Preview 2019: Previewing and looking ahead to the WKU Hilltoppers season with what you need to know.
2018 Record: 3-9 overall, 2-6 in Conference USA
Head Coach: Tyson Helton, 1st year
5. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE WKU OFFENSE
– The offense sputtered that sputtered and coughed throughout last season – but got hot late – gets some different ideas from head coach Tyson Helton and the new coaching staff, and it has ten starters returning to crank things back up.
Just two years ago, WKU scored 637 points. Last year, it scored 253 with no downfield passing game and way too many empty trips. But …
– Get ready for the passing game to start working. The fight for the starting quarterback job will go well into the fall camp with Arkansas transfer Ty Storey coming in to provide a push. As is, WKU has veteran passers in Steven Duncan and Davis Shanley already in place, but the job will still be open for a while. Duncan has the size and the look, but all three can throw.
– The receivers are in place to do a lot more. Lucky Jackson is an electrifying target who led the team with 51 catches, and Jacquez Sean returns after averaging close to 16 yards per catch. Add in the 6-3 Quin Jernighan, and the passing game should start doing a whole lot more. Replacing 44-catch tight end Mik’Quan Deane won’t be easy, but fullback-sized Kyle Fourtenbary will be fine after making 36 grabs.
– The O line did a nice job in pass protection but didn’t do enough for the running game. All five starters are back with 6-2, 320-pound Miles Pate the star at right tackle. The running backs are in place with leading rusher Joshua Samuel returning after taking off for 641 yards and a score, and with sophomore Gino Appleberry and the quick Garland LaFrance part of the rotation.