LANE | WKU Set to Host Rice in Thursday Opener - WDRB 41 Louisville News

LANE | WKU Set to Host Rice in Thursday Opener

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The record-books have been re-written in the first two years of WKU football under head coach Jeff Brohm.  They will begin year three with a Thursday start against Conference USA opponent, Rice.

"Playing the very first night of college football when there’s not a lot of other games going on is always great for us," said Brohm.  "We want a chance to showcase our program, our stadium, our fans and our team in front of the entire country, and the more opportunities we get to do that the better. Because of that we have to be ready to play and we have to make sure we do a good job representing our team and our university the way it’s supposed to be. And, hopefully, find a way to pull out a win.”   

The Toppers have the longest active streak of consecutive conference wins in the nation with 13. One more would match the all-time mark for consecutive wins in Conference USA.

They begin a the season without Brandon Doughty as the starting quarterback for the first time since 2012.  He became just the third FBS quarterback in the last 50 years to lead the country in passing yards, pass completions and completion percentage in 2015.  He's also one of just three quarterbacks in FBS history to lead the country in passing yards and touchdowns in consecutive seasons. So yes, he'll be missed, but Brohm has confidence in Mike White.  He sat out last season after transferring from South Florida and then beat out Tyler Ferguson and Drew Eckels to win the starting spot for 2016.

“We’re excited about Mike White," said Brohm. "I think he’s made tremendous strides throughout spring, summer and even fall camp. I think he’s ready to play. He’s a guy who knows our offense and has a good grasp of concepts. He can get the ball out of his hand quickly and distribute the ball accurately and I think he’s ready for this challenge and looking forward to it. ... I think Tyler Ferguson and Drew Eckels performed better each and every week and stepped up as well, but they were slightly right behind Mike. Really, I would feel fine with any of them going in the game at this point, and that’s a good thing. But Mike, week in and week out, can provide us consistency, accuracy and can be a good leader. He will distribute the ball to our playmakers and run our offense, and we feel good about him.”

Rice finished 5-7 a year ago.  WKU won the first meeting between the schools 49-10 in Houston last October 3rd. Kickoff is set for 8:00 pm eastern at Houchens-Smith Stadium. 

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