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November 8, 2008

Tops still can't break through, fall 17-7

TROY, Ala.-- Again, there were mistakes made by WKU.

But this time, they were the beneficiary of mistakes as well. The Toppers were unable to capitalize on the mistakes enough to get a win, falling at Troy 17-7. WKU's losing streak now stands at six games.

The Toppers were also set back when senior quarterback David Wolke aggravated his back and was unable to go after the second quarter.

"It was a tough day, when it comes to, David was banged up going in," coach David Elson said. "He's battled his tail off all week and wanted to get in there and go, he just wasn't able to after he took a hit or two. We just couldn't get over that hump. We couldn't get that big play. They made some plays offensively. we could've gotten off the field, defensively quicker and gotten our offense more opportunities."

In Wolke's place, junior Brandon Smith stepped in. Though he ran for 43 yards, including a 20-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, Smith showed his little use in his collegiate career. He was sacked four times and threw a late, fourth quarter interception.

"It's not easy, but it's something you always have in the back of your mind," Smith said. "Coaches always tell you you're one play away. Even though you're not a starter, you still have to prepare like a starter every single week. It's easier said than done, but you have that mentality."

WKU allowed a 58-yard touchdown pass from Troy junior quarterback Levi Brown to junior wide receiver Andrew Davis on the third play of the game that put the Toppers in a very early hole.

"The opening series was tough, but that's football," Beard said. "The receiver was fast, ran a good route, good ball. That's football, that's gonna happen."

But Troy gave WKU plenty of opportunities. Aside from three penalties that gave the Toppers first downs, the Trojans also missed three field goals and threw a third quarter interception, courtesy of redshirt freshman safety Ryan Beard, in the end zone.

"It hurts beacuse you wanna win," Smith said. "Everybody on this team wants to win. We're playing hard and we're together, but we've just gotta keep working and get that win."

The Toppers have no more of their goals set before the season still attainable, the last being a winning record in the Sun Belt Conference. But they still have pride to play for on Senior Day against Middle Tennessee next Saturday.


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