The 2018 spring college football rankings, taking the first look at the WKU Hilltoppers.
No. 95: WKU Hilltoppers
Spring Practice Starts: March 20
Spring Game: April 21
WKU Hilltoppers Spring Status
It was supposed to be a rebuilding job after winning two straight Conference USA championships and with Willie Taggart off to Oregon, and it was okay. Going to a bowl game was fine, but losing five of their last six games, and to Georgia State in the Cure Bowl, wasn’t.
QB Mike White is gone, and the receiving corps is gutted, but the running game should be strong despite the loss of the left side of the line. The running backs are great, and the hope is for the offensive system under head coach Mike Sanford to overcome the big losses.
The other side is where there’s reason to be fired up, losing two defensive linemen and CB Joe Brown, and getting back everyone else.
Last year was the season off from the Conference USA championship world. Now it’s time to get back to form.
WKU Biggest Depth Chart Battle
Receiver. The quarterback situation is interesting, with Drew Eckels taking the lead in the chase to replace Mike White, but the passers need someone to throw to. Leading receiver Necarius Fant is gone, along with 52-catch TE Deon Yelder along with third-leading receiver Cameron Echols-Luper.
The top three receivers are done, along with Kylen Towner, meaning Lucky Jackson, Quin Jernighan and Xavier Lane have to be stars after decent seasons.
WKU Biggest Issue
Running the ball. WKU just doesn’t run the ball. The Hilltoppers ran just 391 times for a nation-low 791 yards and 15 scores, averaging a mere two yards per carry. WKU failed to hit the 100-yard mark on the ground over the last seven games – netting -2 yards in the bowl loss to Georgia State – but the top four running backs return.
WKU Biggest Positive
The defense is loaded with veterans. The top six tacklers are back, starting with LB Joel Iyiegbuniwe and safeties Devon Key, Drell Greene and Ta’Corian Darden on a D that allowed just 377 yards per game. WKU is usually all about the offense, but the other side of the ball might just carry the team.
Really, Why Are The WKU Hilltoppers Ranked Here?
The offense might need a little while to ramp it all back up. The team was so mediocre over the second half of the season, with the defense falling down and the offense failing to crank up the production.
The team was 1-7 when it scored few than 28 points, 5-0 when it scored more. It’s going to have to score more, and without Mike White.