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Hilltoppers’ offense gears for matchup against Army on 9/11

Published: Sep. 7, 2021 at 11:15 PM CDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - Fresh off of an offensive juggernaut of a performance against UT Martin last week, the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers football team now sets its focus on the Army Black Knights.

WKU will battle the Black Knights this Saturday, September 11 - marking the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks. Aside of the historical weight of the big game, Saturday will mark the Hilltoppers’ first true test of the 2021 season. WKU offensive coordinator Zach Kittley’s squad heads to West Point after totaling 587 offensive yards against UT Martin in last Thursday’s 59-21 drubbing.

The game saw even more significant stats from the likes of graduate transfer quarterback Bailey Zappe. Zappe’s 242.0 passing efficiency rating is the highest among all FBS quarterbacks since Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield pulled a 266.3 rating against Texas Tech in 2016. Despite the cornucopia of offensive marks though, Kittley knows that Army is no easy task.

“You know it’s another game for us Saturday. That’s [Army] a great defense. Very stout, blue collar team. They’re coached very well and don’t make a lot of mistakes. Very, very salty team on defense,” Kittley said. “Very salty.”

Hilltoppers’ redshirt senior lineman Cole Spencer remembers WKU’s 17-8 victory over Army. But he says he also knows the Black Knights’ defensive schemes will be just as challenging on Saturday - if not more challenging.

“In terms of Army, like I said before, very fundamentally sound. They don’t make mistakes, so we gotta come to the ballpark with our A-game - because they forsure will,” Spencer said.

WKU freshman running Kye Robichaux got quite the introduction to his Hilltoppers’ career with a team-high 44 rushing yards in last Thursday’s victory. When discussing the collective team effort from the win, he acknowledged that all of the resources will need to be pooled together this weekend against Army.

“It’s a team effort. We all know that we work as hard as we do. We put in all the extra work. And it just gets everyone fired up for the next game,” Robichaux said.

WKU will continue practice this week before headed to New York on Friday. Saturday’s game kicks off at 10:30 AM CT and can be watched on the CBS Sports Network.

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