SIX-PACK: With Chad Bishop

Bowling Green Daily News beat writer weighs in on the Hilltoppers-Tigers showdown this weekend

SIX-PACK

1. What or how has Western Kentucky turned things around after the 0-4 start this season?


I get asked this a lot, and really, it's just simply playing better football. Receivers are running the right routes, linemen are blocking the right guys and the defense is tackling better. The team will tell you it's about believing and coming together as a brotherhood, which may be true and is good in terms of college football clichés, but the execution and fundamentals on the field have been a complete change from what we saw in the first three losses. The season really began to turn in a last-minute loss at home to Arkansas State – the first-place team in the Sun Belt.

2. How would you describe Bobby Rainey's running style and was he a guy who had a shot at winding up in a BCS program?

Bobby Rainey's running style is relentless. If you make your way down to the sidelines Saturday, you think there's no way this kid could compete at the FBS level – which may be why he wasn't highly recruited out of Griffin, Ga. But the senior runs hard, kind of like a Michael Turner or a Warrick Dunn. He rarely goes down on the first hit, and his small stature works to his advantage, patiently waiting behind his o-line and sneaking through the hole.

3. What makes Andrew Jackson such a tackling machine for the WKU defense?

The kid just plays hard. Talk about a late bloomer. The sophomore only had offers from Florida A&M and WKU coming out of Lakeland, Fla., and barely played as a freshman due to academic clearinghouse issues. Now, he's become the team's statistical leader with a nose for the football and a hard-hitting style you don't often see in the Sun Belt. Coaches often speak about how Jackson is in his "Happy Place" when he's on the football field. His teammates won't talk to him after a loss because of, how coach Willie Taggart put it, "He looks like he'll rip your head off." He's a different breed.

4. What ways can the Hilltoppers pester LSU and maybe even keep this game closer than most are predicting?

I don't know if they can necessarily pester LSU, but they can frustrate them by controlling the clock, gaining first downs and keeping the LSU offense off the field. You could make the case that these are two similar offenses that like to run the ball first and pass second, thus making for a low-scoring contest. If the Tops don't go three-and-out every offensive possession, I'm sure the LSU defense will begin to wonder just how competitive the visitors are and that's a battle won for the Hilltoppers.

5. Have you spoken to defensive coordinator Lance Guidry to see what his emotions are about coaching at Tiger Stadium?

No, we've just talked about LSU's offense and two quarterbacks. If Guidry is concerned with his personal feelings toward LSU, I'm sure he'll keep them private. Although outspoken and candid, Guidry usually keeps personal matters – such as the Janzen Jackson situation – off the record.

6. How do you see this game playing out?

I honestly don't see this game being as brutal as some might think. Both teams have bigger fish to fry down the line – LSU playing for a SEC and national title and WKU playing for an SBC title and bowl eligibility the next two weeks. My feeling is the Tigers build a comfortable first half lead, 35-0-ish, let the offense rest in the second half and put the young kids in on defense in the fourth quarter. Maybe WKU gets a late offensive TD or an early score on special teams, but I see LSU winning 42-7.


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