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Posts Tagged ‘Hilltoppers.’

LITTLE CAESARS PIZZA BOWL: Tonight at 7:30 pm, Western Kentucky vs. Central Michigan on ESPN

(courtesy of Bowl Game)

(photo by Ciccone39, Fuzzy510 via wikipedia commons)

The bowl season continues tonight on ESPN, as the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl has a 7:30 pm start at Ford Field in Detroit.

With a $1.5 million payout, Western Kentucky (7-5) plays local favorite, Central Michigan (6-6).

Three years ago, the Hilltoppers were 0-12 and in 2011, they finished at 7-5 but did receive a bowl invitation.

In 2012, despite a 2-4 stretch run, Western Kentucky found out that its 7-5 record was good enough this time around, but they had to wait until the final hours and minutes on December 2 that they’d be playing in the Motor City.

The Hilltoppers are making their first bowl appearance as an FBS member.

Central Michigan is making its fifth bowl appearance in the last seven years and first since 2009.

(courtesy of WKU)

(courtesy CMU)

The Hilltoppers are led on offense by Antonio Andrews with 1,609 rushing yards and have one of the top tight ends in the country in Jack Doyle who is 6’6, 255 pounds. He has caught 47 balls for 530 yards.

Western Kentucky has the best defense in the Sun Belt Conference, allowing 342.8 ypg and 136.6 on the ground.

The Chippewas of Central Michigan started the season at 2-5 in the Mid-American Conference but was able to get bowl eligible by winning its final three games against Eastern Michigan, Miami (Ohio) and Massachusetts.

CMU has a very porous defense allowing 441.2 yards per game and 197 on the ground.

But the Chippewas have a deep and talented receiving corps with Titus Davis, Andrew Flory, Courtney Williams and Cody Wilson. At running back, they have Zurlon Tipton with 1,391 yards and 19 TD’s, QB Ryan Radcliff who threw for 20 TD’s and 2,905 yards.

South Florida hires Western Kentucky coach Taggart to replace Skip Holtz

 

Willie Taggart (courtesy of Western Kentucky athletics)

South Florida has hired Willie Taggart to take over its struggling football program.

The 36-year-old has established himself as one of the nation’s top young prospects by turning around a Western Kentucky University football program that had a history of losing.

Taggart led the Hilltoppers to a 7-5 record in 2012 and will make their first postseason appearance since joining the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) when they take on Central Michigan in the Little Caesars Bowl.

Hilltoppers defensive coordinator Lance Guidry will lead the team in the bowl.

The Saturday press conference brought Taggart home to the Tampa Bay area where he grew up before going to play and later coach at Western Kentucky, which is located in Bowling Green, Kentucky on the Tennessee border.

Taggart replaces Skip Holtz, who was fired following the worst season in the Bulls 16-year history at 3-9, 1-6 in the Big East good for 8th place.

 

Info compiled from University of South Florida & Western Kentucky University athletics

 

Western Kentucky fires McDonald due to weird play, declining attendance & program’s lack of progress

 

Ken McDonald (courtesy of Western Kentucky athletics)

Most media reports out of the Western Kentucky city of Bowling Green stated that head basketball coach Ken McDonald was fired recently due to a weird play at the end of an overtime loss to Louisiana-Lafayette, 72-70 when the Ragin’ Cajuns scored with six players on the court and the Hilltoppers coach should’ve but did not notice.

But athletic director Ross Bjork said the team is struggling at 5-11, needs a “new voice”, attendance is declining and the respect has to be restored.

He has appointed assistant coach Ray Harper as the interim coach the rest of the season.

The Sun Belt Conference did confirm that the Ragin’ Cajuns did use six players, but the score stands.

McDonald, who is 41, leaves with a three-year record of 67-49.

 

Info compiled from Radio, TV & Western Kentucky news