BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — With four days left before WKU takes on Eastern Kentucky under
the lights at Houchens-Smith Stadium, it was “Tough Tuesday” for the Hilltoppers in
preparation for the Colonels. Offensive coordinator Junior Adams spoke with the
media about creating and executing a game plan on his side of the ball.
“We have three or four more days of prep, but for the most part we have been running
this stuff all camp, so it’s not foreign to these guys,” Adams said. “They did a
good job this summer of understanding what we’re trying to do concept-wise and
understanding the system to where when we do throw something at them, they get it.”
EKU returns defensive starters like linebacker Jeffrey Canady and defensive end
Aaron Patrick. Canady, now a senior, led the team with 123 total tackles in 2016,
which included five tackles for loss. Patrick, meanwhile, notched seven sacks and 10
tackles for loss off the edge, and he is certainly someone the Hilltoppers have
their eye on.
“We really have to focus on the defensive end they have [Patrick] who’s a
game-changer, but I know our right tackle [Matt Nord] is up for the task,” Adams
said. “I’m looking forward to watching them battle … All we have on them is their
games from last year and they were an attacking defense. THey got after guys, they
caused a bunch of turnovers.”
In only 11 games, the Colonels forced 26 fumbles and recovered 11 to flip
possession. They also snagged 10 interceptions from opponents and tallied 27 sacks.
A key for WKU then, as Adams also mentioned, was absorbing the pressure and
countering down the field to the team’s playmaking wide receivers. Lucky Jackson,
Nacarius Fant and Quin Jernighan are listed as starters, but head coach Mike Sanford
will likely rotate many more between the lines.
“There are about eight or nine guys in the wide receiver group who have been working
their tails off over the spring and summer, then through fall camp, who deserve
opportunities to play,” Adams said. “In this system, we like to play multiple
receivers and cater to their strengths. What I want to see out of that group is
playing fast and exploding to the football.
“We always say to be a frisbee-catching dog, to make the difficult look easy.”
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