USA Today Sports

What We Learned for Western Kentucky in the opener; 5 takeaways from the win over Rice

Western Kentucky University had an impressive start to the football season on Thursday night with a 46-14 beatdown of Rice. Here are five things we can take away from the game for the Hilltoppers.

1. Doughty-esque passing game

Brandon who? OK, so Western Kentucky fans won't soon forget Brandon Doughty and all the passing records he set but the Mike White-era sure started with a feel of the Doughty-era. White was flinging it all over the field in the 46-14 win over Rice. He was 25 of 31 passing and became just the third QB to ever throw for more than 500 yards at WKU with 517 yards. He also had three TDs. I doubt even WKU coach Jeff Brohm and staff expected a 500-yard game in the opener.

2. Wide receiver position still stacked

WKU still has plenty of weapons on the offensive side of the ball with a pair of wide receivers over 100 yards. Taywan Taylor caught five passes for 165 yards and Nicholas Norris had seven catches for 147 yards and two TDs. Nacarius Fant caught a career-high five passes for 44 yards and the other TDs. There's plenty of talent and explosive players left in the offensive arsenal.

3. Brohm will be a hot name

What Jeff Brohm has done in three years has been remarkable. The Toppers have now won 18 of their last 20 games, have won 13 straight conference games and have now won 11 in a row at home. It's pretty amazing folks and the numbers the Toppers put up are the reason we'll likely hear Brohm's name on the national scene. Relax, Brohm like it in Bowling Green. And why not!

4. Defense, defense, defense

The defense looked much improved folks. A safety on the first series and then three straight punts for Rice as the Toppers made plays all over the field on defense. T.J. McCollum was the guy on this night with 12 tackles and a force fumble, but it appears there could be a handful of guys lead the team in tackles on any given day.

5. Sweet Home Alabama

It's going to be a fun week and after that performance there will be some national hype about the Western Kentucky visit to Tuscaloosa, Ala., to face the Crimson Tide. The Tops should be able to compete.

WKU Insider Top Stories