Toppers ready to move on from ULL loss

Elliott Pratt

It’s been a week since WKU’s 37-20 home loss to Louisiana-Lafayette last Tuesday and one week since the Toppers’ chances of a Sun Belt Conference title got a lot harder. Moving on to the next opponent after a loss is an obstacle that comes with the nature of sport, but that doesn’t mean it comes across easily.

Coach Bobby Petrino said no loss is easy to swallow.

“I’ve always envied the basketball coaches and the baseball coaches where they lose a hard game and they can go right back to work the next day and play again,” Petrino said. “When you lose a football game, it’s hard. We try to get it over within 24 hours and put it to bed. It’s still very, very difficult.

“It was hard for us last Wednesday. I think our players came in last Thursday and Friday and worked very hard. I do think we have a good attitude and that will help us.”

It will have been 11 days since WKU (4-3, 1-2 Sun Belt) last played a football game when the team takes the field for Homecoming Saturday against Troy. But the Trojans (4-3, 2-1 Sun Belt Conference) have had some time to rest as well. But in the case of WKU, players like senior fullback Nick Baisch are glad to be back to a normal schedule.

“We haven’t played on Saturday in like three weeks,” Baisch said. “It’s good to get back to a normal week and we have to get right back on and have to get playing again.”

Troy enters the game after back-to-back conference victories, the last one coming Oct. 12 in a 35-28 win at Georgia State.  As the Trojans sit in third place in the conference, this game becomes a must win for seventh-place WKU.

For either team to have any shot at a win Saturday, they’ll have to fix their turnover issues.

Neither team has had success protecting the football this season. WKU still remains at the bottom of the NCAA with 22 turnovers and Troy ranks No. 90 in the country, having turned the ball over 14 times.

The inconsistency in the team and the inability to protect the ball is what Petrino says has been the difference for his team in WKU’s three losses.

“Maybe some of it is we’re so young and new in the schemes and what we’re doing but we aren’t playing as well as we should for four quarters,” Petrino said. “We’ve had some games where we have executed and found ways to win, we just have to work hard and get better at it.”

While it’s hard to move past a loss, it’s required of a team. Freshman linebacker Kalvin Robinson said he believes it is important for the team to not only look at what they have to fix, but what worked well in their wins.

“I feel like every game that you play you always learn something about yourself and also learn something about your team,” Robinson said. “So we just look back at our old games and figure out what we can do to make us better and we’re just going to be a better team overall.”