Bowl bid is a testament to commitment on and off the field

Western Kentucky quarterback Tyrrell Pigrome drops back against Liberty.
Western Kentucky quarterback Tyrrell Pigrome drops back against Liberty.(Hunter Smith)
Published: Dec. 14, 2020 at 2:08 PM CST
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) -When Western Kentucky Football faces Georgia State in the LendingTree Bowl on Dec. 26 it will be the program’s seventh bowl game in nine years. However, this bowl game is a testament to the team’s commitment on and off the field.

“For the 2020 team, this was truly earned,” WKU Director of Athletics Todd Stewart said. “This recognizes the successes this team had but also the dedication, the discipline, and the sacrifices and the resilience they had to have on a daily basis since returning to campus in June.”

WKU is one of only a few teams to play 11 games this season and didn’t have any games canceled due to COVID-19 issues within their program.

WKU head coach Tyson Helton said he felt throughout the season everyone was committed to putting together the best possible season. “We played all our games and that’s pretty impressive,” Helton said.

Throughout the season, players had to be tested three times a week just for the opportunity to practice and play. Stewart said the players had to give up being a normal college student in order to give themselves the best chance to play a season.

“You can’t overstate the commitment and the sacrifices they made,” Stewart said. “They did all the things that they could control to give themselves a chance. The fact that we were able to play 11 games and to fight through the adversity and have the success that we’ve had, you really can’t overstate the job that our coaches and our players have done.”

“A lot of people we asked to step up to the plate,” Helton said. “We took a lot of pride in that. I look right now at the bowl scenarios and our team is happy and excited to have another opportunity to go represent Western Kentucky.”

WKU started the season 1-4 before winning four of their last six, including three straight to close out the regular season. A win over Georiga State would give the Tops a final record of 6-6.

“I really hope we can do that because that would be quite an accomplishment and it speaks volumes about the character of our players and our coaches,” Stewart said.

WKU and Georgia State kickoff in the LendingTree Bowl at 2:30 p.m. CT on Dec. 26. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN.

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