A notebook of Western Kentucky football items as the Toppers prepare for the Miami Beach Bowl

WKU Insider has a notebook of Western Kentucky University football items as the Toppers prepare for the Miami Beach Bowl. The Toppers will play South Florida on Monday afternoon at Marlins Park.

Toppers practice in Miami has 'been really good'

Western Kentucky continues to prepare for the Miami Beach Bowl and South Florida in Miami. WKU coach Jeff Brohm said the first coupel of days of practice in the sun have been "really good."

The Toppers will have a walk-through on Sunday and will play the Bulls on Monday at 2:30 p.m.

"We've had two good days of practice here," Brohm said. "I think our guys are starting to get locked in. They understand the importance of this football game. Really when it comes down to a bowl game like this, the teams are going to be equally matched, so it's going to be down to who wants it the most, who's going to come out and compete to the end."

Brohm said he's not worried about his team's focus, but noted they are "having fun."

"I think our guys have been having fun, you know we've got a good set up," he said. "Other than today it's been warm, we've got a nice resort hotel we're at. Our guys enjoy themselves, they enjoy being around each other.  For some guys it's the last hurrah, and I think they want to make sure they enjoy the team chemistry we have, which hopefully carries over to a bowl win."  

WKU Helps Feed South Florida

The Western Kentucky and South Florida teams were focused on something other than football on Saturday. Both teams visited Feeding South Florida. Each team was assigned a warehouse where players, coaches and staff from both teams would help sort and arrange donated food, which later would be distributed to families in-need in the Miami area.

WKU's defensive lineman Gavin Rocker said the Toppers were excited to be participating.

"This isn't just a media event or an event that we said that we did," Rocker said. "You can actually tell that we are getting work done, so I am very glad that we are doing this activity."

Doughty calls game a 'big test'

It's the final game of the storied career for quarterback Brandon Doughty.

And he says the game against the Bulls will be a "major test" for the Toppers. Western Kentucky is trying to finish off one of its best seasons in school history with a second straight bowl win.

"They're really good on defense, and I'm not just saying that," Doughty said. "They are fantastic on defense. We're going to have to do some things that are a little unorthodox. We've got to execute the game plan, we're not fully done with it yet.

"But we will be ready when game time comes around. We are ready to kind of test ourselves against a tough opponent closer to their home than our home, it's going to be a challenge for us, and I'd like to see our team react."

Schnellenberger to flip coin

Former Louisville coach Howard Schnellenberger, who coached Brohm when he played for the Cardinals, will administor the coin clip.

Schnellenberger, a legend in the Miami area, is also the former coach at Miami U., and Florida Atlantic.

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