Western Kentucky College Football Preview

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2015

Western Kentucky

College Football

Betting Preview

Schedule and Odds

Western Kentucky had one of the best offenses in the country last season, yet finished 8-5 overall, 4-4 in Conference USA play and tied for third in their division. That was because the Hilltoppers also had one of the worst defenses in the country. This year, nothing much is expected to change and their over/under is set at 7.5 wins, and they have the third-best odds to with the C-USA at +305.

The Hilltoppers scored a whopping 44.4 points per Game last year and they return pretty much all of the talent from that squad. Record-setting quarterback Brandon Doughty was granted another season of eligibility after throwing for 49 TDs, only 10 INTs and completing 67.9% of his passes. He’s joined by stud running back Leon Allen (1,542 yards, 13 TDs) and most of 2014’s top receivers, including Jared Dangerfield (825 yards, 11 TDs), Taywan Taylor (767 yards, 7 TDs) and Antwane Grant (509 yards, 6 TDs).

This offense is built off spreading the wealth, as one can see in the receiving numbers, which makes it extra hard for defenses to focus on a certain area. The one issue for this team will be depth if injuries come about, especially on the offensive line. They return three starters, including left tackle Forrest LAmp, but besides that, there are some questions.

Defensively, there’s even more questions after WKU gave up 39.9 points per Game. There’s a reason the Hilltoppers had multiple Games where both teams pushed 50 points, including their final two of last season, an OT win at Marshall and a bowl win against Central Michigan (after nearly blowing a 49-14 lead).

The good news is that they return most of last year’s talent and then bring in a couple of guys that played for UAB that should be starters immediately in tackle Jontavious Morris and linebacker T.J. McCollum. Sophomore ends Derik Overstreet and Tanner Reeves need to produce more of a pass rush, and that should be possible in their second year. Senior Nick Holt will lead the linebackers and the secondary is getting most of its players back with Marcus Ward and Branden Leston at safety. As long as these guys can stay healthy, improvement should be expected because they can’t get much worse than they were.

The issue for Western Kentucky is a tough early-season Schedule. They open with two of three road Games at Vandy and Indiana and also host Louisiana Tech. The Hilltoppers lost 49-10 at LA. Tech last season. Other than that, they have to travel to LSU in October, which will be another loss. The only good news about their Schedule is that WKU gets to host Middle Tennessee and Marshall, two of the teams that took them to the wire last year.

The Hilltoppers have a decent shot at winning the East division, but due to their non-Conference Schedule, will have some tough sledding in reaching more than eight wins. Also, it can’t be forgotten that this team lost to weaker ones like UAB and FAU last year due to a bad defense. Without improvement, this is a hard team to trust.

2015 Western Kentucky Football Schedule

Sept. 3 at Vanderbilt
Sept. 10 vs. Louisiana Tech
Sept. 19 at Indiana
Sept. 26 vs. Miami (OH)
Oct. 3 at Rice
Oct. 10 vs. Middle Tennessee
Oct. 15 at North Texas
Oct. 24 at LSU
Oct. 31 at Old Dominion
Nov. 7 vs. Florida Atlantic
Nov. 21 at Florida International
Nov. 27 vs. Marshall

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