The Towel Rack
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The Towel Rack

WKU Football: Tops vs. Indiana Gameday Information

After the bizarre 2020 college football season, WKU found a way to scratch and claw to a bowl game appearance and a 5–7 overall final record. With a team that many thought could compete for a conference championship, the Tops finished in the middle of the pack.

However, with a momentous offseason with tons of huge “gets” and “coups”, the most significant of which were Houston Baptist transfer quarterback Bailey Zappe signing with the Tops and superstar defensive end DeAngelo Malone deciding to forego a realistic shot at the NFL and stay on campus for a fifth year, the Tops seem poised to be a legitimate threat to make a title run.

WKU is 1–1 after a 59 point offensive display and a Houchens Industries Stadium touchdown record against the UT-Martin Skyhawks, followed by a near miraculous comeback from 21 down to the Army Black Knights in West Point. That may not seem that big of a deal, but Army has its best team in years and will likely start the season at least 5–0. The competition bumps another notch talent wise this week with Big Ten foe Indiana coming to Bowling Green.

It’s still pretty early season football and hope springs eternal. We’re starting to get to know each team a little bit now that everyone has played some quality competition. If you need to know any of the game information, look no further — we have you covered.

Location

Houchens Industries-LT Smith Stadium at Feix Field

Capacity: 22,113

Set near the bottom of a steep hill, LT Smith Stadium has housed the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers since 1968.

Time

Saturday, September 25, 2021 7:00 PM CST

Weather Forecast

Source: Weather.com

Don’t be confused by this graphic. Game time is at 7 PM. Expect high 60s, but as it gets darker, expect temperature to drop 8–15 degrees before the end of the game. Depending on how the game goes, Topper fans might want to layer back up as temperatures drop.

TV

CBS Sports Network

Dave Ryan, Aaron Murray, and Jenny Dell

Radio

Hilltopper IMG Sports Network

Randy Lee (Play by Play), Tyler Eaton & Terry Obee (Analyst), & Lexi Schweinert (Sideline) on the call

Also, you can listen to the radio call anywhere in the world on the WKU Gameday App!

Gameday Information

WKU:

WKU Athletics Website

WKU 2021 Media Guide

WKU/Indiana Preview

WKU Blackout

Indiana:

Indiana Athletics

Indiana @ WKU Game Notes

B1G Football Preseason Power Rankings

Betting Lines from Sportsline.com

Indiana -9

O/U 64

ESPN.com Match-up Predictor

Indiana-58.3% chance to win

Current Records

WKU: 1–1 (0–0 C-USA)

Indiana: 1–2 (0–1 B1G)

Last Time Out…

WKU put up an incredible fight against Army. Getting down 14–0, making a run at it to be down 21–14 at the half, getting down 35–14, and nearly coming back to lose with less than a minute left 38–35 was an incredible showing. WKU almost defeated the entire purpose of the triple option. With a huge lead, Army’s option attack generally finishes the game and either keeps scoring or starves the opponent of opportunity. In this case, quarterback Bailey Zappe went wild in the fourth quarter, throwing three touchdowns in a matter of a few minutes. Army ultimately kicked a field goal to go up ten that ultimately gave the Black Knights enough cushion after surviving three different onside kick attempts by the Tops.

Indiana got out to a nice start against #8 Cincinnati, but got blasted 38–10 to finish the game, losing 38–24. IU is now 1–2 on the short season, but that ugly record is deceptive. Playing two top ten foes really can make anyone look bad. However, IU showed its prowess against a typical Group of Five by slaughtering Idaho 56–14 in the second week of the season. However, Quarterback Michael Penix, Jr. has not been as good as he was last year, not even throwing for 200 yards against Idaho. He did get to 224 yards passing against Cincinnati, but it took him 40 passes to get there. Clearly, he is the offensive key for IU to get going. If he’s decent, they’re a top 25 team. The IU defense is loaded at every level with surefire pro prospects. IU was picked to finish as the fourth best team in the Big Ten this season.

Coaches

Tyson Helton- 3rd Season- 15–12 (15–12 Overall)

Tom Allen- 6th Season- 25–24 (25–24 Overall)

Series

Indiana lead 3–0 (1–0 at WKU)

Last Meeting

In a close game in Bloomington in 2015, WKU actually led 28–17 at halftime. However, IU came roaring back with 21 in the third and WKU was only able to cut it to three points before time expired on the Tops. Both teams combined for over 1,200 yards of offense, with Brandon Doughty throwing for nearly 500 yards on his own.

Relevant Reading

Conference USA Preseason Media Prediction

Keys to Victory vs. Indiana

Injury Report

WKU

Out for Season: RB Jakairi Moses

Questionable to Probable: TE Joshua Simon (foot) seems to be fine? We had reports from “reliable” credentialed media that he was out for the season, but Helton has said everyone important is ready to go. Confirming Helton’s typical coachspeak, according to multiple sources, WKU has “no major injuries to report”.

Indiana

Playing Hurt: QB Michael Penix, Jr. had his hand x-rayed, and he is cleared to play. Rumor has had it from IU sources that Penix has had nagging injuries dating back to late last year against Ohio State.

Out for Season: CB Christopher Keys (ACL)

Excitement Level — 8.5

Dang it. This was going to be a ten if a) The Tops had beaten Army OR b) If Indiana came in ranked. It’s still pretty exciting, and this is the most interesting match-up at L.T. Smith Stadium since WKU lost to Vanderbilt 31–30 in Overtime in early 2016. If WKU fans can’t get excited for this, what will they ever get excited for? This is what you want! It’s a Blackout. It’s going to be an official or unofficial sellout, depending on whether all tickets are sold or if more students come in than is considered “capacity” for their allotment. One way or another, pack it in, baby! It’s standing room only! Stand up and Cheer for Dear Old Western.

Go Tops! We’ll be providing live coverage and reaction. If you made it to the Houch, please send us your best pictures from campus, tailgating, and in-game via Twitter at @TheTowelRackWKU or on our Facebook page and we’ll share.

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