October 1, 2008

Wolke now leads Toppers at QB

There's no longer a battle at quarterback.

Sophomore K.J. Black was a no-show at yesterday's practice. Black again was nowhere to be seen at today's practice, but at least now, there's some sense being made with it.

"He's still with us and honestly, we're just going through some things and handling it internally," coach David Elson said. "To be very point blank, I'm not gonna get into anything other than that."

Black will not be travelling with the Toppers to Virginia Tech this weekend. As of now, no disciplinary actions have been taken, aside from excluding Black on the travelling party.

"That's what we're kinda going through right now and dealing with it internally and figuring out where we go from there," Elson said. "We're just kinda ongoing, trying to work through a tough situation."

Black's absence leaves senior David Wolke as the undisputed starter not only heading into this weekend, but indefinitely.

Other anonymous sources have indicated the possibility that Black may transfer soon.

Bringing the momentum back
Elson and the other WKU coaches have stressed the importance of momentum this season.

The Toppers had a momentary bit of it in Saturday's 41-3 loss at Kentucky, but lost it soon after, when they gave up a 100-yard kickoff return to sophomore Derrick Locke. That followed senior Tanner Siewert's 50-yard field goal in the second quarter to put WKU on the scoreboard.

"The touchdown was a result of a couple of guys coming off blocks in the wrong direction and giving him that slight crease," special teams coordinator Mike Dietzel said. "We've been good on kickoff coverage the entire year. We gave up that one. We had about three guys kinda get a break down there and that's what caused the big one that hit on us. We've just been going through and emphasizing lanes and proper pad level and taking on blocks the proper way. We've also been emphasizing just good hang time with the kicks, both on kickoffs and punts, to allow our coverage teams to get down the field and have good phase with the turnovers and the ball carriers."

Give em' time
Though Siewert's kickoff on that big touchdown return reached the opposing goal line, it was bad in that it didn't have the hang time to give the coverage team adequate time to get down field, in addition to other minor miscues in coverage.

"It's basically emphasizing where you're hitting the ball, in terms of the drop and that kind of thing," Dietzel said. "As a kickoff guy, working the same thing, where you're hitting the ball, is what helps get the different height on the ball, as opposed to hitting it a little bit lower."

Siewert has been trying to move his aiming point, where his foot makes contact with the ball. Siewert and the other kickers have also been taking extra reps with kickers coach Stuart Holt, as they did today after practice.

The kickers have also put more emphasis on following through.

"Coach Holt's always timing us and seeing how high we can get it up in the air," Siewert said. "Really, the only thing you can do to work on that is just change some little stuff up in your technique and try to hit it higher. That's about all you can do."

The distance part for Siewert hasn't changed at all. He was still booming kicks from over 40-yards on field goal attempts and his kickoffs are still going near the opposing goal line.

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