Football Notebook: WKU rounding out its full week of bowl practice

WKU’s Willie McNeal (10) brings in the game-winning catch in overtime to knock out No. 19 Marshall, 67-66 in Huntington, West Virginia. Nick Wagner/HERALD

Kyle Williams

The Hilltoppers are getting anxious. Even Head Coach Jeff Brohm is ready to get down to the Bahamas.

Prior to speaking with the media on this cold Thursday morning, he said, “I won’t need this jacket for the trip, I guess.”

The whole team is ready for a chance to prove its worth in the warm weather against a team that handed the Hilltoppers a 24-21 loss in their first bowl opportunity. According to Brohm, WKU knows it won’t be a walk in the park.

“I think our guys are enthusiastic, they’re ready to get out there on the field,” Brohm said. “They had a good week. They know that we’re going to have to play hard and play well to win, and I think they’re looking forward to getting to the Bahamas and playing that game.”

The Hilltoppers face a Central Michigan team ranking 16th in total defense at 331.2 yards per game. The Chippewas also rank eighth in the country in total time of possession at an average of 33 minutes per game.

Brohm said he’s seen flashes of improvement in all three units — offense, defense and special teams — which will be vital if the Hilltoppers want to make history in the Bahamas Bowl.

“This game, we’re going to have to play well on all three facets,” Brohm said. “(Central Michigan’s) offense is going to run the ball, they’re going to throw play-action, they’re going to control it. I know they lead the time of possession by a big margin in their games, so it’s important that we find a way to get a couple three-and-outs and get them off the field. Offensively, that means you’re not going to get as many possessions, so you have to make sure that they count.”

WKU will hold a closed practice tomorrow before departing for Nassau, Bahamas on Saturday from Nashville. The Hilltoppers will hold practice on Sunday and Monday at Roscow A.L. Davies Field before Tuesday’s team photo shoot and bowl press conference leading up to Wednesday’s 11 a.m. CT kickoff on ESPN.

Tops ink Hammond

Brohm announced Wednesday that the Hilltoppers have inked defensive end Sidney Hammond to a National Letter of Intent.

Hammond, a 6-foot 2-inch, 255-pound lineman out of Dodge City Community College, finished third on his team in tackles with 51 (22 solo) to go along with seven tackles for loss, a sack and a forced fumble.