WKU opens its home slate hosting its first BCS opponent in the Big East's South Florida, tomorrow with an 6:30 PM CT kickoff. The Bulls are coming off a 40-7 win over Wofford, while the Toppers are looking to rebound from a 63-7 loss at Tennessee. Each week, InsideHilltopperSports.com will compile the three biggest keys on each side of the ball to come out on top:
The Tight Ends Have To Get More Involved: We pointed this out last week, when redshirt freshman Jack Doyle was the only tight end in the stat column with four catches for ten yards. He and sophomore Tristan Jones will have to not only stretch the field with some big catches, but help give quarterback Brandon Smith some protection.
Slow Down Senior DE George Selvie: Selvie is a beast who is a sure-fire NFL prospect. He's good enough that he'll be in on some big plays and probably disrupt the offense some. But the Toppers will have to at least not let him run rampant in the backfield. The tight ends will play a big role, providing some double teams at times.
Get Something Going Through The Air: Everything broke down offensively last week, but it was in part because the Toppers posed no threat passing and saw the box stacked against them. The running game suffered partly because the pass couldn't open up the field at all.
Be More Physical, Especially Up The Middle: The Toppers couldn't get any contain against the running game. Tennessee ran a few plays to the outside, but did most of their damage up the middle. Granted, the Bulls don't have a trio of backs like the Vols, but senior Moise Plancher is still a big threat with the ball in his hands.
Get Some Kind Of Contain On Matt Grothe: He's a little more of a threat than the Vols' QBs. Grothe is a seasoned quarterback who doesn't make many mistakes. WKU will have to try to force a few turnovers, but they'll also have to limit his options, perhaps more so on the ground.
Stay Aggressive: Early at Tennessee, the defense was able to keep the Toppers in the game with some timely turnovers. They wore down as the game went, but the level of aggressiveness and intensity will have to stay high to stay in the game. As a team, WKU needs to feed off what's sure to be an electric home atmosphere and possible sellout crowd.
After the game, catch InsideHilltopperSports.com's extensive post-game, with a full game wrap and audio from coach David Elson