Young Romantics – Interview

Young Romantics is an alternative rock band based in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

The band originally formed in 2017 when the two original members, Griffin Fletcher and Matt Porter, recorded songs in a Honda Accord.

It soon expanded into what it is today, with Fletcher on vocals, Porter on drums, Gerek Patrick on bass, and Mitchell Manual on guitar.

The band’s EP, “In Case You Feel the Same,” was released on Aug. 30.

Preview: The Hilltoppers vs. Central Arkansas

By Matthew Hargrove

Western Kentucky does not want to repeat what they did in last year’s home opener. 

The Tops played an FCS team in the Maine Bears, in which Western was the heavy favorite to win. Long story short, The Hilltoppers blew a 21-0 lead losing 31-28. It lead to a 3-9 record and one of the most embarrassing seasons in Hilltopper history. Thursday night, the Tops get another crack at an FCS team on home opening night with this time facing the Central Arkansas Bears. 

The biggest headline entering this game was WKU’s head coach, Tyson Helton,  during his first ever game as a head coach. He already has love from the Western fans considering he was the offensive coordinator for the Hilltoppers from 2014-15 when he helped the squad rank 24th nationally. A 1-0 start to the season would increase that high passion for the former Tennessee offensive coordinator and it would the first time the Hilltoppers have been over .500 since November 17, 2017.

The Western player with the heavy spotlight and arguably the most pressure on him is quarterback Steven Duncan. Duncan had a very inconsistent 2018 year, as he was fighting for the starting job with Davis Shanley. Duncan had a 57.8 completion percentage, threw nine touchdowns and 1,071 yards, which ranked 10th in Conference-USA last season. It’s no secret that the most important position in football has been very poor since the Mike White era, but maybe Helton, who has worked with multiple NFL quarterbacks such as Mike White, Sam Darnold, Brandon Doughty, and Joe Webb, can show bring light to the end of the tunnel for the position.

ESPN’s Football Power Index has Western having an 89.7% chance to beat the Bears, and considering what happened last year there is no excuse to lose this game. Even if the Tops are suppose to win by a lot it is officially game day and the start of another beautiful season of what makes the world go round — college football.

2019 WKU Football Season Outlook

The Schedule

Central Arkansas (8/29)

@ Florida International (9/7)*

Louisville (9/14)**

UAB (9/28)*

@ Old Dominion (10/5)*

Army (10/12)

Charlotte (10/19)*+

@ Marshall (10/26)*

Florida Atlantic (11/2)*

@ Arkansas (11/9)

@ Southern Miss (11/23)*

Middle Tennessee (11/30)*

* Indicates C-USA matchup

** Indicates neutral site matchup

+ Indicates Homecoming matchup

The Team (Offense)

Key Returners:

  • QB Steven Duncan (108-187, 1071 yds, 9 TD, 7 INT)
  • RB Joshua Samuels (648 yds, 121 ATT, 1 TD)
  • WR Lucky Jackson (552 yds, 50 catches, 4 TD)

Key Additions:

  • WR Manuel Allen (Moreno Valley, CA)
  • WR Tyler Smith (Conyers, GA)
  • OG Jack Randolph (Franklin, KY)

The Team (Defense)

Key Returners:

  • DB Devon Key (71 TOT, 3 TFL, 3 INT)
  • DL DeAngelo Malone (60 TOT, 9 TFL, 6 sacks, 1 INT)
  • DL Juwuan Jones (42 TOT, 6 TFL, 5 sacks)

Key Additions:

  • S Clayton Bush (Bowling Green, KY)
  • OLB Celestin Haba (Scottsdale, AZ)
  • DE Stephone Atkinson (Lake Minneola, FL)

Season Outlook

WKU football should be expecting improvement under first-year head coach Tyson Helton going into the 2019 season. Coach Helton plans to bring his high-flying offense to the Hilltoppers, which racked up about 325 YPG last season with the Volunteers. The new offense will hopefully benefit returning starting quarterback Steven Duncan. Last season Tennessee’s Jarrett Guarantano threw for 1907 yards with 12 touchdowns against 3 interceptions. In comparison, Steven Duncan only threw for 1071 yards with 9 touchdowns against 7 interceptions.

Some key matchups to look forward to are a neutral site game against Louisville in Nashville, a home game against Army, and a road matchup against Arkansas. Last season the Hilltoppers nearly came away with a victory against the Cardinals on the road, but this year they’ll get a shot at them a bit closer to home.

Be on the lookout for our Game 1 Preview tomorrow, where we’ll take a closer look at the Hilltoppers first opponent, the Central Arkansas Bears.

RedZone Radio also returns to the airwaves this Sunday at 7:00pm on Revolution 91.7. Tune in for a full analysis of WKU Football’s home opener against Central Arkansas.