Toppers face tall task in stopping Broadway

Elliott Pratt

WKU’s defense has become more fluid during the team’s current three-game win streak. That success, however, will be put to the test against the Sun Belt Conference’s top scoring offense, Louisiana-Lafayette, Tuesday night at Smith Stadium.

The Ragin’ Cajuns are powered by a quarterback all too familiar to the Topper defense.

Junior quarterback Terrance Broadway was the culprit of last season’s come back win over WKU 31-27 in Lafayette. Broadway led the Ragin’ Cajuns back from a one-point deficit late in the fourth quarter and finished with 403 yards of total offense.

But there is more than redemption on the line when the Ragin’ Cajuns and the Toppers face off in front of a nationally televised audience on ESPN2: WKU has a chance to knock ULL from first place in the conference, and stopping the show that is Terrance Broadway presents a whole new challenge.

“He just seems to find a way to make the play,” defensive coordinator Nick Holt said. “Whether it’s with his legs, running for a first down or a big play or extending plays in the pocket and finding an open receiver, just running their offense, he’s good.”

Broadway will come into Bowling Green on a roll after tossing for 335 yards and four touchdowns in ULL’s 48-24 win over Texas State.

The junior from Baton Rouge, La., is putting on a show for the season with 1,153 total passing yards and 14 touchdowns.

Senior linebacker Xavius Boyd and the defense got their fair share of Broadway last year, and they understand the quarterback is only getting better.

“Just the mobility — he can make plays after he runs,” Boyd said. “He can read the defense really good from what I can see and really he’s just a mobile quarterback — an extremely hard mobile quarterback to defend.”

While the threat of Broadway lingers, the Topper defense knows they can’t dismiss the rest of the offense that has been more than exceptional in the conference thus far.

To accompany their top-ranked scoring attack with 38 points per game, the Ragin’ Cajuns hold the conferences to rushing attack with an average 217 yards per game, good for No. 23 in the nation. Broadway’s 154 yards on the ground for the year contributes to that dual threat WKU will be looking for on Tuesday.

But the Toppers believe their defensive momentum in the past three games will work to their favor Tuesday. WKU hasn’t played a game in 12 days, and players like Xavius Boyd “really want to get another shot” at ULL for last season’s come back defeat.

Holt said during the recent time off the defense hasn’t missed a beat.

“Our practice tempo helps us stay focused and stay ready,” Holt said. “We’ve done a nice job in the weight room, our guys are feeling good, I think our bodies are feeling strong and I think our kids are fresh and ready to go.”