BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) — Lance Guidry's second season running Western Kentucky's defense is yielding first-rate results.
The Hilltoppers (3-1) begin Sun Belt Conference play Saturday at Arkansas State ranked 13th nationally in total defense (279.8 yards per game) — nearly a hundred yards less than last season.
Their conference rankings are higher: first in rushing defense (112.5) and second in sacks (11) and interceptions (five).
Western Kentucky's defense can't let up against Arkansas State (2-2), which averages 517.2 yards and is running the ball more in new coach Gus Malzahn's spread offense. Slowing down Red Wolves quarterback Ryan Aplin is also important. He threw for 396 yards and a touchdown in last year's 26-22 victory.
Still, WKU defenders are confident, citing the continuity Guidry has brought and his intense personality that keeps them motivated.