WKU Football to play in R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl


Arthur H. Trickett-Wile

Western Kentucky University Hilltoppers quarterback Austin Reed (16) celebrates a touchdown with his teammates during their match against the Troy University Trojans Saturday evening, Oct. 1, 2022 on Jimmy Feix Field on the WKU campus in Bowling Green, Ky. Hilltoppers fell to the Trojans 34-27.

Camden Bush, Football Reporter

WKU Football announced Saturday that they will be squaring off with the South Alabama Jaguars in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl. The game will take place Wednesday, Dec. 21 and will be broadcasted on ESPN at 8:15 p.m. CT.

The two teams will meet in Caesar’s Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana, which is the home of the NFL’s New Orleans Saints.

The Hilltoppers received the bowl bid after ending the season with a thrilling 32-31 win over FAU. The win brought WKU’s record to 8-5 on the season and 6-2 in conference play. The Hilltoppers are one of six C-USA teams to make a bowl game this season. 

The Jaguars concluded the season 10-2 and 7-1 in Sun-Belt conference play. South Alabama finished just behind no. 24 Troy in the Sun-Belt conference. 

Troy was the one shared opponent on the season between the Jaguars and Hilltoppers. Troy defeated South Alabama 10-6 and WKU 34-27. South Alabama’s only other loss came at no. 18 UCLA, where they lost 32-31. 

Going into the matchup, South Alabama opened the week as an eight-point favorite, according to ESPN. 

The Hilltoppers may be without a huge piece of their team in the bowl game; however, graduate quarterback Austin Reed, who threw for the second most yards in FBS football this season, announced that he is transferring from WKU. 

It is unclear at the time whether Reed will play in the R+L carriers New Orleans Bowl. 

This year’s bowl game marks the fourth year in a row that the Hilltoppers have made a bowl game since head coach Tyson Helton took over. The Hilltoppers have also made a bowl game in nine of their last eleven seasons. 

WKU will be looking to repeat their success from last year’s bowl game where they defeated Appalachian State in the RoofClaim.com Boca Raton Bowl.

Football reporter Camden Bush can be reached at [email protected].