltoppers are just 10 days away from breaking camp on Aug. 25.

Offense Shines In Scrimmage — During Wednesday‘s practice, the Hilltoppers were able to go through simulated game situations in a full scrimmage, and third-year head coach Willie Taggart spent Thursday morning praising the play of his offense.

“I thought our offense came out really focused, and it was mission accomplished for those guys,” said Taggart. “Our passing game looked fantastic. All three of our quarterbacks did a great throwing the ball down field and being efficient, and our receivers did a great job catching the ball. Again, we had some guys making some big-time catches, and that’s exciting to see.”

Still Correcting Mistakes — With referees out officiating the scrimmage, it served as a reminder for Hilltopper players that the season is right around the corner, and that it is time to start tidying up their play.

“We had some penalties out there that we won’t be able to afford in a game, and it was good for our guys to get out there and see that some of the things they were getting away with in practice won’t work once the season starts,” explained Taggart. “But it was a good opportunity for our guys to learn from it and make us better.”

Secondary Looking To Defend The Skies — Getting thrown into the fire early in their career is proving to pay off for what are now veterans in the Hilltopper defensive backfield. Between the seasoned returners, and a talented crop of newcomers, that unit has set high expectations for itself in 2012.

“One of our main things this year is to be among the best in the nation in interceptions,” explained senior cornerback Jamal Forrest. “We‘ve been searching for a name for our unit, and finally came up with ‘Air Force’ because we want to control everything in the sky this year.”

Backfield Depth — The one constant question that continues to circle around Hilltopper camp is the running game. With all-time leading rusher Bobby Rainey now spending his time in camp with the Baltimore Ravens, many outside of camp are wondering how that will effect the WKU offense. But those competing to get on the field at that position are ready to prove that they can carry on the recent success.

“We‘re all coming out here every day trying to compete for a starting spot,” said junior Antonio Andrews. “It‘s always fun coming out and going against those guys because someone different steps up. I’m really proud of our young guys for coming out and picking up the offense right away.”

Family Fun Day Set For Aug. 25 — The fourth annual Family Fun Day will be held on Saturday, Aug. 25 from 4-6 p.m. (CDT) at Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium. The free event will give WKU fans and opportunity to interact and get autographs from Hilltopper players and coaches. There will also be a Fun Zone set up for kids with activities including inflatable and face painting. Free Coke products and popcorn will also be provided to the first 500 fans.

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