Western Kentucky wide receiver Taywan Taylor is typically the best player on the field when the team takes the field in conference play. When he and the 3-2 Hilltoppers rendezvous with the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs in Ruston, La., on Thursday, the senior wideout may not be the hottest pass-catcher on the gridiron.
Heck, he may not even be the more trendy Taylor in college football.
Meet Bulldog senior Trent Taylor, one of the craftiest weapons the nation has to offer. The 5-foot-8 receiver’s 753 yards heading into Week 6 rank third in the nation, the same slot his counterpart from WKU occupied once 2015 came to a close.
Take out Week 1 versus Arkansas, a game in which the Bulldogs’ receiver hauled in eight balls for 78 yards (a more-than-respectable stat line), and Taylor’s personal box scores over the last month have been a thing of beauty:
Week 2, South Carolina State — 11 catches, 178 yards, 3 TD
Week 3, Texas Tech — 7 catches, 166 yards, 2 TD
Week 4, Middle Tennessee State — 17 catches, 210 yards, 2 TD
Week 5, UTEP — 10 catches, 210 yards, 1 TD
This all comes a season following a true breakout year from the nearby Shreveport native, in which Taylor broke the 1,000-yard receiving plateau with 1,282 on 99 receptions. That included a game-high 119 yards on nine catches during last season’s Week 2 matchup at Western Kentucky.
On the opposite side, another T. Taylor popped up in the box score as his team’s leading receiver on that Thursday evening. Taywan, as he does ever so often, topped all Hilltoppers (pun much intended) with 97 yards on five grabs, including a game-opening touchdown pass from the arm of Brandon Doughty.
He’s been as good as advertised following an illustrious junior season.
The senior out of Lexington, Kentucky, similar to Louisiana Tech’s Taylor, has failed to eclipse the 100-yard mark only once this season. Other than that, he’s done a fine job of being the go-to guy on offense. Taylor has recorded 33 catches to the tune of 602 yards and a pair of touchdowns thus far.
Both Taylors are the primary targets for Louisiana Tech’s Ryan Higgins and Western Kentucky’s Mike White, respectively. A game that’s projected to create upwards of 70 points should feature its fair share of the upperclassman wideouts.
However, it may come down to which receivers — potentially the unsung ones — other than the Taylors can step up to make a big play or two in deciding Thursday night’s winner.
White has developed a solid rapport with Taywan, as well as Nicholas Norris (26 catches, 452 yards, five touchdowns) and Nacarius Fant (13-187-2), but aside from that trio, no other Hilltopper has generated more than eight grabs thus far.
Higgins’ top receiver is nearly tripling the next-leading wideout on the Bulldogs’ roster. Taylor’s 53 catches for 753 yards greatly outdistance Carlos Henderson (22 receptions for 356 yards).
That may just be fine and dandy, though.
College football fans are accustomed to watching gifted quarterbacks try to outduel one another (Clemson and Louisville ring a bell?); rarely is the stage set for two wide receivers.
That are both seniors.
That have the same initials.
That share the same last name.
They are ready to put on a Thursday night show in Ruston.
Are you ready for some Taylor-made football?