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September 28, 2013

Triple-Option-Less



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There was a sense of déjà vu when Navy took their opening drive 67 yards on 10 plays and took an early 7-0 lead in the first quarter.

For a few moments, Hilltopper fans were having flashbacks of two years ago when the Midshipmen stomped all over the Fiex Field turf and left town with a 40-14 victory.

However, 52 minutes later, Navy still only had seven points on the board and could only muster 183 yards of total offense.

The final score: WKU 19, Navy 7.

Western Kentucky put forth their best defensive effort on Saturday against an offense that has stifled many opposing defenses over the years, this one included.

After a shaky first series, the WKU defense tightened up and played with reckless abandon and put together a collection of highlights that would make the most lamen football fan go, "Oh!"

"The President of Destruction" Andrew Jackson laid down numerous slobber-knockin' hits, Jonathan Dowling recorded his first two interceptions this season, and Xavius Boyd recorded a safety when he hit Navy quarterback John Hendrick so hard that he flew backwards three-yards out of the back of the endzone.

You can thank one man for Saturday's defensive performance - Bobby Petrino. Yes, seriously. No, really, I'm not kidding.

Defensive coordinator Nick Holt said it best during the postgame press conference, "coach (Petrino) did a great job of organizing our gameplan to let us have the time in spring ball and fall camp to have 15 minutes a day of working the option principles so it wasn't new to our kids. He did a really nice job of letting us prepare."

Offensively, it was a struggle early on, but things took shape in the second half as running back Antonio Andrews served as the catalyst on the offensive production line, rushing for 98 of his 182 rushing yards in the final 30 minutes and scoring both his touchdowns in that stanza.

When Andrews wasn't running, quarterback Brandon Doughty (who was back in the saddle) was throwing darts to his receivers, converting third downs, and keeping the chains moving while the Hilltoppers preserved their lead.

Doughty was efficient, finishing 25-of-31 for 198 yards, he even scrambled on a couple of occasions to the delight of all Hilltopper fans and certain members of the coaching staff.

Petrino summed up the current state of the WKU offense with this, "we're a little different on offense, we're running the ball and we had to just stick to it today and work hard at moving the sticks, work hard at working the clock when we had the lead. I would've loved to take a couple of shots there, but that's not what we needed to do to win the game. We are getting better in the passing game, our young receivers are getting better, our timing is getting better, but right now we're running the offense through the running game."

While the passing game continues to improve, it's always good to have one of the best in the nation as an option in the backfield.

Bobby Petrino


Jonathan Dowling and Andrew Jackson


Antonio Andrews, Brandon Doughty, and Joel German


Nick Holt


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