Just got in from the WKU weekly media luncheon. Here are just a few thoughts and notes from the day:
-Linebacker Chris Bullard and wide receiver Quinterrance Cooper were made available, and the sentiment Bullard echoed was that missed assignments (M.A.’s) are going to be a major focus for the week going into Saturday’s game against Louisiana-Lafayette. Staying in their zones and making the fundamental plays necessary to keep the Toppers in the game will be a key concern for the Toppers.
“We looked at the film and it just proved that the job just isn’t getting done,” Bullard said. “We just had a lot of M.A.’s and guys not in the right position, especially on the defensive side of the ball. So when we looked at the film, we just have to get in the right position and get where we are supposed to be, and that’ll eliminate a lot of the big plays that are happening on defense.”
-Coach David Elson’s greatest point of emphasis going into this week of preparation is something he echoed after the Toppers’ 37-20 loss at home to Florida International on Saturday, the team’s 12th consecutive loss dating back to last season. Elson said the team has had great practices, but the effort in practices hasn’t translated into games.
Fundamentals are something Elson said he will look to in order to get the team moving in the right direction.
“That’s what Sunday and Monday are for, quite honestly,” Elson said. “And we’ll get together later on this afternoon and talk about that, just (getting) feedback from players. I’m out there at practice like we all are, and I felt like our tempo has been good. It’s something we have to look at. I don’t know that there’s anything really, really dramatic other than, like you said, revving things up and mabye get a little music going to make them focus. Because even though you’re at home, there’s still a noise factor and the environment does change, obviously.”
-The quarterback spot is still going to belong to Kawaun Jakes, who was sound but showed his inexperience at times late in the FIU game. The freshman was 16-for-26 for 118 yards and one interception as well as 16 rushes for 81 yards and two rushing touchdowns. Brandon Smith, who started the Toppers’ first three games of the season, is still recovering from a sore shoulder.
“I think Kawaun is obviously the guy,” Elson said. “And once again it’s going to get to a feel thing, once Brandon can look me in the eye and say ‘okay, I’m 100%, ready to roll’ and we’ll take it from there.”
-Elson also added that linebacker L.J. Harbison and Cooper are both dealing with concussions following the game, and the team will evaluate them as the week goes on to determine whether or not they are ready to play Saturday.
Elson is confident that the players’ concussions will be slightly more low-key than that of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow’s, whose concussion against Kentucky was a major topic of conversation in both print and broadcast media for the two weeks leading up to the Gators’ 13-3 win at LSU last Saturday.
“I’ll get it going on my Twitter pages,” Elson joked. “…If you’re not, you need to start following me on Twitter because I’ll have an L.J., Coop update on their concussion, every two hours.”