Friday, August 7, 2015

Western Kentucky Hilltoppers Season Preview

The Hilltoppers won the inaugural Popeyes Bahamas bowl and ended its season on a five-game winning streak to finish its inaugural Conference USA campaign with an 8-5 record. WKU’s victory represents the program’s first FBS bowl win.

The Hilltoppers 67-66 overtime win at then-No. 19 Marshall in the regular season finale marked the program’s first win over a ranked team in the FBS era.

In 2014, WKU became the first FBS Team to have a 4,500 yard passer and 1,500 yard rusher as QB Brandon Doughty threw for 4,830 and RB Leon Allen rushed for 1,542. WKU was also the fourth team in FBS history to have a 4,000-yard passer and 1,500-yard rusher in the same season. Baylor (2011), Tulsa (2008) and Oregon State (2003) are the only programs in FBS history to have two individuals hit those marks in the same season.

Doughty led the FBS with 4,830 yards and 49 passing TDs for the season. Doughty threw at least 4 TDs on six occasions last season and for 5 TDs five different times. Only five quarterbacks since 1956 have thrown for more touchdowns than Doughty’s 49, and only 15 quarterbacks since 1956 have thrown for more yards than Doughty’s 4,830. Doughty enters 2015 as the FBS’ active career leader in passing yards (7,800) and TD passes (63).

Allen was third in C-USA with 1,542 rushing yards and scored 16 touchdowns (fourth-best in WKU history). WKU has had a running back reach the 1,500 yard mark in each of the last five seasons, becoming just the second program in NCAA history to have a 1,500- yard rusher in five-consecutive seasons. WKU is joined on the list by Northern Illinois (2002-06).

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