WKU Hilltoppers (3-2) at LA Tech Bulldogs (2-3)
|Date & Time||Thursday October 6, 2016, 8:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: LA Tech Bulldogs +3 -- Over/Under:
CBS Sports Network
The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers will travel to Joe Aillet Stadium to take on the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs this Friday night in College Football action.
The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers improved to 3-2 (1-0 C-USA) on the season after defeating the Houston Baptist Huskies, 50-3, this past Saturday. Western Kentucky jumped out quickly against Houston Baptist and had no trouble securing the victory after taking a 30-3 halftime lead. Western Kentucky outgained the Huskies by a 535-224 margin and won the turnover battle by a 1-0 margin. Leading the way for the Hilltoppers was WR Taywan Taylor who had a TD and 146 receiving yards on 7 receptions. On the season, Western Kentucky is averaging 33.4 ppg on 464.6 total yards per game (322.0 passing, 142.6 rushing). Leading the way offensively for the Hilltoppers has been the strong WR duo of Taywan Taylor (6.6 rec/g, 120.4 yds/g, 2 TD) and Nicholas Norris (5.2 rec/g, 90.4 yds/g, 5 TD). QB Mike White has completed 63.5% of his passes for 9 TD and 3 INT while averaging 273.4 passing yds/g. The Hilltoppers backfield has been led by Anthony Wales (14.3 att/g, 85.3 yds/g, 5 TD) and Quinton Baker (8.8 att/g, 43.8 yds/g, TD). Defensively, Western Kentucky is holding their opponents to an average of 22.0 ppg on 360.6 total yards per game (258.6 passing, 102.0 rushing). The Hilltoppers currently have a turnover margin of -2 on the season.
The Louisiana Tech Bulldogs snapped their two-game losing streak and improved to 2-3 (1-1 C-USA) on the season after defeating the UTEP Miners, 28-7, this past Saturday. Louisiana Tech was outstanding defensively throughout the game and pulled away from UTEP after a 70 yard TD run by Jarred Craft early in the 4th quarter. Louisiana Tech was outgained by UTEP by a 415-387 margin however, did win the turnover battle by a 2-0 margin. Leading the way for the Bulldogs was RB Jarred Craft who had a TD and 146 rushing yards on just 13 carries. On the season, Louisiana Tech is averaging 36.0 ppg on 519.8 total yards per game (347.2 passing, 172.6 rushing). Offensively, Louisiana Tech has been led by WR Trent Taylor who had 8 TD’s on the season and is averaging 150.6 receiving yards on 10.6 receptions per game. QB Ryan Higgins has completed 63.7% of his passes for 12 TD and 2 INT while averaging 353.8 passing yards/game. Leading the backfield for the Bulldogs has been RB Jarred Craft (15.40 att/g, 110.2 yds/g, 3 TD) and QB Ryan Higgins (6.8 att/g, 32.5 yds/g, TD). Defensively, Louisiana Tech is allowing their opponents to average 29.8 ppg on 444.8 total yards per game (289.4 passing, 155.4 rushing). The Bulldogs have only been able to force 4 turnovers on the season and currently have a -2 turnover margin.
The Hilltoppers are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 conference games however, just 1-4-1 ATS in their last 6 games following an ATS loss. The Bulldogs are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games following an ATS loss and 9-4 ATS vs. a Team with a winning record.
This matchup is generally a high-scoring affair should be a great game to watch on Thursday as this matchup will feature two of the best WR's in college football in Western Kentucky’s Taywan Taylor and Louisiana Tech’s Trent Taylor. Western Kentucky has great skilled position players throughout the offense and although they no longer have QB Brandon Daugherty, they have to be impressed with the play of QB Mike White who transferred from South Florida. Louisiana Tech had a nice defensive game in their recent victory against UTEP, however, this is still a team that ranks just 111th in passing defense and could have trouble covering all the offensive weapons that the Hilltoppers have. I think this will be a close game but as Western Kentucky’s losses have both come against SEC opponents and for the fact that I think they have the better defense in this one, I’m taking Western Kentucky to cover this small road spread. Take the Hilltoppers to cover.