LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- In a year where Western Kentucky played dominant first halves followed by suspect second halves, the meeting at Florida Atlantic last season was one that got away. The Toppers had a 31-14 halftime lead disappear in a 45-38 defeat to the Owls. Now FAU comes to Bowling Green for a homecoming meeting at Houchens Industries L.T. Smith Stadium Saturday.
"Our guys understand this team beat us last year," said head coach Jeff Brohm. "I think we definitely have to use it as a motivation tool. We started hot and didn’t come out in the second half and play well. They used some tempo to create some easy plays. Their quarterback was able to run around and make plays. We gave them an easy screen for a long touchdown. We’ve got to definitely improve on that. I think we have to look at those things, see what they did well. On offense, they shut us down in the second half. They are very similar to Illinois last year. They are going to be good up front, press us on the outside, and take away a lot of things we are good at. We’re going to have to find other ways to do that and move the ball, so it will be a challenge."
This year's Toppers (7-2, 5-0 C-USA) have been able to finish better in the second half. The offense is explosive again, averaging 42 points-a-game and over 50 per contest in the five conference wins. But improvement on the defensive side of the ball has provided a lift, with room to keep improving.
"Well, I like our work ethic and attitude," Brohm said about the defense. "To be honest, I think the last three games, we haven’t played at the level that I would like. Until then, I thought we were making good progress. It’s not huge things, but it’s small things we have to get corrected. We have to find ways to get better. I think we definitely need to improve. This is a game that will be a good test for us. Hopefully our defense is hungry. We’re going to learn from our mistakes. We can find ways to put our guys in better positions. All those things add up, and we need to come out and do a good job on defense. I think our guys will respond. I think they understand that we haven’t quite played to the level we wanted. But, we can improve."
FAU (2-6, 2-3 C-USA) is coming off a two-touchdown win over Florida International, ending a three-game losing streak. Western has a week off after Saturday's 12:00 pm eastern start, then they visit Florida International followed by a home game with a potential fellow conference unbeaten in Marshall to close the regular season November 27th.
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