Doyle eager to test his tight end mettle

20 10 2010

Western Kentucky tight end Jack Doyle was pretty about open the fact that he does in fact do a little scoreboard watching from time to time.

When WKU travels to Louisiana-Lafayette on Saturday, the Hilltopper defense will have to deal with one of the top tight ends in the league and in the country in junior Ladarius Green.

Green finished last season with 32 grabs for 533 yards and earned a second-team All-Sun Belt honor. This season, Green was tabbed as a preseason all-league performer and is currently on the Mackey Award watch list (the national honor for the country’s top tight end). The 6-6, 230-pound Green has 18 grabs for 318 yards and three scores this season.

On top of that, he’s also gotten the attention of Doyle.

“I was wondering if someone would ask me that,” Doyle laughed Wednesday. “I always check out to see how he does, and a lot of other tight ends in the league also. I do try to compare myself to him, (WKU coach Willie Taggart) always talks about competing and I do try to compete with him. It’s not something I’ll think about at all during the game, but it is something I keep up on.

“It’s one of those things, in the NFL you always see “The Manning Bowl,” but they never actually go out against each other. This past Monday night it was Chris Johnson vs. Maurice Jones-Drew – but they’re not going at each other either. It’s a different situation, but definitely something I think about and something where I really want to go and out-do him on the field.”

Doyle hasn’t been a slouch this season, after bursting onto the scene as a redshirt freshman a year ago, the 6-6, 252-pound Doyle has 19 catches for 211 yards and two scores after a 37-catch, 365-yard season in 2009. And while it won’t matter much during Saturdays’ game, Doyle says his ultimate goal is in fact to become the best tight end in the league – a spot he’ll have to steal from his Saturday counterpart.

“I want to be the best I can be,” he said. “And I think that could be the best in the Sun Belt, it’s something I’m going for and something I work for every day.”

Bowen says its time to play four quarters

WKU defensive coordinator said Wednesday that he didn’t have too many complaints about his unit’s performance over the first three quarters last weekend against Louisiana-Monroe.

The fourth quarter, however, was a different story. Bowen said that apart from hanging tough late in games, the defense – like every other spot on the field – has to find a way to play a full 60 minutes if it wants to snap this 26-game losing streak.

“When the fourth quarter hits, that’s when the game gets good,” Bowen said. “That’s when everything has to be perfect, and obviously we weren’t. We had chances to get off the field, and we didn’t take advantage.

“When the fourth quarter rolls around, that’s when the grown men step up and it’s time to go. I don’t know our guys were ready to do that, they didn’t respond the way they needed to. We had done some things well early, they’d come back with the same play, and we didn’t get it done – for whatever reason. People get serious in the fourth quarter and we didn’t match that.”

Two weeks ago, Bowen’s unit had a rough start to the game on the road at Florida International. A lesson he hopes they’ve learned.

Asked if playing on the road could present another possibility for a slow start, Bowen said he doesn’t think so.

“I’ve always liked road games better, it seems like there are less distractions,” he said. “At home you’ve got guys with girlfriends and everything else that can distract them. And maybe when you come out and people boo you and call you names it wakes you up.”




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