NOTES: Toppers look to end home losing streak; Taggart gets texts

Head Coach Willie Taggart waits to run out with the team prior to WKU’s game against North Texas on Oct. 30. RYAN STONE/HERALD

Andrew Robinson

In the midst of a two-game road winning streak, WKU still has a monkey on its back.

So Head Coach Willie Taggart brought a banana to his Monday press conference to tempt the monkey of the Toppers’ back and get over their current 14-game home losing streak.

“You’ve got to take care of home, and we haven’t done that all year,” Taggart said. “They know the importance of that, and this is our last chance to do it this year. Everyone has to do a little extra this week to see to it we can find a way to win this ballgame at home.”

It will be 12 seniors’ final opportunity to win at home since WKU’s victory over Murray State in 2008.

“I don’t think it’s we’re trying to win at home for the fans,” Taggart said. “We’re trying to win in particular no matter if it’s on the road or at home. We’re trying our best just to win.”

-Taggart said he believed the team had been more successful on the road this year because there are fewer distractions once the Toppers get away from the friendly confines of Houchens-Smith Stadium.

“On the road everything is all in one place,” Taggart said. “You don’t have to go all over and be around a lot of different people. It’s just all us. There’s not any distractions whatsoever. We’re football, eating, football, and then we’ll spend a little camaraderie time watching a movie or playing a game or something with each other.”

Taggart said the ultimate goal is to get the team off campus before home games and get them to a local hotel where there’d be fewer distractions. Taggart said Stanford did something similar, as do numerous Football Bowl Subdivision teams.

-WKU’s senior class has seen nearly the complete transformation from being a Football Championship Subdivision team to an FBS team. Everything from the addition to the new side of Houchens-Smith Stadium, to a new head coach and staff.

“What some of these guys have around here, they didn’t really have to work for,” Taggart said. “It was given to them. I think that it was a big part of it. You went from the projects to the Beverly Hills around here, quick. I don’t care who it is, there’s going to be a big culture change for you.”

-Taggart said he got numerous text messages following the Toppers’ one-point victory Saturday against Arkansas State, many of them complimenting Taggart’s decision to go for a two-point conversion in overtime. He said one called him a stud, another called his decision gutsy and there were some that weren’t appropriate for a press conference setting.

“The ones that mattered to the most from the Harbaughs, from all those guys,” Taggart said. “It always means something when I get something from those guys.”