The Western Kentucky University football team will try to regain some traction on the 2020 season on Saturday when they face FCS representative Chattanooga at Houchens/Smith Stadium in Bowling Green.

Kickoff is set for 3 p.m.

“We’ve got to treat this like a championship game — we have to have that mentality,” said second-year WKU head coach Tyson Helton, whose team slipped to 1-4 overall and 1-2 in Conference USA following last week’s 37-14 loss at UAB.

“I think everybody’s anxious to play the second half of the season and see what happens. We can definitely build on some good things we’ve done and get back to the style of football we play, but we have to play good team football, and we have to take care of the ball.”

Helton said the Hilltoppers are focused on bettering themselves.

“It’s about us, it’s about us executing the way we’re capable,” Helton said. “We’re sitting here at 1-4 and nobody’s happy. We’re not going to take this game lightly — we can’t afford to.”

Players to watch for Western include a trio of sophomores — wide receiver Dayton Wade, who has 19 receptions over the past three games; tight end Joshua Simon, who had six catches for 81 yards and a touchdown at UAB; and quarterback Kevaris Thomas, who passed for 162 yards and two TDs at UAB.

Helton believes there’s still time for a Hilltopper transformation this season.

“I think this team can make a run in the second half of the season,” Helton said, “but it’s one thing to talk about it, and it’s another thing to go out there and do it — that’s why this is a really important game to swing the momentum in our favor.

“We’ve proven in the past that we can get it done, and I believe in our players and coaches. Our team is passionate about going back out there and winning football games.”

Saturday marks the only game Chattanooga will play this fall, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A member of the Southern Conference, the Mocs are scheduled to play the balance of their schedule in the spring of 2021.

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