Western Kentucky is 2-0 following a victory in a game that many believed was one of - if not the - most important games on the Hilltoppers' schedule. The offense returned to 2014 form and the defense continued (at times) to show improvement against its second-straight SEC level quarterback to open the season in Jeff Driskel.
And, sure, it was a lackluster week around the rest of the conference, the Tops win was one of the better ones of the weekend for a C-USA squad and the conference itself noticed, giving the clean sweep to WKU in its weekly honors.
Brandon Doughty takes home his first C-USA Offensive Player of the Week honor of 2015, and his fifth time overall after taking home four honors last year, after tossing 441 yards on 28-of-38 passing while throwing one touchdown and zero interceptions. Doughty, who looked shaky to begin the Vandy game a couple of weeks ago, started to look good in that second half in Nashville and has continued looking stellar ever since. Here's to another great week in Indiana.
Marcus Ward is now the reigning C-USA Defensive Player of the Week after setting career bests from the Tops' secondary in tackles (11 total, six solo), tackles for loss (two) and pass breakups (two). Ward also forced a fumble out of the hands of one of the conference's best running backs in Kenneth Dixon, leading to a Hilltopper possession. Ward, who was a bright spot in that putrid 2014 defense, has started 2015 strong, and a big congrats to him on the career day, and his first ever C-USA weekly honor.
Finally, after arguably the play of the evening on Thursday, Kylen Towner not only took a touchdown return to the house, but took his first ever C-USA weekly award to the house as well. Towner, who showed promise in the return game in 2014, turned in a 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to mark the sixth-longest play in school history, and the longest play for the Red Towels since 2001. When Hilltopper fans think special teams, Garrett Schwettman is usually what comes to mind, but its good to know there's another name climbing up the ranks, too.
Speaking of Schwetty, he too was honored with a weekly award! The WKU kicker (who, by the way, is eight points away from becoming the Hilltoppers' all-time leading scorer) was named a Lou Groza Star of the Week, along with Washington State's Erik Powell and Minnesota's Ryan Santoso. You can vote to make Schwetty THE star of the week here.
2-0 and it feels so good. While, yes, the loss of Leon Allen still hurts and the with Ace Wales still out indefinitely, there is some good news on the Hill after all. Now, off to the Hoosiers.