Postseason provides one more showcase for WKU offense

Hilltoppers head coach Jeff Brohm greets fans after Friday’s game in Huntington, West Virginia. Nick Wagner/HERALD

Elliott Pratt

WKU’s football season is almost over.

That’s the first time in a long time that I could write the phrase “almost over” after the 12-game regular season.

You can — as Willie McNeal would say — thank the football gods for that miracle at Marshall.

McNeal, the beneficiary of many game changing/winning events in his career, caught the two-point conversion pass from redshirt senior quarterback Brandon Doughty that shocked the country and, for at least an afternoon, had the Hilltoppers on top of the college football world.

The best part for WKU fans is that they’ll get to see this team do it again, with the announcement of a bowl game arriving next Sunday.

“Our players rose to the occasion and to see the improvement we made over the last month, we’re extremely happy about it,” Head Coach Jeff Brohm said. “It’s definitely one of those games you’ll remember for a long time.”

I’m still trying to catch my breath, after that shootout in Huntington. Actually, I’m trying to catch my breath after this season.

When Brohm said his offense was going to be “cutting edge” and up-tempo, I wasn’t thinking of NASCAR fast and basketball points, but that’s exactly what we got.

Before this WKU football season began, I averaged about five or seven pages in my notebook, used for personal play-by-play stats. That immediately doubled in the season opener, and now, I’m all out of notebooks.

WKU scored more than 50 points on four different occasions and more than 60 in two games, including the 67-66 overtime thriller at Marshall.

The Hilltoppers scored 528 total points this season, which is 96 points more than the 2002 team. And that team played three more games than what the Brohm squad has played.

That’s outrageous.

Get used to this new wild, wild west style of football.

“We have some offensive guys on our staff that enjoy the game and try to be as cutting edge as we can,” Brohm said. “We study ourselves. We study opponents. We study NFL teams. We do whatever we can to make it fun and exciting. I think our players enjoy that.

“I definitely think people like watching that brand of football.”

This is exactly what has me most interested in seeing which team faces the Hilltoppers in a few weeks.

Brohm may have shaped this offense to its true form, but I’m hard pressed to believe that another quarterback is going to come in and put up the numbers like Doughty has done this season.

Brohm didn’t even expect 44 ouchdowns and 4,000-plus passing yards on the season. He planned on Doughty seeing success, but he didn’t envision him picking apart defenses with surgical precision.

Brohm, a quarterback by nature, knows to form an offense around the quarterback’s strengths, which is exactly what he did with Doughty.

“Being a former quarterback, you know how important it is,” Brohm said. “You want to try to develop the offense around the quarterback’s skills, whoever that is, and mold the offense around him, because he’s the guy who’s going to have the ball in his hands the entire time.”

Doughty’s individual turn-around mirrors what Brohm has done for the program in just his first year as the head coach.

The plus side to it all is you get to see the two of them work some offensive magic one more time.