The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers shocked the MAC-favorite Bowling Green Falcons on Friday night, lightning up the experienced Falcons defense for 708 yards in a 59-31 victory. Brandon Doughty led the attack for the Hilltoppers, shattering former WKU great Jeff Cessarone's passing record with 569 yards.
The Hilltoppers ran nearly a hundred plays on Friday, and had possession for thirty-six minutes in the contest. After the game, Doughty talked about the importance of keeping the intensity for this week's game. Last season, after throwing for 271 yards on 27 completions to beat Kentucky, Doughty and the Hilltoppers got demolished by Tennessee, in a game that the Brandenton, Fla. native threw five interceptions.
They will be hoping for a repeat performance on Saturday against Illinois, who are coming off a 28-17 victory against FCS opponent Youngstown State. The Illini are led offensively by quarterback Wes Lunt, who threw for 285 yards and four touchdowns on Saturday. Wes Lunt and company only managed to have the ball for twenty minutes in the game, which should have Hilltopper fans salivating.
The Hilltoppers could be road favorites when they take on the Illinois Fighting Illini on Saturday, but the Illini are still a B1G team, and Jeff Brohm knows his team will have to play just as well (if not better) to knock off Wes Lunt & co. There is some room for improvement for Western Kentucky, most notably being the young defense that would've given up some big plays if it weren't for Bowling Green receivers dropping wide-open passes.
Can Brandon Doughty and the Hilltoppers keep rolling or will they tumble in Week 2 once again? Catch the Hilltoppers take on the Fighting Illini on September 6 at 12:00pm (ET) on Big Ten Network.