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WKU #11 Ellie Belcher and #20 Ansley Cate go head-to-head with University of Texas at El Paso goalkeeper #30 Mariah Scott in an attack on goal on Sept. 22, 2022.  WKU upset the Miners 1-0.
WKU Soccer draws versus FIU
September 30, 2023

WKU Football Prepares for battle against no. 6 Ohio State

Emilee Arnold
Redshirt senior quarterback Austin Reed throws the ball during WKU’s game against Houston Christian on Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023. WKU won 52-22.

WKU football coaches sat down with the media on Monday to discuss this Saturday’s highly anticipated game on the road against the No. 6 Ohio State Buckeyes.

“ Definitely going to be a tremendous challenge, but a challenge our team is excited to play in.” Head Coach Tyson Helton said. “ Looking forward to the opportunity to play a really, really good Ohio State team.” 

WKU is looking to make program history on Saturday, as the Hilltoppers look to pick up their first win against a Big Ten opponent. WKU is 0-9 against the conference, including last year’s heartbreaking overtime loss to the Indiana Hoosiers.  


Ohio State’s defense has been the ultimate bright spot in the early stages of the Buckeyes season. OSU has held their first two opponents to a combined ten points, which is tied for second in the nation. The Buckeye defense ranks sixth in total defense so far this year, allowing only 193.5 yards per game.

“ Like our defense, I think they make a lot of stuff happen,” Offensive coordinator Drew Hollingshead said. “ It’s a test every single week, you see those guys prepared and well coached.”

Offensively, however, Ohio State has played below their always high expectations. The Buckeyes, which finished second in total offense in 2022, have been somewhat lackluster in the start of their 2023 campaign. The main offensive concern for the Buckeyes comes at the quarterback position, as junior  Kyle Mccord has been put in a tough position, filling the shoes of Heisman finalist C.J. Stroud. Through the first two games Mccord has thrown for 497 yards, three touchdowns and one interception.

Even with the early struggles offensively, Ohio State still brings an immensely talented offense to the table. Junior Marvin Harrison Jr., who many consider to be the best receiver in the country, headlines the talent while other guys like running back Treyveon Henderson and wide receiver Emeka Egbuka also create problems for any defensive coordinator.

“ We’ll try to do a good job of being able to do what we want to emphasize, which is stop the run, get our takeaways and be great on third down,” Defensive coordinator Tyson Summers said. “ If we can do that and make them kick field goals we’ll have a chance to be successful.”


Ohio State opens up as 29 point favorites according to ESPN. I’m very confident that the Hilltoppers will not leave Columbus with a 29 point loss. WKU will compete, especially early, in this game and create plenty of problems for the Buckeyes on both sides of the ball. And while I do expect Ohio State to ultimately win the battle, I’d be shocked if WKU doesn’t keep this game within three scores. 

Football reporter Jake McMahon can be reached at [email protected].

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