When the Hilltoppers entered this league, they had Jeff Brohm as head coach. That team averaged 44.4 points per game and 534.6 yards per game, both second in the league to Marshall. The next year they averaged 44.3 points and 526.4 yards per game and led the league in both categories and won a title. They followed that up with another title and again led the league in scoring (45.5) and yards (523.1). Brohm left for more money and prestige at Purdue and Mike Sanford was hired to continue the legacy.
With Mike White at QB, the Tops fell to 8th in the league in scoring (25.5) and fifth in yards (395.8). They had trouble running the ball and preventing sacks. They dropped to 11th in scoring, to ninth, and finally to 18.8 per game and 13th (last because ODU is not playing this season). The last two years they have been led by Tyson Helton.
Helton looked around, saw that the work he had done was bad and did not rest. No, instead he is going to replace Bryan Ellis as offensive coordinator and QB coach with Zach Kittley. Who is this man? Well his hiring comes with quotes from Kliff Kingsbury and Patrick Mahomes from their time with him at Texas Tech. Most recently, Kittley has been coordinating the explosive offense at Houston Baptist.
There are a lot of elements of the classic Air Raid with a few of the modern adjustments that Kingsbury added in the intervening years. HBU QB Bailey Zappe set the record for most yards against an FBS opponent by an FCS team in the game vs Texas Tech this season. He entered the transfer portal ahead of his final year. The rumors are that he will follow Kittley. Zappe wants someplace that “will sling the rock” and well, that is what Kittley does.
Texas Tech under Mahomes/Kittley/Kingsbury was known for throwing the ball all over the field — to an extreme degree. Zappe threw for 1800 yards in just five games whereas starter Tyrell Pigrome threw for 1400 in ten games.
Even if Zappe doesn’t make the trip up to Bowling Green, Kittley should be able to simply show the tape of his performance when out recruiting for the next guy. If WKU is half as effective on offense as HBU was this shortened season, they might have us remembering the halcyon days of 2014 soon enough.
Bailey Zappe is a Hilltoppers
[…] Zappe has been as advertised and that is a lot of fun. WKU’s defense has not been as good, and that is not great. The […]
[…] of stud WRs, and that has put his crew in line for a league title. The question coming in — at least for CR — was if the defense could be solid enough where Zappe did not have to score every time […]