The Mike Sanford Era is officially underway on The Hill as WKU opened its first spring under the first year head coach on Thursday under cool skies on the turf inside Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium.
“It was a great day. It was great to be back on the grass in an unbelievable environment to do it in with great weather,” Sanford said. “This was the very first time they’ve gone through our practices with that style and tempo. I don’t know what the practices were like before, but they were certainly pretty good because these guys came out, bought in and flew around.”
Sanford has been complimentary of the effort the two-time defending C-USA champions have given all winter, and on Thursday, he got to see it in action as senior quarterback Mike White directed a new offense and connected on numerous downfield throws while an athletic secondary made the most of even the tiniest mistakes from the offense to create turnovers.
“If (Mike White) has any rust, it’s just the newness of what he’s doing from a communication standpoint, the newness of what he’s doing from a footwork standpoint in the run game,” Sanford said of his quarterback. “I was very pleased with Mike’s work today. He was out there commanding an offense that he doesn’t necessarily know in and out, but it did appear at times he did.”
The Hilltoppers flew around defensively in Clayton White’s new defensive scheme, preventing WKU’s offense from “striking up the band,” as Sanford has coined it. Under Sanford, whenever the Hilltoppers score big touchdowns on offense, WKU’s fight song will ring out through the speakers in the stadium. When the defense creates a turnover, horns blare to tell everyone in attendance a big play has been made.
WKU returns to the practice field on Friday for their second practice of 14 this spring leading up to the annual Red vs. White Spring Game, set for April 22 at 3 p.m. The Hilltoppers practice each week on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 4:15 – 6:15 p.m. CT and all practices are open to the public.
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Associate Athletic Director, Communications