NCAA FB

WKU's Andrews leads NCAA in all-purpose yardage

Share This Story

   
 

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP)

Antonio Andrews is proving again to be the nation's most versatile running back, racking up yards in a Western Kentucky offense needing his multiple contributions.

The Hilltoppers senior is on track to lead the NCAA in all-purpose yards. He has 1,610 yards entering Saturday's game against Troy.

Andrews also has a chance to top last year's 13-game total of 3,161 that fell 88 shy of Barry Sanders' record set during his 1988 Heisman Trophy season.

WKU (4-3, 1-2 Sun Belt Conference) will need Andrews' many skills against Troy (4-3, 2-1), especially his burly rushing style. The Trojans' run defense ranks second in the league with a per-game average of 141 yards allowed.

With turnovers plaguing the Hilltoppers' offense, Andrews' running becomes even more important in their quest to establish consistency.

''We just have to play with heart,'' Andrews said of the team's urgency. ''We're missing that. We have to come together and play more as a team and leave it all out there. . We have to be confident in ourselves. That's it - all mental mistakes and just a lack of focus, a lack of confidence.''

Hilltoppers coaches certainly aren't questioning Andrews' mettle. With 1,036 yards rushing, he's on pace to surpass last year's career-high 1,728. He has rushed for 10 touchdowns.

The Fort Campbell, Ky., native also has 207 receiving yards and 367 returning punts and kicks to average 230 yards per game, nearly 24 more than LSU junior wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

Andrews' ability to contribute in many areas, along with his steadiness and poise, will be relied upon to right a unit that ranks next to last of 123 FBS schools in turnover margin (minus-1.7). Troy is 117th at minus-1.4.

Junior quarterback Brandon Doughty has struggled in particular with a league-high 12 interceptions. The turnovers have stalled coach Bobby Petrino's quest to establish the passing game he loves, but he notes that his team can't afford to commit any kind of miscues against a disciplined Troy squad.

''When you watch them on video, their defensive scheme is sound,'' Petrino said of the Trojans. ''They don't make many mistakes. They make you earn everything and they've got good players.''

WKU offensive coordinator Jeff Brohm knows who his best player is and plans to utilize Andrews' elusiveness on the ground. But the Hilltoppers also continue striving for offensive balanced their star back won't have to shoulder the load.

''You can't hand the ball off every play even though we have an outstanding running back,'' Brohm said. ''We have to build our passing game, get better at quarterback, get better at receiver, be more consistent at tight end and develop the ability to strike fast and score in the passing game.''

WKU's other challenge is scoring more second-half points. The Hilltoppers have been outscored 66-13 in the final 30 minutes of their three losses, mostly due to turnovers.

Petrino believes if his team holds on to the ball, WKU can mount another three-game winning streak or better. A surge is needed if the seventh-place Hilltoppers hope to improve their standing and earn a second consecutive bowl bid.

''We've had some really good games where we've executed and found ways to win,'' the coach said. ''We just have to continue to work hard and get better at it.''

For Brohm, that means getting the ball in the hands of his best offensive players and using them to open things up. And while Troy's run defense presents an obstacle, Andrews poses just as big a threat to the Trojans to stop.

''I think they've been very good at stopping the run and that's our strength,'' Brohm said. ''They've been a little susceptible to big plays - that hasn't been our strength. We have to find ways to get big plays, take shots, throw the ball vertically and make plays when we do it.''

Andrews is aware that quest starts with him and said if he and his teammates stay aggressive and ''keep hitting them in the mouth,'' everything will fall into place.

Tagged: Troy, Western Kentucky, Antonio Andrews

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by

College Football Pick'em on FOX


NCAA FB Videos

Sumlin annoyed by media's Manziel questions Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Kevin Sumlin responds to questions about life after Johnny Football by toying wi...

AJ Pasquale's journey back to UCLA Posted: Jun 17, 2014
UCLA football ops intern AJ Pasquale describes his own personal journey after th...

Winston issued adult civil citation Posted: Apr 30, 2014
Get the latest news surrounding Jameis Winston's recent shoplifting fiasco.

Get Inside the Locker Room with Scout.com

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike Florida Gators Gridiron 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Florida_Gators/browse/featuredproduct/759777/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_759000/ff_759777_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Florida Gators Gridiron 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - Royal Blue
    Nike Michigan State Spartans Football 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Michigan_State_Spartans/browse/featuredproduct/760171/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_760000/ff_760171_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Michigan State Spartans Football 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - White
    Nike USC Trojans Fight On My School T-Shirt - Cardinal http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_USC_Trojans/browse/featuredproduct/761373/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_761000/ff_761373_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike USC Trojans Fight On My School T-Shirt - Cardinal
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/829709/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_829000/ff_829709_xl.jpg&w=100 64.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Crimso..
    Nike LSU Tigers Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Purple http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_LSU_Tigers/browse/featuredproduct/829740/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_829000/ff_829740_xl.jpg&w=100 49.99 Nike LSU Tigers Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Purple
    Nike Oklahoma Sooners Legacy 91 Dri-FIT Adjustable Coaches Cap - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_Sooners/browse/featuredproduct/830935/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_830000/ff_830935_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 Nike Oklahoma Sooners Legacy 91 Dri-FIT Adjustable Coaches Cap - Crimson
    adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish Hot Sideline Jacket - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Notre_Dame_Fighting_Irish/browse/featuredproduct/861243/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_861000/ff_861243_xl.jpg&w=100 69.95 adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish Hot Sideline Jacket - Navy Blue
    adidas Nebraska Cornhuskers Sideline Hot Quarter Zip Jacket - Scarlet http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Nebraska_Cornhuskers/browse/featuredproduct/861247/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_861000/ff_861247_xl.jpg&w=100 69.95 adidas Nebraska Cornhuskers Sideline Hot Quarter Zip Jacket - Scarlet
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Players Locker Room Snapback Hat - Charcoal/Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/1087345/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1087000/ff_1087345_xl.jpg&w=100 29.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Players Locker Room Snapba..
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Ash http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/1093431/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1093000/ff_1093431_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Ash