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WKU Football prepares to head to Troy

Emilee Arnold
Redshirt senior running back Davion Ervin-Poindexter (2) carries the ball under defense during the game between WKU and Houston Christian on Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023. WKU won 52-22.

WKU football coaches sat down with the media on Monday to discuss the Hilltoppers upcoming game against the Troy Trojans.

“Excited about this week, playing a really good opponent in Troy.” Head Coach Tyson Helton said. “Great challenge for our football team, again another one I think our guys are excited to play.”

Helton has a chance to lead the Hilltoppers to a winning non-conference record, something he is yet to do in his time on the hill. WKU has gone 2-3, 1-3, 1-3 and 2-2 in the first four years of Helton’s tenure. 

WKU will travel to Troy with revenge on their minds. The Trojans came to Bowling Green, Kentucky last season and left with a 34-27 win against the Hilltoppers. 

“To come in here and beat us, that said a lot.” Helton said. “To get the opportunity to take another crack at it, that’s what you like about college football.”

WKU finds themselves in the midst of arguably their toughest two game stretch of the season. The Hilltoppers are looking to get back on track after taking their first loss of the season on the road against Ohio State.

“We took a tough loss against a really good Ohio State team.” Helton said. “To beat Troy we’re going to have to clean up the mistakes we had in the previous game for sure.”

Troy fell victim to a tough early schedule as the reigning Sun Belt Champions head into Saturday with a 1-2 mark. Following a 48-30 opening day win against Stephen F. Austin, the Trojans have lost their last two against Kansas State and James Madison. 

Troy came into the 2023 campaign with a new man in charge of the defense. Greg Gasparato took over the Trojan defense in the offseason and through the first three games Troy ranks 47th in total defense, allowing 309 yards a game and 10 total touchdowns. 

“They play really, really solid defensively, there’s not many holes.” Offensive Coordinator Drew Hollingshead said. “From a defensive standpoint, really buttoned up, love the way they play, love the physicality. It’s really impressive to see.”

Offensively, the Trojans will look to bounce back after two tough outings. The Trojans only scored a combined 27 points in their last two games. Overall, the Trojans rank 74th in total offense averaging 382 yards per game and 8 total touchdowns.

“Joe Craddock, the offensive coordinator, I think does a great job.” Defensive coordinator Tyson Summers said. “They’re a talented group. We have a big challenge ahead of us but it’s going to be a great opportunity.”

WKU will kick off at Troy Saturday at 11 a.m. CT.

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

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