Talkin' Hilltoppers From Someone Who Does

Western Kentucky finished 2005 with a 6-5 record, but overall they have an impressive history. They won the National Championship in 2002 and they have 10 conference titles. Head Coach David Elson has a career 24-12 record. QB Justin Haddix is 3rd all-time on WKU's total offense list and RB Lerron Moore ranks 5th in career rush yards. This week I talked to the Voice of the Hilltoppers Mike Legg.

Dave McMahon -- How often does Western Kentucky play big-time Division I-A opponents?

Mike Legg -- Since 2001, WKU has scheduled a I-A opponent once a year... Wisconsin in 2001, Kansas State in 2002 and 2004 and Auburn in 2003 and 2005... The philosophy is to balance the schedule by playing up once and down once each season.

DM -- Justin Haddix is a very gifted quaterback... what kind of leader is he?

ML -- To have started every game of your college career and post a 24-12 record, you have to have earned the respect of your teammates. I think a combination of experience and seeing the end of the line has made him an even better leader. He is very motivated to lead this team to a national title in his senior season.

DM -- The running game is led by Lerron Moore, is he a speed guy or does he like to run over people?

ML -- He has shown the ability to do both. He does not possess blazing speed, but is an exciting open field runner who can break tackles to get into the open field. What makes him a great back is that he does not lose many yards (just 29 in 174 carries in 2005).

DM -- What about the defense?

ML -- It lost all three of its starters on the defensive line and both of its outside linebackers. However, WKU likes to rotate D-linemen to keep them fresh. As a result, those who return are not without valuable game experience. The bright side of the defense is the secondary, which returns a couple of very good players... FS Marion Rumph and RCB Dennis Mitchell.

DM -- What one thing stands out in your mind when you reviewed your Georgia football notes?

ML -- Who won't be playing against WKU.

DM -- Is everyone on the WKU staff heading to Georgia Basketball Coach Dennis Felton's house the day before the game?

ML -- I plan to stop by unannounced and ask to sleep on his couch Friday night.

DM -- One of your greatest former Western Kentucky players is Rod Smart... does "He Hate Me" come back to Bowling Green?

ML -- I have never met Rod. He played here before I was hired.

DM -- What did you think when he came up with the name "He Hate Me?"

ML -- I had to ask what he meant by it. After reading his explanation, I'm still not 100% sure.

DM -- What is something really cool about Bowling Green, Kentucky that not many people outside the area know about?

ML -- The Corvette is manufactured here.

DM -- What is the story behind your mascot, Big Red?

ML -- Big Red was born in 1979 and was the brainchild of a WKU student named Ralph Carey. Rather than have a Hilltopper costume (anyone asociated with WKU is a Hilltopper because the campus sits on a hill), it plays off of our primary color. Legendary basketball coach E.A. Diddle was famous for waving a red towel on the bench during games.

DM -- Thank you for your time and enjoy your stay in Athens.

Dawg Post Top Stories