Aulbach: Fans should be in for a show Tuesday night

Lucas Aulbach

The Louisiana-Lafayette game was one of the few Topper football games I wasn’t able to attend last year, but it left me with some of the most lasting memories of the season.

I remember Antonio Andrews having arguably the best game of his career, running for 238 yards and a pair of scores on 37 carries.

I remember Quanterus Smith’s record-breaking senior season ending with an ACL tear late in the game.

But the biggest thing I remember was the clutch play of ULL quarterback Terrance Broadway.

Broadway struggled, throwing a pair of early picks, but he shined when the lights were brightest. With the Toppers leading 27-17 with six minutes to go, the quarterback led the Ragin’ Cajun offense on two drives to the end zone, clinching the game on a 14-yard touchdown run with 38 seconds left.

To put it plainly, it was a lot of fun to watch.

Broadway can throw the ball, but he really brings it on the ground. The Toppers have faced dual-threat quarterbacks this year with middling results — they were able to handle Navy after quarterback Keenan Reynolds left in the first half but struggled against South Alabama’s Brandon Bridge back in September.

Broadway is in a different league than either of those guys, though. The junior has thrown for 1,153 yards and 10 touchdowns this year, connecting on 65 percent of his passes, while picking up another 154 yards and four scores on the ground.

WKU defensive coordinator Nick Holt wasn’t around for that 31-27 loss last year, but he’s seen plenty of film on the head of the ULL offense.

“He just seems to find a way to make the play, 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,” Holt said after Saturday’s practice. “Just running their offense, he’s good.”

Shutting down Broadway is a task that will test every aspect of the WKU defense.

The Topper secondary has done their job this season. WKU’s defensive backs currently lead the Sun Belt in pass defense, giving up just 183.5 yards per game through the air and holding opposing quarterbacks to a 56.4 completion percentage.

The Topper run defense will face another big challenge Tuesday as well.

WKU’s defensive line and linebackers have had two consecutive good performances. They stepped up two weeks ago against Navy’s triple-option attack and had another impressive game last Thursday at Louisiana-Monroe.

ULL currently employs the top rushing attack in the Sun Belt, with Broadway flanked by running backs Alonzo Harris and Elijah McGuire. The group has already accounted for 14 rushing touchdowns this year — the run game is ULL’s bread and butter.

Shutting down ULM on the ground could be the key for the Toppers to pick up their fourth win in a row. To do that, they’ll have to stop Broadway and the big-play potential he brings with him.