Western Kentucky plays their first spring game under the regime of Mike Sanford on Saturday. The scrimmage will put a Red and a White team, coached/drafted by defensive coordinator Clayton White and offensive coordinator Junior Adams against one another.
Kickoff is set for 3 PM CST. With Bowling Green looking more and more like it’s about to get hit with some thunderstorms on Saturday, that could be up in the air however.
As of now, it doesn’t look like there’s any video or audio broadcast scheduled, but we’ll keep you posted if that changes. Like all of the practices, admission to the game is free for everyone.
Here’s a look at what the teams will look like on Saturday:
The spring game rosters so far: pic.twitter.com/qwao7fuqrZ— Brad Stephens (@BradBGDN) April 17, 2017
Note: Quarterback Drew Eckels was traded to the White team for wide receiver Quin Jernighan and running back Marcelis Logan. These also aren’t the complete rosters, which haven’t been posted.
In the first half of the game, the clock will operate normally, but will operate as a running clock in the second half.
It’s a shame we won’t get to see running backs D’Andre Ferby or Leon Allen carry the ball with both avoiding contact to let their injuries heal. Ferby and Allen have produced the most out of the running backs in the roster. That being said, we’ll get a decent look at Quinton Baker who will see an increased workload this year should either of the two aforementioned guys have problems staying healthy.
One of the notable things about this kind of format for a spring game is there’s more individual match ups to pay attention to as opposed to getting to see the projected first team all together. This doesn’t matter as much for some position groups, like the receivers for example. We’ll get to see more of each guy of that group this way. Plus, they all don’t necessarily need to be playing next to one another all the time to improve significantly. But one group where this is a little frustrating is the offensive line.
Early in the spring, we saw the lineup of (from left tackle to right tackle) Jimmie Sims, Brandon Ray, Seth Joest, Dennis Edwards, and Matt Nord. Edwards could also hop over to center with Tyler Witt at the right guard. On paper, it seems like a decent front line for the opener. While the Tops do still have fall camp still to figure that lineup out, that group being split up between the two teams, we don’t get to see how they work cohesively in a live scrimmage.
Returning starting QB Mike White will (ironically) play for the Red team. Many of what will probably be his top targets this season, however, will play on the White team. Receivers Lucky Jackson and Xavier Lane look set for breakout years along with tight end Deon Yelder. In the meantime, they’ll have to settle for catching passes from Drew Eckels.
On the defensive side of the ball, this is the best chance fans we’ll get to see how the team has reacted to switching to a 4-2-5. Joe Brown of the Red team will likely get one of the starting corner spots during the season, so it will be beneficial for him and the other Red defensive backs to get some work against the superior wideouts of the White team.
If you’re looking for more festivities around the game, there’s a few things to get excited about.
The football program will host a spring equipment sale starting at 8 AM that will last until the end of the game. It’s a great chance to grab some team issued gear like shoes, jerseys, polos, and jackets for relatively cheap. That will reportedly be on the southeast concourse, near Avenue of Champions.
Further proof that it pays to show up early, the first 1,000 fans at the game will get a free “Back2Back” Conference USA tank top along with an autograph card. The first 2,000 will get a decal with that same logo on it.
At halftime, students who qualified with a good enough 40 yard dash time last week will have the chance to race for a semester of free rent and some other prizes.
ICYMI: We are looking for the fastest Hilltopper on campus! Fastest M/F win free rent for a semester!— WKU Sports (@WKUSports) April 4, 2017
Register here: https://t.co/KXmOEJAyRC pic.twitter.com/6M8lY2Lyrb
Regardless of if it’s a practice or not, football is back on The Hill.