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Western Kentucky Hilltoppers 2016 College Football Preview, Schedule, Prediction, Depth Chart, Outlook

2015 Record 12-2

Western Kentucky Hilltoppers 2016 Preview

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The 2016 Western Kentucky Hilltoppers begin life without explosive quarterback Brandon Doughty.

Overview: Jeff Brohm hopes to keep the Hilltoppers in the mix in the CUSA despite the loss of Brandon Doughty and a few other key pieces from the 2015 squad who was the most successful in school history.

Western Kentucky Hilltoppers 2016 College Football Preview, Schedule, Prediction, Depth Chart, Outlook

USA TODAY Sports

Offense: WKU has to replace quarterback Brandon Doughty with his 5,055 passing yards and 48 touchdowns and it appears that former South Florida signal caller Mike White could be the favorite. Taywan Taylor led the Hilltoppers with 1,467 receiving yards with Nicholas Norris snagging 63 balls for nearly 1,000 yards which gives the passing attack a solid one, two punch. With Leon Allen likely out with injury still Anthony Wales (155-1091) and D’Andre  Ferby (164-650) return to give Western Kentucky plenty of punch on the ground with the added bonus of having all five starter along the offensive line back.

Defense: Western Kentucky couldn’t stop a leak before 2015 but suddenly developed some stopping power a year ago but loses seven starters in 2016. The WKU defensive line loses three of their top five With DE Derek Overstreet the top guy back with nine TFL while Omarius Bryant and Louisville transfer Nick Dawson-Brents being a solid trio to build around.  The Hilltoppers linebacking unit lost two of their top three but get back TJ McCollum and his 87.5 tackles including 11.5 TFL with four star Louisville transfer Keith Brown looking to contribute. Safeties Branden Leston (83 T) and Marcus Ward (7.5 TFL-8 passes defensed) lead the secondary while Corner Joe Brown defensed eight passes.

Special Teams: Jake Collins spears to be the frontrunner for all kicking and punting chores while Kyle Towner will return both kicks and punts.

Outlook: The Hilltoppers will be able to move the chains and score but the defense has some concerns. Western Kentucky has the potential to win the CUSA but I think we have to see them play before labeling them.

Schedule:

9/3                 Rice

9/10               @ Alabama

9/17               @ Miami (OH)

9/24               Vanderbilt

10/1               Houston Baptist

10/8               @ Louisiana Tech

10/15             @ Middle Tennessee State

10/22             Old Dominion

10/29             @ Florida Atlantic

11/5               Florida International

11/12             North Texas

11/26             @ Marshall

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