WKU Hilltoppers (5-4) at Marshall Thundering Herd (6-3)
College Football: Saturday, November 11, 2017 at 6:30 pm (Joan C. Edwards Stadium)
The Line: Marshall Thundering Herd -- Over/Under: Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers will travel to Joan C. Edwards Stadium to take on the Marshall Thundering Herd this Monday night in College Football action.
The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers dropped to 5-4 (3-2 MAC) on the season after falling to the Vanderbilt Commodores 31-17, this past Saturday. Western Kentucky went into halftime trailing by just a 21-14 margin, however, couldn’t fight back after failing to the find the end zone in the 2nd half. Leading the way for Western Kentucky was QB Mike White who completed 31 of 50 passes for 324 yards. The Hilltoppers were outgained by the Commodores by a 394-349 margin and each team had 1 turnover. On the season, the Hilltoppers are averaging 25.9 ppg on 387.8 total yards per game (314.4 passing yds/g; 73.3 rushing yds/g). Offensively, Western Kentucky is led by QB Mike White who has completed 65.0% of his passes on the season for 14 TD and 6 INT while averaging 294.7 passing yds/g. The leading receivers for the Hilltoppers have been TE Deon Yelder (4.1 rec/g, 49.9 yds/g, 4 TD), WR Lucky Jackson (3.9 rec/g, 56.9 yds/g, TD), and Nacarius Fant (4.6 rec/g, 42.8 yds/g, 2 TD). Western Kentucky’s backfield is led by Quinton Baker (9.3 att/g, 33.3 yds/g, TD) and D'Andre Ferby (9.4 att/g, 29.3 yds/g, 3 TD). Defensively, Western Kentucky is holding their opponents to an average of 23.7 ppg on 371.8 total yards per game (186.4 passing yds/g; 185.3 rushing yds/g). The Hilltoppers have forced 12 turnovers on the season and have an overall turnover margin of -1.
The Marshall Thundering Herd dropped to 6-3 (3-2 MAC) after falling to the Florida Atlantic Owls, 30-25, this past Friday. Marshall struggled in the 1st half as they went into halftime trailing by a 16-3 margin and although they found a little offensive rhythm in the 2nd half, couldn’t put up enough points to secure the come from behind victory. Leading the way for Marshall was QB Chase Litton who completed 20 of 39 passes for 2 TD and 4 INT. The Thundering Herd outgained the Owls by a 381-353 margin and lost the battle of turnovers by a 4-0 margin. On the season Marshall is averaging 28.0 ppg on 388.0 total yards per game (240.7 passing yds/g; 147.3 rushing yds/g). Offensively, the Thundering Herd are led by QB Chase Litton who has completed 60.1% of his passes on the season for 18 TD and 9 INT while averaging 240.7 passing yds/g. The leading receivers of Marshall and Litton have been Tyre Brady (6.1 rec/g, 86.2 yds/g, 7 TD), Marcel Williams (4.4 rec/g, 55.1 yds/g, 2 TD), and TE Ryan Yurachek (3.9 rec/g, 36.6 yds/g, 6 TD). The Thundering Herd backfield is led by Tyler King (16.3 att/g, 80.0 yds/g, 5 TD) and Keion Davis (12.6 att/g, 62.0 yds/g, 4 TD). Defensively, Marshall is holding their opponents to an average of 19.0 ppg on 328.7 total yards per game (197.3 passing yds/g; 131.3 rushing yds/g). The Thundering Herd has forced 11 turnovers on the season and has an overall turnover margin of –4.
The Hilltoppers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 conference games and just 1-8 ATS in their last 9 games overall. The Thundering Herd are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games overall and 16-3-2 ATS in their last 21 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
Western Kentucky has had an up and down season this year and has uncharacteristically struggled on the offensive end as the Hilltoppers offense currently ranks just 79th in the country. Marshall comes into this game on a 2-game losing streak however, played two of the better teams in the C-USA in FAU and FIU tough and has an outstanding defense that ranks 23rd in the country. Western Kentucky is just not the same team that we’ve seen over the past few years as even their C-USA wins have been close (i.e. their 15-14 win over the 0-9 UTEP Miners) and as I think the Marshall defense at home will give the Hilltoppers trouble, I think the Thundering Herd is the pick here. The line has yet to be released but unless, Marshall is favored by more than 10 here, I’m leaning initially towards Marshall.