Head Coach Mike Sanford
Opening statement:
“We’re excited about coming off a bye week and getting healthy … Charlotte’s a much-improved team. Benny LeMay is an outstanding back, he runs behind his pads, he’s physical, he’s another back that we have to do a really nice job of getting to the ground. We’ve played against some really good backs, and I think LeMay’s at or near the top of this conference at the running back position. Charlotte’s improved on defense, Glenn Spencer their brand-new defensive coordinator has them playing really sound rush defense, one of the top-50 rush defenses in college football … I have a lot of respect for him as a coach, he’s in his first year there at Charlotte and I think he’s doing a really nice job … I think it’s going to be a really good challenge for us and we have to go in there with a mindset of playing complete four-quarter football and getting a win. You know, this conference is wide open for everybody, Charlotte included. Charlotte got a big win over Old Dominion and then the following week Old Dominion beats Virginia Tech in one of the biggest upsets in college football history. Charlotte controlled that game, you watch that game on tape and Charlotte was dominant in that game. The score was relatively close, but I thought they played really good ball that day. I know they’re coming off a bye week too, looking to get results. We’re excited about our opportunity to go on the road and really kick off conference play coming off this bye week.”

On the status of the quarterback position:
“[We] have three quarterbacks ready to go play, and like we said this is going to be really important for us to get the continuity at the position. We’re going to go into this week continuing to find out where exactly we’re going to be from a quarterback position and wanting continuity, wanting to make sure we’re not in the situations again where we have different quarterbacks playing at the end of the game … We’ll make it throughout the course of this week. We’ll keep it in-house. When you do have the situation we have, it is a positive in the sense that you do have three guys who have played in critical moments and have proven to be good players, solid players. Just getting to the fourth quarter, you want that to be a familiar face for the rest of the team to see out there in those situations. We’ll make that determination and we certainly don’t want to be rotating and we have to stay healthy.”

On the Micatrotto family’s recent $1 million gift to WKU Athletics:
“I think Joe [Micatrotto] has a passion for not only this program but for mentoring future professionals. And that’s what he is, he’s a professional for how he carries himself and the business that he’s running, and has done an incredible job with MRG. He’s doing great things and we’re really proud to have him as one of our own. Even more than that, the financial impact of what he, Sunny [Micatrotto] and their family did, I love that fact that it shows he’s fully committed, not only to this football program but he’s committed to the vision that Todd Stewart has for this athletic department. He’s committed to Travis Hudson and what he has done in the volleyball program. He’s committed to Dr. [Timothy] Caboni and Kacy [Caboni] in their initiative with the WKU Opportunity Fund. I think that says a lot, and I think a lot of it comes back to relationships, but more than that he’s passionate about this place. He’s passionate about Western Kentucky, he’s passionate about this football program. And I’m really proud to call him a friend, I’m proud to call him a former player and an alum … You talk about the best of the best and that’s what Western Kentucky stands for. Great on the football field, great in the classroom and then great out in the real world, and that’s what Joe Miccatrotto is doing right now, actively in representing our brand.”

Defensive Coordinator Clayton White
On preparing to face Charlotte’s offense:
“For LeMay, the No. 1 thing is his size. He’s really 220-plus at 5-9, and those guys are really hard to tackle. That’s what he brings, he broke some runs, I think it’s a tackling thing with LeMay. He runs hard and he finishes and he’s definitely trying to will his team to more wins … They have a new offensive coordinator, Shane Montgomery. They’re definitely doing some things differently than they did last year, I don’t see the same things.”

On seniors Masai Whyte and DeAndre Farris:
“What I’ve seen from those guys, No. 1 they’ve definitely touched the ball. Masai has had some sacks early and big hits, third-down stops. Dre playing corner you’re going to win some and lose some, and for him to get that interception at home, at the time we needed as a team was big for his momentum and for his confidence, the boost of the team. What I want to see from both of those guys is to keep the team on the right track mentally, not only just the defense but the entire team. Those guys have that type of qualities where they can keep us on track mentally, regardless of what happens one play at a time, one game at a time. Let’s chip away at this thing and see what happens.”

On the football culture of the team:
“I don’t know what it is about these kids here at Western Kentucky, they love football. When they come to meetings and they come inside the white lines, they give you everything they have mentally, just from an energy and focus standpoint. And as a coach, whenever kids don’t want to do that, it takes a lot out of you as a coach. But with these kids it’s the flip side. They want to play football, they want to be in meetings, and that just uplifts you as a coach. So that just makes it enjoyable to be around and then whoever that one player that’s not loving football, he sticks out like a sore thumb and that’s the ultimate thing about these kids. Regardless of our record, regardless of what it was last year. That’s the main thing that I’ve felt that I’ve been here for two seasons, these kids love football all the way through.”How to Follow the Hilltoppers: For complete information on WKU Hilltopper Football, follow the program via social media @WKUFootball on Twitter and Facebook.
-@WKUSports-_____________________________
Bryan Fyalkowski
Assistant Director of Media Relations
WKU Hilltopper Athletics

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