Hilltoppers make final preparations for First Responder Bowl

BOWLING GREEN, Ky – After a four-day break for the holidays, the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers returned to practice on Thursday afternoon as the team begins to make its final preparations for Monday’s First Responder Bowl matchup vs Western Michigan.

Thursday’s practice was held at Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium and marked the last time this year’s team will practice together on WKU’s campus.

The Hilltoppers are scheduled to depart for Dallas on Friday morning and will wrap up their preparations with a practice at Gerald J. Ford Stadium on the campus of Southern Methodist University on Saturday morning.

The First Responder Bowl matchup between WKU and Western Michigan will mark the teams’ 15th meeting in program history in a series that dates back to 1923. The two programs’ last contest goes all the way back to 1947, where the Hilltoppers dropped a road contest to the Broncos on Nov. 1.

The bowl game, to be played in SMU’s Gerald. J Ford Stadium, is set for 11:30 a.m. CT and will be aired on ESPN. The contest will mark WKU’s 29th postseason game in program history, where the team owns a 17-11 all-time record.