Joshua Lindsey-USA TODAY Sports

First Look: Western Kentucky

Vanderbilt travels to Bowling Green, Ky., on Saturday to face the Hilltoppers of Western Kentucky. Here is your first look at WKU.


The Hilltoppers (2-1) opened with an impressive 46-14 home win over Rice. In that blowout victory over he Owls, quarterback Mike White threw for 517 yards and three touchdowns. The following week at Alabama White was limited to just 135 yards passing in a 38-10 loss. Most recently WKU beat Miami (Ohio) on the road 31-24. In that game, the Toppers led 24-3 in the third quarter but Miami (Ohio) scored 21 second-half points to get back in the game.  So far this season the Hilltoppers are outscoring their opponents 29-25.   


Western Kentucky has some concerns injury-wise, especially at running back.  At that position, they have the season opening starter Anthony Wales "doubtful" for Vandy with a hamstring injury.  D'Andre Ferby, a Nashville native, was the backup running back in the Topper's opening game. He is questionable for Vandy with a shoulder injury. Leon Allen, who had 14 career starts at RB and rushed for 345 yards in a game against Army in 2014, has been out since sustaining an injury in a game last year.  WKU experienced another unfortunate loss when veteran left tackle Forrest Lamp suffered a leg injury last week.  Lamp is out indefinitely. Prior to the season, the Toppers lost quarterback Nelson Fishback for the season.  He was the primary backup for now graduated prolific passer, Brandon Doughty.  Senior Marcus Ward, one of Western Kentucky's starting safeties, is questionable for Vandy for an "undisclosed" reason. 


The team sits at 1-2, 25 percent of the way through the season. Most thought the first four games presented the 'Dores with an opportunity to pick up some early momentum and maybe even win all four of those contests. The 'Dores need to rise to the occasion and win this game. A record of 2-2 is still better than 1-3 anytime. Vanderbilt's players shouldn't be moping over the Tech embarrassment. Yes, it stunk, but it's just one game. The best medicine for something like what happened on Saturday is to win the next game! Vandy's defense absolutely has to do better for the 'Dores to have a chance. On offense, they've got to convert on more third downs so they can sustain scoring drives. Derek Mason and his staff also need to do better.  This inability to win a game after winning a game is getting old.  Consider that Mason is 8-9 after losses.  Not sure what is going on that the team can’t win back-to-back games.  I think the staff needs to evaluate what they’ve done practice-wise in the weeks following wins.  As for the WKU game, just get back to the basics: Get in the end zone often and keep WKU out of the end zone!  

Saturday's game starts at 3:30 pm CT.   There are still over 3,000 tickets remaining. Tickets are available for as low as $25 at official WKU ticket office: Top Stories