Coach Elson: It's always great anytime you get a win, but the significance of this win is what made it special. It was our first win against a D-1A team, and to have it come against such a big rival means a lot. I felt vindicated for all of the work we've done, it's nice to know that we can compete at this level.
WKU Insider: There was some great support from the Hilltopper Nation against MTSU. The celebration after the game was exciting and fun. How do you bring the team back to earth after such a huge win?
Coach Elson: Our staff as a whole knows we have to keep an even keel and keep chugging along and I feel we've done a good job of relaying that to our team. Our schedule doesn't get any easier with BGSU and Ball State back to back. We have a goal and we fell we still have a lot to prove. We know that this is just one step.
WKU Insider: The MTSU win is a program builder. How do feel this win will help build the program.
Coach Elson: Well, this is just the first step. Right now, these next two years we're working on laying the foundation. Every win against a team like MTSU or BGSU or Ball State is part of what we're building. A win like this goes a long way in recruiting as well, these teams are recruiting the same areas for the same prospective student athletes and when we can win like this and show we can continue our wining ways on the 1A level we're no longer fighting an uphill battle.
WKU Insider: K.J. Black came in and gave the team a spark. How close is K.J. to grabbing hold of the position and being the stater or do feel he plays better coming off the bench?
Coach Elson: We are going to keep the same sort of rotation. Both quarterbacks are going to play a lot and whoever has the ‘hot hand', so to speak, may be the guy we'll lean on a little more for the time being. We've got two pretty good quarterbacks and I feel no need to really shake things up or change what we've been doing too much.
WKU Insider: I called the Middle Tennessee post game radio show with a few a questions about the game. Two questions I asked were how surprised were they that WKU came in and could physically match up with MTSU also were they surprised with the talent we have on our team. The answer was they were surprised and as far as he was concerned, our defense was better than the Louisville defense they had faced. What do you think about these comments regarding the Hilltoppers?
Coach Elson:Well, that's been one of our goals all along. We thought that even though we were moving up that teams would probably still think of us as not being on that level yet. So one goal here was to surprise a few teams and show everyone else on this level that, hey, we're going to bring to bring it. We're to be a physical team no matter who we play and we're trying to make a statement.
WKU Insider: How is Marion Rumph doing now and how long do you think it will be before he can get back on the field?
Coach Elson: Marion's doing fine. He's on crutches right now because he can't put any weight on one foot. With an injury like his, its hard, to gauge the recovery time and when he might be back in action. It makes it really nice that we that bye week coming up and he'll be able to get some time to treat it before we'll have to evaluate it again.
WKU Insider: The defense stood out Thursday night and I have read the MTSU offense was confused with the 3-4. That may be true to some extent but I thought the defense played with heart and guts all night! Can you comment on how well you feel the defense played?
Coach Elson: I was very proud of the way our defense came through time and time again for this team. When our offense was struggling our defense was there to step it up and pick up the slack. We've got a lot of veterans guys on that side of the ball and their leadership showed. We've always sort of hung our hat on being very physical and playing with attitude on that side of the ball and we're taking that with us to 1A.
WKU Insider: Who were the players of the game for the Hilltoppers?
Coach Elson: The offensive and defensive players of the game were, Tyrell Hayden and Blake Boyd. The special teams player of the game was Jihad Morris.
WKU Insider: WKU has another big game on the road this week against Bowling Green State University.What can you tell us about the Falcons?
Coach Elson: BGSU is a good team. Up to this point, other than Florida, they'll probably be the best team we've faced. They beat Minnesota and put up a fight against Michigan State. I know they like to pass the ball a lot and pretty solid, really on both sides of the ball. We know that we better come prepared and ready to play mistake free football.
WKU Insider: Four games into the season the Hilltoppers own a 3-1 mark. Is the team performing about where you thought they would?
Coach Elson: Coming into the season it tough to gauge where we were without playing a game against another opponent. You couldn't ask for much better record than 3-1. This is where we thought we could be after four games, but at the same time, I'm not really satisfied at all by the way we've played. We still have a lot we can improve on.
WKU Insider: As always Coach, I am going to ask do you have a message or anything you would like to say to the Hilltopper Nation.
Coach Elson: There were some doubters after our first game and some people questioning whether we had made the right decision to move up and I told everyone to be patient and you would be proud. I hope last week's win shows we can and will compete at this level.
WKU Insider:Coach Elson, thank you for your time and good luck this weekend!
Hilltopper Notes: Saturday's game against BGSU will kickoff at 5:00 PM central. Fans unable to attend the game can still watch the Hilltoppers in action on WNKY- TV, channel 7 on local cable.
Hilltopper captains for the game are #90 Dan Clines, #75 Zach Thuney, #70 Cody Hughes, #85 Jamar Jones, and #13 Andre Lewis.