Tag Archives: Jake Gaebler

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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Final: Western 24, MTSU 62

Western’s second-worst loss of the season is in the books, with geographic rival Middle Tennessee State dominating the Toppers in nearly every aspect of the game.

  • Senior quarterback Brandon Smith made two big plays to open the quarter, rushing for 18 yards on second and 12 from MTSU’s 34-yard line and then completing a 16-yard touchdown pass to senior receiver Jake Gaebler.
  • The Blue Raiders scored easily early in the quarter, scoring after moving the ball 63 yards in a minute and 22 seconds on their first possession. Western sophomore quarterback Tyler Bruce threw an interception on the next drive, and freshman backup quarterback Brent Burnette completed a 10-yard pass for a touchdown that produced the final score.
  • The Blue Raiders compiled 646 yards of total offense compared to Western’s 250. 417 of Middle Tennessee’s yards were in the air, and junior quarterback Dwight Dasher was 22 of 35 for a career-high 355 yards, passing for three touchdowns and running for two more.

Check wkuherald.com later for a complete game recap.

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Western loses to ULL, 30-22

Western made a comeback bid, whittling Louisiana-Lafayette’s lead to eight after senior receiver Jake Gaebler made his first touchdown catch of the year, but it wasn’t enough.

ULL held on to win 30-22, scoring only once in the final quarter when junior kicker Tyler Albrecht hit his third of three field goals on the night with 10:21 left in the game.

Sophomore running back Bobby Rainey reached the end zone on the Toppers’ two-point conversion following Gaebler’s touchdown, but the Ragin’ Cajuns held on and converted on third down — enough to run the clock out and seal the win.

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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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Point of emphasis: Reign in the physicality

Western came into practice last week looking to up the physicality after a 63-7 blowout loss at Tennessee. The Toppers came out fired up Saturday night for South Florida, but recorded 13 penalties for 124 yards—10 in the first half alone.

Junior offensive lineman Preston King said practice this week is about keeping the effort level up and the penalty yards down.

“We’re still playing physical, but being smart while playing physical,” King said.

Coach David Elson said he talked about the penalties to his team when looking over Saturday’s game film and said that he’s “confident that it will be corrected.”

Elson preached the same message as King — that Western needs to play smarter this Saturday against Central Arkansas.

“A lot of it had to do with effort,” Elson said. “We were just playing that hard and couldn’t let up, but we’ve got to learn to do that. We need to learn how to play at a really high intensity level but under control to where those things don’t happen.”

Also, after sitting out of Tuesday’s practice, freshman tight end Jack Doyle, senior center Cody Hughes, junior lineman Derrick Elder and sophomore defensive end Jared Clendenin all returned to the field on Wednesday. Senior receiver Jake Gaebler continues to nurse a pulled hamstring.

-Jonathan Lintner

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