The WKU football team (5-3, 4-1 C-USA) will welcome Florida Atlantic (5-3, 3-1 C-USA) to Bowling Green this weekend for a crucial matchup in the ongoing Conference USA East Division race, but the Hilltoppers will also be hosting two special events prior to their league battle with Lane Kiffin’s Owls.
Hilltopper faithful can get tickets to FAU game in exchange for giving non-perishable food items
WKU Athletics and the Hilltopper Student-Athlete Advisory Committee announced a food drive to benefit families in Warren County and Bowling Green City School Systems on Oct. 25.
Head coach Tyson Helton confirmed Monday that for every three non-perishable food items donated, Hilltopper fans will receive one ticket to the FAU game on Saturday.
“Got another big conference game coming up this week at home against FAU,” Helton said at his weekly press conference. “Really fired up for that opportunity. Should be a great conference game. We’re head-to-head in the East right now between us, Marshall and FAU, so this is a big one. Guys are looking forward to it and can’t wait to get them in here.
“Also, it’s a game where we’re having donations for canned food all this week, and anybody who brings in three canned goods will get a free ticket to the game to help local families and schools here in Bowling Green. Just wanted to remind everybody of that. Really need our fans to come out and support us, because this is going to be a big one.”
Starting on Monday, fans can bring their non-perishable items to the WKU Ticket Office. Canned goods, dry goods, dehydrated foods and others are acceptable. The office is located inside Gate 1 in Diddle Arena. Operating hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Monday through Friday.
On the day of the game, fans can bring their non-perishable food items to the ticket office from 8-11 a.m. Following that, food items can be brought to the entrance of Houchens-Smith Stadium, located below Gates 5 and 6, until just before kickoff at 3 p.m.
WKU Athletic Hall of Fame expands to include great Hilltopper teams from the past
The Alumni W-Club also revealed plans to expand the WKU Athletic Hall of Fame to include great teams in all sports in WKU Athletics history, the organization announced on Oct. 25.
The first teams to be inducted will be two legendary WKU football teams — the 2002 National Champion team and the 1952 Ohio Valley Conference and Refrigerator Bowl Champion team.
The teams will be formally inducted into the WKU Athletic Hall of Fame at a private reception for team members and their guests at 10 a.m. on Saturday, and they’ll also be honored at halftime of the 2019 Hilltoppers’ C-USA game against FAU.
The 2002 NCAA I-AA champions — coached by Jack Harbaugh and captained by Sherrod Coates, Peter Martinez, Jason Michael and Chris Price — rebounded from a 2-3 start to win 10 straight games, including the last four in NCAA playoff competition.
The Hilltoppers finished the season 12-3 overall and 6-1 in Gateway Football Conference play to earn a No. 1 ranking in the final poll.
The 1952 Hilltoppers, coached by Jack Clayton and captained by Willard Price and Willie Watson, capped off their Ohio Valley Conference-championship season by reaching WKU’s first postseason bowl.
WKU defeated Arkansas State 34-19 in the Refrigerator Bowl in Evansville, Indiana, finishing the year at 9-1 overall and 4-1 in OVC action. All-American Jimmy Feix quarterbacked the club, which outscored its opposition by an average of three touchdowns per game.
WKU Athletic Hall of Fame teams will be enshrined on a wall on the ground level in Diddle Arena across the hall from the Paul Just Media Center.
For fans who cannot make it to Houchens-Smith Stadium on Saturday afternoon, the game between WKU and FAU will be streamed live at 3 p.m. for ESPN+ subscribers.
Sports Editor Drake Kizer can be reached at [email protected] Follow Drake on Twitter at @drakekizer_.