Willie Taggart’s Name Begins To Float Amongst CFB Head Coach Openings | WKU Connection

John David Mercer-US PRESSWIRE

Here at Western Kentucky we love Willie Taggart, he took a struggling Western Kentucky program and laid the foundation for a program that is built to last (Minus Mike Sanford). Willie took over a 0-12 WKU squad in 2009 to winning 2 games in his first season on the Hill and would finish his next 2 seasons with a 7-5 record (2011-2012) before taking over as the head man at South Florida.

In 2018 to much surprise Willie landed the job at arguably one of the Top 10 college football programs of all time in Florida State. Taggart’s stay in Tallahassee would be short lived, as he would be fired after a 9-12 start not even completing his 2nd season at Florida State.

At South Florida (2013-2016) Willie took a mediocre program over and won 10 games in his final season before taking the job at Oregon. While at Oregon Taggart would have a below average season to Oregon standards and finish 7-5 (2017).

With the 2019 college football season winding down chaos ensues, coaches begin to get fired and players enter their names into the NCAA transfer portal. This offseason Taggart’s name has been floated around programs like USF and ODU according to reports.

It is not known yet if Taggart is looking to jump back into coaching, but when he is, there will definitely be a spot for him.

Best of luck to Willie.

WKU vs. ODU Quick Guide | WKU Connection

The Virginian-Pilot

Saturday night at 5 PM CST Western Kentucky and ODU will face off in a battle of CUSA foes.

Old Dominion is coming off 3 consecutive loses looking to bounce back against the Hilltoppers. While Western Kentucky looks to keep the momentum rolling from a big home win against UAB last week.

This game is huge for Western Kentucky, a win here on the road and we can start to think about the Hilltoppers as legitimate contenders in CUSA East.

TV

ESPN+ (Now you know, don’t tweet me)

Vegas odds

Currently: WKU -3.5 Total 44.5


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WKU climbs in USA Today Poll | WKU Connection

Image via http://www.letmebfrankblog.com

After week 5 USA Today has a new ranking of all 130 college football teams. WKU is ranked 103 which is the up 14 spots after the wins vs UAB. In week 1 USA Today had WKU at 114, week 2 they had WKU ranked 130, week 3 they had WKU 116, and in week 4 WKU was ranked 117, in week 5 WKU was ranked 117. With WKU playing ODU at ODU this week, WKU could continue to rise with another win. WKU ranks 8th in Conference USA ahead of Rice, Middle Tennessee, Charlotte, FIU, UTSA and UTEP.

The full rankings are linked below:

Old Dominion – 100th

Army – 35th

Charlotte – 114th

Marshall -72nd

FAU – 80th

Arkansas – 108th

Southern Miss – 73rd

Middle Tennessee – 113th

https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaf/2019/09/30/college-football-ncaa-re-rank-alabama-ohio-state-surge-past-clemson/3812381002/

Week 5 At Old Dominion

Photo via wkusports.com

Old Dominion starts play in 2019 with 2 power 5 games on the road. Also having 2 other non conference games at home before WKU rolls in to town, being their opening C-USA game. They will be returning 9 starters, 4 on offense and 5 on defense.

The Offense:

Last season Old Dominion offense averaged 30 points per contest. They rushed for 130 yards per game and passed for 297 yards per game. When they got in the red zone they were able to put points on the scoreboard 79% of the time. 64% of those trips to the red zone ended in touchdowns.

What is returning:

Steven Williams had the most passing yards of any returning quarterback with 507 yards. Kesean Steong will be back for his redshirt senior year after leading the team a year ago with 499 yards on the ground.

The Defense:

On the other side of the ball defense Old Dominion gave up an average of 35 points per game. They allowed teams to rush for 216 yards per game and throw for 250 yards per game. Teams would average 471 in total offense per game against this defenses. When teams would make trips to the red zone they score points 83% of the time. 71% of those trips would result in touchdowns.

What is returning:

Lawrence Garner led this defense last year in tackles with 100 (50 solo and 50 assisted).

Last Year’s Game:

Last season this game ended with a wild finished that WKU ended with the short end of the stick 37-34. WKU out rushed Old Dominion 208 to 181. While Old Dominion throw for more yards then WKU 327 to 257. Old Dominion was able to score touchdowns 4 of their 5 trips in the red zone. While WKU scorer 5 out of 6 and 4 being a touchdown and 1 field goal.

ESPN’s FPI Prediction For WKU Football

Photo via @WKUFootball on twitter

 ESPN’s FPI (football power index) gives each game a percentage chance of both teams and who they believe will win from statistics. So I will go game by game and give what ESPN believes what WKU chances are to win.

  • Week 1 vs Central Arkansas 89.7%
  • Week 2 at FIU 27.9%
  • Week 3 vs Louisville 33.2%
  • Week 4 vs UAB 65.3%
  • Week 5 at ODU 79.2%
  • Week 6 vs Army 42.6%
  • Week 7 vs Charlotte 79.2%
  • Week 8 at Marshall 27.2%
  • Week 9 vs FAU 54.2%
  • Week 10 at Arkansas 22.4%
  • Week 11 Southern Mississippi 34.0%
  • Week 12 vs Middle Tennessee 63.4%

If the games went as the ESPN FPI says we would see a 6-6 record, with this record we would find the team in a bowl game. This would be a great advancement from where WKU Football was a season ago. These percentages change before each game and during each game to give a better idea of who sound win based on statistics.

C-USA Media’s Preseason Poll |WKU Connection

photo via conferenceusa.com

The Conference USA preseason prediction of the order for the division has came out and WKU is ranked 5th in the East below FAU, FIU, and Marshall, and Middle Tennessee while above Charlotte, and Old Dominion. The west division has North Texas, Southern Miss, Louisiana Tech, UAB, UTSA, Rice, and UTEP. North Texas received the most 1st place votes with 20 on the West Division and Marshall had the most on the East Division with 14.

If the media is correct and WKU ends in 5th place in the standings would it be enough to make a bowl game. What would it take for this season to be considered a successful season for WKU?