Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Western Kentucky Hilltoppers NCAAF Pick, Odds, Prediction - 9/6/14
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (1-0) at Illinois Fighting Illini (1-0)
College Football: Saturday, September 6, 2014 at 12:00 pm (Memorial Stadium)
The Line: Illinois Fighting Illini -7 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers and Illinois Fighting Illini will play Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium.
The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers had an offensive explosion over the Bowling Green Falcons, winning 59-31 and producing over 700 yards of offense. Thanks to quarterback Brandon Doughty and his six passing touchdowns, Western Kentucky enters this week as the top passing team in the country. Doughty completed 82.1 percent of his 56 passes and didn’t have a single turnover. Wide receiver Taywan Taylor was on the receiving end of most of those passes, as he racked up 185 yards and a touchdown on 12 receptions. Defensively, the Hilltoppers allowed 465 yards, which is usually a lot but it doesn’t seem that way with how the offense held things down. Freshman defensive lineman Tanner Reeves was the top defensive player for Western Kentucky with two sacks.
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The Illinois Fighting Illini pulled away from the Youngston State Penguins in the fourth quarter, winning the game 28-17. It wasn’t all pretty for the Fighting Illini, as they produced just 14 first downs to the Penguins 19, and they also turned the ball over once, but a win is a win at this point. Quarterback Wes Lunt was sharp with 285 passing yards and four touchdowns, while the Illinois running game was pretty much nonexistent. The Fighting Illini rank 103rd in the country in rushing yards and will need to improve those numbers if this is going to be a successful season in the Big Ten. Defensively, the Illinois Fighting Illini allowed 380 yards, and Austin Teitsma and Earnest Thomas III had two tackles for loss apiece. Illinois will have to play much better if it hopes to win this ballgame regardless of the spread.
Usually this game would be an automatic pick for Illinois given the difference in talent, but the Fighting Illini struggled with Youngston State of all teams. The score was 7-6 at halftime! Brandon Doughty looked very good against a restable defense last week and could lead the Hilltoppers to another victory if he continues to make plays and take care of the football.
Give me Western Kentucky and the points, as I believe the Hilltoppers could win straight up.