The Western Kentucky rivalry against Middle Tennessee State goes back to 1980 but the Toppers are hoping to reverse a bad trend from recent years on Saturday in a game between the two schools in Bowling Green.
WKU trails Middle Tennessee 34-29-1 in the all-time series and has lost five of the past six meetings.
"We've brought it up a little recently," WKU coach Jeff Brohm said of the rivalry. "I think that they understand Middle Tennessee beat us last year. They're one of the top teams on our side of the division.
". . . . They've had our number a little recently so we have to find a way to get over the hump."
The two teams didn't play in 2013 but Middle Tennessee rallied from a 24-14 early deficit to tie the game last season and win 50-47 in triple overtime on Sept. 13 in Murfreesboro, Tenn.
Western hasn't won against MTSU in Bowling Green since a 31-16 win in 1989. Since than game, the Toppers are 0-4 in Bowling Green including a 34-29 loss in 2012.
"This is a very important game for our team," Brohm said.