College football: WKU falls to Central Arkansas 35-28

Western Kentucky placekicker Cory Munson (center) kicks a field goal in front of holder John Haggerty on Aug. 29 during WKU’s 35-28 loss to Central Arkansas at Houchens-Smith Stadium.

Western Kentucky freshman kicker Cory Munson was named Conference USA Special Teams Player of the Week, the conference announced Monday.

Munson connected on field goals of 44 and 19 yards in the second half, which ultimately ended up being the difference in WKU's 20-14 victory at Florida International to begin the 2019 C-USA season.

Overall, Munson went 2-for-2 in field goal attempts and 2-for-2 on extra-point tries for eight points scored, had 3-of-4 kickoffs go into the end zone for touchbacks and perfectly executed a surprise onside kick in the first half to get the ball back to the Hilltoppers. The Warner Robins, Ga., native is currently only one of 11 true freshmen starting kickers on FBS teams.

Munson is the first WKU player to be named C-USA Special Teams Player of the Week since returner Kylen Towner, when he returned the opening kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown and added a 32-yard punt return later in the Hilltoppers' 60-6 victory at Marshall on Nov. 26, 2016.

He is the first WKU football player to earn C-USA weekly recognition of any kind since quarterback Mike White completed 39-of-54 passes for 485 yards with five touchdowns and zero interceptions in the Hilltoppers' 41-38 triple-overtime win against Middle Tennessee on Nov. 17, 2017.

At Northside High School, Munson kicked for Eagles' head coach Kevin Kinsler. As a junior, he made 17-of-23 field goals, including a program-record 59-yarder, which was the longest in the state that season. He also had 27 touchbacks on 52 kickoffs and averaged 41.1 yards on 54 punts, including a long of 71. He was rated as a three-star prospect with an 81 composite score by 247Sports, ranking 5th nationally as a kicker, and earned a five-star rating from Chris Sailer Kicking.

​— Follow WKU athletics beat writer Elliott Pratt on Twitter @EPrattBGDN or visit bgdailynews.com.

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