WKU to host former league foe Troy

Oct. 1—The Western Kentucky football team will look for its second consecutive victory when former conference rival Troy visits Bowling Green on Saturday, and the Hilltoppers are expecting to face a team that often resembles themselves.

Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Houchens-Smith Stadium, and the game will be aired on ESPN+.

WKU (3-1) enters following last week's 73-0 throttling of Florida International and will face the Trojans for the first time since 2013, when both teams were in the Sun Belt.

"A real good football team, a real competitive team," Hilltoppers coach Tyson Helton said of Troy. "I've been really impressed with them. I think our team knows it's going to be a highly-competitive game, so really looking forward to the contest."

Troy (2-2) last played in a 16-7 win over Marshall, which followed a narrow 32-28 loss at App State. The Trojans are led by first-year head coach Jon Sumrall, who had previously served as inside linebackers coach and co-defensive coordinator under Mark Stoops at Kentucky.

"They're a tough-nosed football team," Helton added. "They're well-coached. I think Coach Sumrall's done a fantastic job with them. You just don't go to App State — technically, in my mind, they're supposed to win the game — and for them to bounce back like they did, kind of like us against Indiana, says a lot about their football team."

Troy scores 23 points per contest led by quarterback Gunnar Watson (1,249 yards, five touchdowns, five interceptions). Former WKU signal-caller Jarret Doege is the Trojans' back-up quarterback.

"I think they're a complete football team," Helton said, "and they're playing good football. When I look at them, I see a lot of similarities to us."

The Hilltoppers, sixth in the nation in scoring at 47.5 points per game, are led by quarterback Austin Reed, who's thrown for 1,257 yards with 14 touchdowns and three interceptions. Daewood Davis has made a team-high 22 receptions for 354 yards and three scores, while Malachi Corey has grabbed 20 receptions for 273 yards and a team-best five scores.

"Offensively, we got to play fast, we got to start fast, and we got to be explosive and try to make it to where they got to catch up," Helton said. "They match up well with them, we match up well with them. I think it's two very similar football teams that are going to play each other this week."