LOUISVILLE. Ky. (WDRB) -- In a season full of wild back-and-forth games the wildest for the 2014 WKU football Hilltoppers may have been at Marshall on the Friday after Thanksgiving last year.
Western got a touchdown and two-point conversion on its first overtime possession to topple the previously unbeaten Thundering Herd 67 -66. The Toppers amassed 738 yards against the best defense in the conference. Brandon Doughty threw eight touchdown passes.
But that win only evened Western Kentucky's Conference USA mark at 4-4. This year they are bidding to push their league mark to 8-0 and clinch the C-USA Eastern Division title. Marshall is a game back at 6-1. The winner will play in the conference championship game the following Saturday.
"I think we've handled the pressure well all year," said head coach Jeff Brohm. "Yes, it's a big game and our guys understand that, but we've got to treat it just like any other game. With that being said, this is the championship game to win the East side, and we need to do everything in our power to win."
“Without question, this is the game we’ve been shooting for," continued Brohm. "It’s a championship game to us. We’ve tried going to that playoff mentality where you have to win to advance. Really, this is somewhat of the culmination of it all in the regular season. To get these guys on our home turf, we’re excited about. We’re excited about getting them in our stadium. We’re hopeful that anything we can do to find an edge will help us win the game.”
Friday will also be Senior Day for 23 seniors who helped turn around an FBS program that had recently suffered through a 26-game losing streak and now has it heading to a second straight bowl game.
"I know as long as we win, I'm not really going to realize it," said Senior kicker Garrett Schwettman. "Actually, I told Gavin just a minute ago that we had to give Travis Taylor our names for senior day and who's going to be out there on the field, and it just got surreal to me. This could be the last game in The Houch."
"It will definitely be emotional at the beginning," said Senior Defensive Lineman Gavin Rocker. "I guess you really don't notice it, and we talked about this, until you're actually standing out there with your parents. You're like wow, this could be the last go round. It will definitely be emotional, but getting a win would make it bittersweet."
Kickoff is 12:00 pm Eastern Friday in Bowling Green. John Lewis and Rick Bozich will be there to cover the game and will have a full post-game report on WDRB-TV and WDRB.com.