WKU football breathes a sigh of relief; ready to move forward

25 10 2010

Western Kentucky coach Willie Taggart – and six offensive linemen – addressed the media this afternoon to talk about breaking the program’s 26-game losing streak Saturday at Louisiana-Lafayette, and what to expect moving forward.

Here are the snippets:

Taggart

– On what the past two days have been like

“The mood of everyone has been great. I stop into the store to get a cup of coffee and everyone’s excited. I walked out of the store and I overheard a lady say ‘he’s like the most popular guy in Bowling Green right now.’ And I was like ‘geeze, just for one victory?’ Imagine what happens if we win the Sun Belt – things would get deep. But it’s been a lot of fun.”

“I told our team after the loss to Monroe that our fans are behind us, I didn’t feel like they’d left us but I knew they were hungry and wanted a win bad like the rest of us. It wasn’t the same around here like it was when I was here before and we were winning – I knew it was weighing heavy on everyone. Even people around here that aren’t football fans I think got tired of hearing about it. I had a random guy come up to me and say ‘great win coach,’ and he didn’t look anything like a football or Hilltopper fan – but he was excited. And that happens when you go through something like that.”

– On whether or not he sensed a turn in attitude of his football team over the past week

“After the loss to Monroe, I just looked at the way we came out and played and that’s when I saw we were really getting better than our record showed. That gave me confidence as a head coach as to what we could do because we came out on fire, but didn’t play in the fourth quarter. I challenged the team to practice the same way and see to it that it didn’t happen again. Our season wasn’t going to be defined by the fourth quarter of that Monroe game. It’s going to be defined by the fourth quarter of the Lafayette game and every game from now on. Guys bought into that, they were loose, they had more energy in pregame and you had a feeling that they were ready to play.”

“I always felt it was only a matter of time before we put it together – but our defense has been coming each and every week. There’s been a steady improvement each and every week and you can see how they’re getting used to the scheme. I think the whole team is that way, they’re more comfortable in what we’re doing – and on Saturday, you saw a team that played with a lot of confidence.”

– On how important it is to realize that the program isn’t out of the woods with just one win

“We didn’t come here just to win one ballgame, I didn’t come here to just win one ballgame. It’s the beginning. We’ve got to get back to work because that’s all I know. Success and failure are both imposters, you have to deal with them the same and stay on an even keel. You can’t get too excited, you’ve got to get back to work because it’s a new team we’re playing this week.”

– Where Saturday’s win ranks for him personally

“It’s up there with some of those championship years (at WKU), up there with when we beat USC at Stanford, and with where we were as a program – this was big. After that win, I forgot that it was my first win as a head coach – I was just so excited for our fans and players, they’d been here for 26 of them. I’d only seen six. I was just so happy for them. But I don’t want everyone to get too excited and just be satisfied with one, we want our expectations to stay high – our football team needs that. If they’re not high, you’re not going to achieve high.

“But we’re going to get back to work and keep coming. We still have goals out there and we want to win every ballgame, especially at home.”

– On playing a team in turmoil (North Texas) and finding a way to solve the Mean Green, WKU is 0-3 against the UNT

“We’ve got a team coming in here this week that we haven’t beaten, so that’s a little extra motivation for our guys. North Texas isn’t going to come in here and be afraid of WKU, we haven’t beaten them yet. I don’t think those guys will come in (scared) and I don’t think we’ll go into the game thinking we’re just going to walk all over them.

“All we’ve done is win one ballgame. That’s not good enough, we’ve got to do more. Hopefully we realized that last week was Lafayette’s homecoming – and we saw how they felt afterward. This week’s big for us on homecoming, we’ve got a lot of alums coming back and we’ve got to put on a show for them – our fans deserve it.

“You’re only as good as your last game against someone, and our last one against North Texas is a loss. These guys have beaten us for three years now – we’ve got to win this ballgame.”

Also on Monday, the WKU offensive line made its return to the media – as the group had a self-imposed media blackout until they earned a win this season.

Redshirt freshman Sean Conway joined sophomores Adam Smith and Seth White, along with junior Wes Jeffries and seniors Preston King and Mychal Patterson each took turns at the podium this afternoon.

I’ll have more on those guys in Tuesday’s Daily News.

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One response

26 10 2010
FKozowski

That loss streak against North Texas will end Saturday. They just lost their coach and are surely an emotional wreck right about now. WKU begins a new streak now…one of winning.

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