The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers and the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs meet Thursday in college football action from Joe Aillet Stadium. Western Kentucky played back on Thursday versus Middle Tennessee in their latest outing. In that one the Hilltoppers took a victory by a three-touchdown margin. As for Louisiana Tech, they’re coming off a Friday game versus UTEP. The Bulldogs went on to power out a 14-point win. Check back all season long for free college football picks at Sports Chat Place.
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers
The Hilltoppers kicked off their year with consecutive high-scoring blowout win. The first came 41-24 against South Florida in the opener. Game two versus Houston Christian was another big victory, this time 52-22. Western Kentucky ran into the Ohio State buzzsaw in their third outing with a 63-10 loss, then the Hilltoppers fell again to Troy 27-24 the next weekend.
Last Thursday versus Middle Tennessee, the Hilltoppers jumped out to a 23-3 lead at halftime. Western Kentucky eventually cruised to the win 31-10. QB Austin Reed posted 297 yards with two scores and a pick, while LT Sanders led the rush with 83 yards off seven carries. Tops in receiving was Malachi Corley with eight grabs for 81 yards.
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers Team Facts
The home team has won each of Western Kentucky's last five games.
Western Kentucky has failed to cover the spread in five of its last six matches as a favorite when playing with a rest advantage.
Western Kentucky has won the first half in three of its last four games against conference opponents.
Western Kentucky has won the first quarter in three of its last four games against conference opponents.
Seven of Western Kentucky's last eight October games against non-AP-ranked teams have gone UNDER the total points line.
Louisiana Tech Bulldogs
Over on the Bulldogs’ side, they were able to outfox FIU in their opener this year with a 22-17 win. Louisiana Tech would stumble on a 1-3 stretch over the next four games, though. The win came versus Northwestern State 51-21; the losses otherwise were to SMU 38-14, North Texas 40-37 and Nebraska 28-14.
Matched up against UTEP last Friday, the Bulldogs did a pretty solid job in the first half with a 17-7 advantage. Louisiana Tech wend on to win 24-10. QB Jack Turner posted 152 yards with one TD and Tyre Shelton was the leading rusher on 104 yards and a score. Cyrus Allen had one 85-yard catch to lead the receivers.
Louisiana Tech Bulldogs Team Facts
Louisiana Tech has won each of its last six matches at Joe Aillet Stadium when playing with a rest disadvantage.
Louisiana Tech has failed to cover the spread in five of its last six matches when playing with a rest disadvantage.
Louisiana Tech has won the first quarter in eight of its last 10 home games against conference opponents.
Louisiana Tech has lost the first half in four of its last five games against conference opponents.
Each of Louisiana Tech's last eight games as a home underdog have gone OVER the total points line.
Louisiana Tech was one of only six FBS teams to lose 4+ games when leading after Q1 last season.
Louisiana Tech ranked 25th among FBS teams for Q1 win percentage last season (.583).
Western Kentucky ranked T3rd among FBS teams for Q2 win percentage last season (.786).
Western Kentucky ranked 4th among FBS teams for Q2 points per game last season (13.7).
ANDREW’S FREE PICK
I’ll stick with Western Kentucky. The Hilltoppers performed pretty much to expectations in their last matchup versus Middle Tennessee, posting 444 total yards (297 yards), 22 first downs and a solid 10-of-19 on third-down tries. Western Kentucky came up with three turnovers on the other side, so there’s not much to complain about outside of the eight penalties. That makes 24 or more points in four of five games this year for the Hilltoppers—the outlier being the Ohio State matchup.
As for Louisiana Tech, they were able to take care of an overmatched UTEP team in their last outing but the Bulldogs also had 13 penalties for 123 yards and went just 3-of-11 on third-down tries. This matchup is going to be tougher, and I don’t think they’ll hang around for the cover.