Tag Archives: David Elson

Elson takes job at Indiana

David Elson has landed.

The former Western head coach has officially accepted a job with the Indiana Hoosiers football team, according to IU football SID Jeffrey Keag, as quality control coach on defense.

Keag said Elson’s first day on the job was Monday.

Chief of staff and general counsel Deborah Wilkins said Elson’s new job would not affect his $500,000 buyout from Western, as he accepted a position as something other than a head coach.

Indiana is slated to visit Smith Stadium on Sept. 18, the Toppers’ third game of the season.

Jonathan Lintner


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Live from Denton: Western at North Texas

Western and North Texas are set to kick off at 3:15 p.m. CT. The Mean Green own the series 2-0 so far, knocking off the Toppers 27-26 in 2007 and 51-40 in 2008.

  • This game is pivotal in terms of Head Coach David Elson’s career record, which would move to less than .500 with a loss today. Elson is 39-39 in  seven seasons.
  • On the other side, North Texas coach Todd Dodge is 4-27 in three seasons as a head coach. A win today would mean that the majority of Dodge’s wins came against Western.
  • To the day, Western is 7-3 on Halloween. Their most recent Oct. 31 contest was a 1987 loss at Louisville.
  • A player to watch today is senior receiver Jake Gaebler, who continues to inch towards the all-time receptions record at Western. Gaebler is 11 catches away from surpassing Curtis Hamilton.

Check out the game notebook at the WKU Herald site here and stay tuned to Toppertalk for in-game updates.

-Jonathan Lintner

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Monday Luncheon Wrap-up

-Just got back from the WKU football Monday Media Luncheon–F.Y.I., leftovers from Saturday’s media dinner as the last two lunches are a sign of a down economy–and we got a few interesting thoughts and insights into both the Toppers 30-22 loss to Louisiana-Lafayette and the upcoming game at Middle Tennessee State from head coach David Elson, redshirt sophomore running back Bobby Rainey and redshirt junior Orlando Misaalefua.

Rainey and the offense are looking to capitalize on one of their most balanced games of the season, racking up 308 yards of offense–141 passing, 167 rushing–against ULL. The word from Rainey was that the offense had bright spots, but that the sour notes were more of a point of emphasis and the offense must start to capitalize on every possession.

“We got better in some areas and there are some areas we didn’t get better at,” Rainey said. “We got to convert and capitalize on every possession to keep the defense off the field.”

Misaalefua gave a defensive perspective that it’s the frustration has mounted with the team not being able to get third down stops, especially in crucial, late-game situations. Louisiana-Lafayette was able to get two consecutive third downs late in the game to prevent WKU from getting the ball back with a chance to tie on Saturday. Doing so against Sun Belt Conference opponents adds to the frustration.

“We have to get third down stops,” Misaalefua said. “We have to get off the field and so far we’ve been improving on that. And we have to get, defensive backs have got to get interceptions. Linebackers, we’ve got to get stops. D-Lineman, we’ve got to gush the quarterback, we’ve just got to play football.”

Things may get slightly easier against a Middle Tennessee team that is currently 30% (31-for-102) on the season on third down.

Elson shared the sentiment of Misaalefua, saying that just a handful of plays have been the difference in some of the games this season.

“Just different little things,” Elson said. “The touchdown in the endzone, (senior defensive back) Jihad (Morris) is right there. We’re close, and you know so, we want to be encouraged and motivated by that because it does get frustrating that you’re not doing enough to get into the win column. It’s a combination of ‘hey, we’ve obviously got some areas where we’ve got to improve’ but also a message of ‘hey, we’re close and we’ve played better in areas’ the decision making, the penalties were as good as they’ve been all year.”

WKU committed a season low two penalties for 15 yards.

Many are billing this game as a rivalry game from a fan perspective, and Elson said while agreeing with that, the game itself is in it’s years of rebuilding from a rivalry standpoint. MTSU coach Rick Stockstill stated before last seasons’s game that he doesn’t view it as a rivalry.

“It’s a fans thing,” Elson said. “His point was, and I totally understand where he’s coming from, you prepare for this game like you do any other game. That’s exactly the way we approach it. But from a historical standpoint and fans perspective , yea, it’s a rivalry, because of the geography and the (Ohio Valley Conference days).”

With the team getting so close in so many games–two of the last three games have been one-possession games in the second half–Elson said that as the season wears on, getting close isn’t going to be enough.

Nothing major on the injury front. Wide receiver Dustin Boyer has already been listed as out against for MTSU with a knee injury. Redshirt freshman tight end Jack Doyle, the team’s leader in receptions and yardage, is listed as day-to-day with nerve damage in his shoulder that Elson said just needs “rest and rehab”.

Junior offensive lineman Preston King, who left Saturday’s game and didn’t return, is still battling an ankle injury and is also a wait-and-see case. Redshirt junior wide receiver Quinterrance Cooper will be evaluated this week in regards to his concussion. He missed last game with the injury.

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Monday Luncheon Thoughts

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.”

-David Harten

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Jakes to start, Gaebler to return on Saturday

Coach David Elson said at today’s media luncheon that redshirt freshman quarterback Kawaun Jakes will start Saturday’s game against Florida International.

Jakes was 22-for-28 for 276 yards and two touchdowns in his first career start, on Sept. 26 against Navy.

Elson said Jakes was able to be successful in part because of a simple game plan and improved play from the offensive line.

“He made the throws that he needed to make,” he said. “Early in the game, it was a lot of quick throws, play-action stuff that he executed well.”

Elson said that senior quarterback Brandon Smith still isn’t ready to play due to a shoulder injury, and he’s not sure if Smith will be able to serve as the backup on Saturday.

He also said senior wide receiver Jake Gaebler will also start on Saturday after missing games against Central Arkansas and Navy with an injured hamstring.

Other notes from the luncheon:

  • Elson said he doesn’t think the team plays any differently behind Jakes than with Smith under center. “The thing I’ve learned about guys is, they just want to win,” he said. “They just want the guys in there that, it doesn’t matter if it’s the quarterback or the left guard, if there’s guys in there that, he’s playing well and he’s serious and he’s preparing the way that he’s supposed to prepare, they’re going to accept him.”
  • Junior offensive lineman Preston King made a similar statement, saying the team’s game plan doesn’t change from one quarterback to the next. “We try to play as one unit, so it’s the same whoever’s out there,” he said.
  • King said Saturday’s game, which will be Western’s first-ever official Sun Belt Conference game, has a different feel because of the possibility of postseason play for the first time in two seasons. “It’s a lot different from the last couple years, when we were just trying to achieve our own team goals,” he said. “We’re trying to do that this year, but at the same time, our goals are to win the conference and to go to the New Orleans Bowl and win that, so it is different.”

– Sarah Hyman

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Monday Luncheon Notes

-Coach David Elson said he expects senior quarterback Brandon Smith to start on Saturday, despite a sprained shoulder suffered in Western’s 28-7 loss to Central Arkansas.

-Senior wide receiver Jake Gaebler is also out with a hamstring injury, as is junior outside linebacker Mike Gothard with a shoulder injury and lingering knee issue.

-Elson said he felt like Western had a good week of practice leading up to Saturday’s game. He also said the Toppers weren’t where they wanted to be from an assignment standpoint.

-Elson also said that the coaches have to do a better job of coaching based on knowing what the players do well.

-He said that after watching the film and reviewing things, he can confidently say that Western will be in every game the rest of the season.

-Elson also offered a message to the fans: “Tune into CBS College Sports on Saturday at 3:30 ET, hang in there and keep watching because this team is going to come around and be a fun team to watch.”

-Elson said his attitude towards Western’s current situation is, “This is fun about what we do. Challenges, and adversity and finding solutions to those things are what you live for. And I’m as excited as ever just cause it’s an even larger mountain of adversity to top and the larger the adversity that you overcome the better feeling it’s going to be, and that day will come.”

-Elson said that his three daughters and wife don’t handle losing well at all. He said he actually had to ask if he was allowed to come home on Saturday night, and he did get permission. He said his wife Kathy is the harshest critic, but she doesn’t offer advice on the X’s and O’s of the game.

-Andrew Robinson

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Gaebler out, Rainey set to start on Saturday

Coach David Elson announced Thursday that senior wide receiver Jake Gaebler will not play in this week’s game against Central Arkansas.

Gaebler fought a sore hamstring throughout camp and pulled it again recently. Elson said he expects sophomore Derrius Brooks and freshman Anthony Sheppard to step up and develop the receiving corps in the absence of the unit’s lone senior.

“I think big picture, it definitely helps develop your depth and gets some questions answered that maybe otherwise would not get answered,” Elson said about the loss of Gaebler.

Taking Gaebler’s place on punt returns will be sophomore running back Bobby Rainey, who will also slide into the no. 1 spot at running back ahead of senior back Tyrell Hayden. Rainey rushed for 56 yards on eight attempts against South Florida.

-Jonathan Lintner

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