Three keys to a Topper victory

Brad Stephens

WKU (1-4, 1-1 Sun Belt Conference) and Florida Atlantic (0-5, 0-2) square off at 3 p.m. Saturday in Boca Raton, Fla., as the Owls are opening FAU Stadium, their new on-campus facility. If the Toppers can do these three things, they’ll have a good chance of spoiling the FAU housewarming.

1. Get off to a fast start

WKU is facing an FAU team that will likely be at its emotional peak of the season come kickoff. The Owls will be fired up on a new field and in front of their home fans for the first time. How do the Toppers counter that? Go touchdown, stop, touchdown in the first quarter. Suddenly they’re up 14-0, the “here we go again” factor kicks in with the 0-5 FAU players, and they have a big edge right out of the gates.

2. Don’t leave points on the field

Sure, WKU’s double-overtime win over Middle Tennessee State was the type of thrill ride victory that fans who were present will talk about for years to come. But the Toppers wouldn’t have needed late heroics if senior kicker Casey Tinius doesn’t miss three field goals, and if freshman wide receiver Joel German didn’t drop a touchdown pass wide open in the end zone.

Assuming WKU would’ve converted the extra point on German’s touchdown, those are 16 points the Toppers left on the field. It’s doubtful you’ll see a team leave that many points out there two weeks in a row and win both games.

3. Tweet responsibly

Head Coach Willie Taggart set a precedent Monday when he announced the suspension of sophomore running back Antonio Andrews because of inflammatory tweets Andrews directed at the Topper fanbase. The new precedent is pretty much, “Tweet something dumb, and you’ll sit a game.” Andrews’ suspension hasn’t seemed to slow him or his teammates down in their tweeting habits this week. Of course, most of what they put up has been pretty harmless.

But with the standards Taggart has set, now wouldn’t be a smart time to say anything ridiculous on Twitter. If everyone else practices good social media etiquette this week, WKU won’t lose any additional key players for the game.