Liberty Flames (0-0) at WKU Hilltoppers (0-1)
College Football: Saturday, September 19, 2020 at 12:00 pm (Houchens-Smith Stadium)
The Line: WKU Hilltoppers -13 -- Over/Under: 59.5 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The Liberty Flames and Western Kentucky Hilltoppers meet Saturday in college football action at Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium.
The Liberty Flames look to start the season off with a bang after winning eight games last year. Liberty won two of its six road games last season. Liberty will have to find a starting quarterback to replace Stephen Calvert, and the Flames do lose their star receiver in Antonio Gandy-Golden. However, DJ Stubbs returns after a season of 32 receptions and three touchdowns while Joshua Mack should takeover full time at running back after averaging 5.8 yards per carry on 136 carries. Liberty will look a lot different offensively this season, but there’s still some offensive playmakers who can get the job done. Defensively, Liberty says goodbye to its top three tackles, but Ralfs Rusins is back after 60 tackles, TreShaun Clark had 5.5 sacks and Javon Scruggs had two interceptions. Liberty could be in for some growing pains early on this season.
The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers look for a bounce back showing after losing their season opener by 14 points to Syracuse. The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers have won four of their last five home games. Tyrrell Pigrome is completing 43.5 percent of his passes for 129 yards, one touchdown and zero interceptions. Pigrome has four touchdown passes on his last 141 pass attempts. Jahcour Pearson and Mitchell Tinsley have combined for 105 receiving yards and one touchdown while Craig Burt Jr. has two receptions. The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers ground game is averaging 77.5 yards per contest, and Pigrome leads the way with 68 yards on 17 carries. Defensively, Western Kentucky is allowing 35 points and 487 yards per game. DeAngelo Malone leads the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers with eight tackles, Beanie Bishop has one tackle for loss and Omari Alexander has one interception.
The Flames are 15-5 ATS in their last 20 games as a road underdog, 18-7 ATS in their last 25 games as an underdog and 18-8 ATS in their last 26 road games. The Hilltoppers are 6-13-1 ATS in their last 20 non-conference games and 7-3-1 ATS in their last 11 games overall. The over is 12-4 in Hilltoppers last 16 home games and 5-2 in Hilltoppers last 7 games overall.
The Liberty Flames will have a lot of new faces at key positions this season, including quarterback, so they're a team I'm taking a wait and see approach with out the gate. The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers could have played better in their season opener, especially defensively, but they had their moments against an improved Syracuse program, and I expect Pigrome to only get more comfortable with his new team. With a drop in talent in terms of their next opponent, this is a game WKU should be able to get comfortable and put together a more balanced effort.
I'll take my chances with the Hilltoppers in a double-digit victory.