Although the Hilltopper offense (Red team) came out victorious, it was the defense that impressed on Saturday at the team's annual Spring Game. Defensive coordinator Nick Holt's defense came out with intensity and halted senior quarterback Brandon Doughty and the offense multiple times early in the contest. There were some impressive fresh faces leading the way for the defense, most notably defensive back DeAndre Farris (former wide receiver) and redshirt freshman Masai Whyte, who both totaled seven tackles in the game.
Brandon Doughty and the Red team still managed to put up good numbers, though: Doughty himself accounted for 256 yards and two touchdowns and no interceptions. Redshirt freshman Drew Eckels also had a good day in his first "game" for the Hilltoppers, throwing for 135 yards and two touchdowns on 14 completions. Wide receiver Nacarius Fant, who saw little action in 2014, exploded onto the scene with 7 catches and a touchdown. With 2014 senior Willie McNeal gone, I would expect Fant to play a larger role in this 2015 Hilltopper offense.
Should WKU fans expect this 2015 defense to shut out Conference USA opponents? No. But head coach Jeff Brohm should be ecstatic about the energy his defense is showing thus far.
Top Offensive Performers:
QB Brandon Doughty - 18 of 24, 256 yards, two TD
QB Nelson Fishback - 13 of 21, 152 yards, two TD, one INT
QB Drew Eckels - 14 of 23, 135 yards, two TD
WR Taywan Taylor - 4 catches, 88 yards, one TD
WR Nacarius Fant - 7 catches, 80 yards, one TD
WR Jared Dangerfield - 4 catches, 69 yards
WR Antwane Grant - 4 catches, 53 yards, two TD
Top Defensive Performers:
DB DeAndre Farris - 7 tackles
LB Masai Whyte - 7 tackles, 1 TFL
LB Joel Iyiegbuniwe - 6 tackles, 1 TFL
DL Tanner Reeves - 3 tackles, 2 TFL