BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — After appearing in a relief role in road games at No. 4
Wisconsin and Louisville, quarterback Davis Shanley is preparing to make his first
career start for WKU Football. The Hilltoppers travel to Muncie, Ind., on Sept. 22
for a Saturday-afternoon matchup at Ball State.
“I’m very blessed to play in those games in the situations that I’ve been in,”
Shanley said. “I’m taking that experience to heart and really evaluating myself …
I’m just focusing on all the negatives that I have to improve and make my team
better by making myself better.”
There were not many negatives from an individual standpoint for the redshirt
freshman, who went 22-of-33 for 240 yards and one score through the air. Shanley
also added a rushing touchdown that put WKU ahead of the Cardinals 14-0 at the
But when the clock struck zeroes in the fourth quarter, the Hilltoppers had fallen
to Louisville by a score of 20-17, which prompted head coach Mike Sanford and his
staff to continue preaching “finishing” to the group.
Going into this week, team practices are being divided into four quarters to
simulate the focus of crunch time of a game situation, and so far the players are
enjoying the change.
“There’s a big-time emphasis on finishing, and I like that,” tight end Kyle
Fourtenbary said. “I think we should finish every quarter and the coaches are really
doing a good job with that.”
Shanley echoed that sentiment, “Finishing is everything, that’s our big emphasis of
the week. You just have to be completely mentally and physically focused for every
The quarterback-tight end combo connected for five completions for 34 yards against
the Cardinals. That included a 9-yard touchdown with seven seconds remaining in the
first quarter, which was the first career score for both players.
“I was excited. After I scored I was trying to hype everybody up,” Fourtenbary said,
and then went on to describe the play. “Pre-snap, I had a five-yard hitch and I just
ran it to get open. I knew I was going to be open because the safety was playing
back, so I just did my job and cut it and got vertical.”
WKU will practice at Houchens-Smith Stadium on Wednesday and Thursday before
traveling north on Friday. The game between the Hilltoppers and Ball State kicks off
at 2 p.m. CT and will be streamed on ESPN3.