REECER’S PIECE: Hilltoppers ready for title run

John Reecer is the sports editor of the College Heights Herald during the spring 2016 semester.

John Reecer

After two months of hot-and-cold play, the WKU football team has finally hit its stride at the opportune time.

In the Hilltoppers’ first six games, every win was followed by a loss the very next week. It was obvious that adjusting to life after losing multiple defensive starters and Brandon Doughty was challenging for the program.

That is officially old news now as WKU has achieved three straight conference victories while also averaging 51 points per game in that span.

Redshirt junior quarterback Mike White finally has found his way in the offense. If you still don’t believe that, then just let the numbers convince you.

White is now fifth in the nation in passing yardage and seventh in completion percentage. Considering he still has three more poor Conference USA defenses left to throw against, White is only going to look more impressive.

The defense has also took noticeable steps forward since the nightmare that was the Louisiana Tech game.

They made enough plays against Middle Tennessee State University to get a huge win, and they shut down both Rice University and Florida Atlantic University.

The Toppers now sit atop the East Division and control their own destiny for the rest of the season. There are challenges on the road ahead, but these challenges just aren’t comparable with what the team has already faced this season.

The team’s next opponent, Florida International University, is 3-6 on the year and will most likely not a make a bowl game. The Panthers give up 422.9 yards per game and WKU gets them in Bowling Green.

After that, the Toppers will get the University of North Texas (4-4) who gives up 403.4 yards per game. Sounds like another home conference blowout to me.

Then comes the last game of the regular season against rival Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia.

This was supposed to be the biggest game of the season, but the Thundering Herd is more like a quiet pack this year as they are 2-6 on the season. They are actually the worst opponent left for the Toppers.

After battling through injuries and a plethora of other challenges, WKU has officially turned the corner. The way the program has responded since the disaster in Ruston, Louisiana, is simply the mark of a good football team.

Despite this recent success, there are no excuses for why this three-game win streak doesn’t turn into a six-game win streak and an appearance in the conference championship game.

With three more wins over below-average college football teams, this squad led by Jeff Brohm actually has a shot at double-digit wins this season.

Brohm preaches to his players to take this season one at a time, but expectations cannot be ignored with just three game left in the regular season.

Good teams deserve to be under pressure, and the pressure is officially on the Toppers now. Anything less than appearances in the conference championship and a respectable bowl game is a disappointment.

This program is officially better than an appearance in some obscure bowl game made solely to create more revenue for college football.

As long as Brohm is here, the Toppers belong in the upper-echelon of mid-major programs in this sport, and a strong finish to this season will only solidify that.

Reporter John Reecer can be reached at 270-745-6291 and [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @Reece_12_Falcon.