BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – WKU closed out the 2018 spring practice season in the best
possible fashion, a healthy one, on Saturday as the program worked through a 90-play
scrimmage under perfect weather for the annual Red vs. White game.
The Red team, led by quarterbacks Drew Eckels and Steven Duncan, ousted the White
team, led by Davis Shanley and Graydon Kulick, 24-14 in what second-year head coach
Mike Sanford called a positive and steady scrimmage to end the spring.
“Spring game, beautiful day, great to have the fan base out here, it was a fun
game,” Sanford said. “Obviously, it wasn’t a traditional spring game, tackle,
playing with two true teams, but the work we wanted to get out of it we absolutely
got out of it. We got 92 plays in the scrimmage. We wanted to make sure every single
person on our roster got a rep today and that was good to see. Overall, I’m pleased
with what I saw.”
As the Hilltoppers worked this spring to implement their quarterback-driven run
game, the three quarterbacks competing for the starting job worked tirelessly to
improve their ground game. It showed on Saturday.
Eckels, Duncan and Shanley combined to rush for nearly 100 yards on designed runs
and scrambles, but it didn’t come at the expense of the passing game. During the
first half, when the clock ran like a traditional game, WKU combined to put up a
balanced 520 yards of offense with 237 yards coming from the ground game which has
seen drastic improvement this spring.
During the scrimmage’s first half, WKU ball carriers averaged 6.6 yards per carry.
“I feel like we’re taking a step in the right direction,” Eckels said. “As a senior,
you have to lead the team in the right ways and I feel like we did that today, all
the seniors came around. I feel like the offense is coming to its final piece. We’ve
just got camp, a few fundamentals and then we should be good.”
Now the Hilltoppers turn their attention to finishing up classes this spring before
summer conditioning begins under new strength coach Jason Veltkamp and his staff.
The Hilltoppers open the season on Friday, Aug. 31 at Wisconsin.