Toppers return to work after win

Andrew Robinson

Monday’s media luncheon was a bit different than the previous 26.

For a change, Head Coach Willie Taggart discussed a WKU win and the Toppers’ offensive line broke their silence.

Obviously, the hot topic was the program’s first win since a victory over Murray State on Sept. 20, 2008, but Taggart also talked about where the program goes from here.

“We didn’t come here just to win one ball game. I didn’t come here to coach just to win one ball game,” Taggart said. “I told our guys we have to deal with success like we deal with failure and get back to work.”

Taggart soaked up the win most of Sunday, returning to his office on Sunday morning to review Saturday’s film. He said by dinner time, it was back to business and focusing on North Texas.

“We want a lot more wins around here, so we need to get back to work,” Taggart said.

As for the offensive line, they spoke in two groups of three after making the decision in fall camp to remain focused and not speak to the media.

Senior tackle Preston King said there was a lot of pressure to win with the 26-game losing streak constantly looming.

“When you play football enough, you learn you can’t worry about the past,” King said. “It’s really a one-week thing. It’s always going to be in the back of your mind, you’re hearing it from all directions — the streak — and everything.”

Now, the team is hearing different things on campus.

“Everybody is in a better mood around campus,” redshirt freshman Sean Conway said. “Everyone is coming up to you giving you high-fives, smiling. There’s that energy on campus again.”

Conway said with around two minutes to go in the game, Taggart told the team they could celebrate. That’s when it really began to sink in, he said.

Taggart also revealed some encouragement his 8-year-old son, Willie Jr., offered last week.

“He told those guys ‘winners never quit,'” Taggart said. “Those guys didn’t quit.”

Taggart said Willie Jr. got the quote from a book by former U.S. women’s soccer player Mia Hamm.

WKU now turns their attention to North Texas. The Mean Green will play under Interim Head Coach Mike Canales for the first time Saturday after Todd Dodge was fired last week with a 6-37 record at North Texas.