Doughty confident entering second season as starting quarterback

WKUÕs junior running back Leon Allen takes a handoff from redshirt senior quarterback Brandon Doughty during spring practice Friday at Smith Stadium. (Mike Clark/HERALD)

Kyle Williams

Replacing All-American running back Antonio Andrews is a job deemed impossible, but that’s not to say others won’t help fill the void.

After the Toppers wrapped up their first week of spring practice, it’s evident to some players that roles will be adjusted accordingly. 

“I think one guy’s going to do one thing, one guy’s going to do another thing,” redshirt senior quarterback Brandon Doughty said. “We’re going to try to rotate those guys in a little bit — keep everybody fresh, but you can’t replace Antonio.”

Andrews led the nation in all-purpose yards for back-to-back seasons and holds the WKU single-season rushing record (1,730 yards).

Although Doughty will be handing off to a different person this fall, the second-year starter is confident in what the offense can do in 2014. After a few struggles with a new system from former coach, Bobby Petrino, Doughty says he’s more comfortable in his second go-around under Head Coach Jeff Brohm.

Doughty threw for a WKU single-season record 2,857 yards and completed 65.8 percent of his passes, another single-season record and a stat ranked 21st nationally in 2013.

“It should help me a lot,” Doughty said. “Everything’s slowing down a little bit and reads are becoming easier to throw to and stuff like that. I’m excited about this year and excited about where our program is going in the right direction.”

The Toppers added three new offensive coaches during the offseason, including offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Tyson Helton. Helton spent last season as the tight ends and special teams coach at Cincinnati after being the quarterbacks and running backs coach at Alabama-Birmingham from 2007 to 2012.

Helton will take over an offense that set single-season program records in total yards (5,502), yards per play (6.3), yards per game (485.5) and passing yards per game (261.7) last season.

Helton said the keys to the WKU offense are in Doughty’s hands.


“He has full control of the offense,” Helton said. “He understands what he’s doing. He protects the ball…he’s playing with a lot of confidence. The team responds to him. They know that he is a very good leader.”

Doughty is aware of what’s expected of him, and says having a coach like Helton allows the both of them to grow within the system together.

“He’s a good coach,” Doughty said. “He knows his stuff. He’s very technical. He worries about your technique and things like that. We’re both growing and learning this offense together.”

The Toppers have 10 more scheduled spring practices to show off the offense in the annual Red and White game April 19.  According to Brohm, the team has shown valiant effort thus far.

“It’s been a lot of fun,” Brohm said. “I like our guys. I like our team. I want us to be a team that’s hungry, that plays hard, that wants to win.

“I think our guys are off to a good start and we’ve got to finish strong.”