Notes from WKU’s Wednesday football practice

Zach Greenwell

Well, WKU’s bye week has come and gone, and so has my short hiatus from the usual football schedule.

I was back out at the practice field Wednesday, where we had the chance to talk with Defensive Coordinator Clint Bowen.

Bowen, who previously held the same position at Kansas, hasn’t been one to mince words about the plight of his defense this season.

Wednesday was no different, as Bowen said it’s time for the Toppers to stop spinning their wheels.

“We’re at a point where we’ve got to move on,” he said. “We’ve got to move to another level of playing, where guys are taking that extreme amount of pride in doing everything to the best of their ability and doing what it takes to win.”

Bowen said it’s been frustrating at times to not have players “see their potential faster,” but that having a good group of guys has made everything easier. WKU may still have a long way to go, but it has very few character issues, Bowen said.

“We don’t have a lot of those guys that you read about in the paper at a lot of programs,” he said. “I’m not saying none of them mess up, but if you come around here, these kids want to learn and get better, and they give you the effort. It’s our job to make them understand how good they can be.”

This weekend’s game at Florida International will be Bowen’s first Sun Belt experience, and he said he’s been surprised after watching film by how well the Panthers have schemed offensively and played to the team’s strengths.

“There’s a lot of guys that don’t do that in this business,” Bowen said. “They do a nice job of having a package, sticking to that package and working on executing it every week.”

Bowen said he thinks a lot of things will change when WKU gets the monkey off its back and breaks the nation’s longest losing streak.

He said he expects that to give the Toppers a greater belief that they can be successful. And until they believe it themselves, Bowen said no one else will.

“We’re not walking in anywhere putting the fear of death into our opponents right now,” he said. “Until we prove differently, it is what it is. We need to go in there and set a tone every game, and start getting people to realize that we’re going to come and play each week.”

— Head Coach Willie Taggart wasn’t available to reporters Wednesday, but the media will have its regular sit-down interview with him Thursday afternoon. I’ll have a quick wrap-up from that interview, as well as more on the FIU game Friday.

The Herald won’t be in Miami for this weekend’s game, but we’ll still have full comments from Taggart and players after the game via phone interview.

Until then, enjoy the weekend, and we’ll see you Saturday.