Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (1-0) at Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (1-0)
|Date & Time||Thursday September 10, 2015, 8:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Western Kentucky Hilltoppers -1.5 -- Over/Under: 65.5
Fox Sports 1
The Louisiana Tech Bulldogs will travel to L.T. Smith Stadium to take on the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers in a matchup up of two of the Conference USA favorites this Thursday night.
The Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (1-0, 0-0 C-USA) got off a great start of the season after defeating the Southern University Jaguars 62-15 this past Saturday. The Bulldogs got off to a quick start in their matchup against the Jaguars as they took a 52-8 lead into halftime. Leading the way for Louisiana Tech was former Florida Gator QB Jeff Driskel who threw for 274 yards and 5 total TD (4 passing, 1 rushing) and Kenneth Dixon who went for 106 yards on the ground and TD on just 9 carries. The Bulldogs had 5 different receivers catch TD’s and were led by Paul Turner who had three catches for 76 yards. Louisiana Tech was able to hold Southern University to just 281 yards and forced 3 turnovers. The Bulldogs returned 13 starters from their 2014 team and is looking to repeat the defense that held teams to just 24.7 ppg last season while forcing the most turnovers in the nation last season with 42. The Bulldogs have one of the best defensive lines in C-USA and two great DB’s in Xavier Woods and Adairius Barnes. If Louisiana Tech can get another offensive out of Driskel and Dixon, they’ll be a very tough team to beat in C-USA this season.
The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (1-0, 0-0 C-USA) was able to defeat the SEC Vanderbilt Commodores 14-12 after coming up with a big stop on a late two-point conversation by DB Joe Brown this past Saturday. The Hilltoppers were outgained by the Commodores by a 385-246 margin but was able to force Vanderbilt into committing three turnovers in the victory. Leading the way for Western Kentucky on the offensive side was QB Brandon Doughty who threw for 209 yards and 1 TD and WR Tyler Higbee who hauled in 102 yards and a TD. On the ground, the Hilltoppers were led by Leon Allen who had 15 carries for 56 yards. Leading the way for the defense was LB T.J. McCollum and LB Nick Holt who had 7 tackles and an INT. In 2014, the Hilltoppers offensive was one of the best in the country as they averaged 44.4 ppg and should be able to put of some decent numbers against as they have QB Brandon Doughty and RB Leon Allen. The Hilltoppers return 9 starters on the defensive side but will need to improve as the Hilltoppers allowed 39.9 ppg and 509.9 yds/game in 2014.
Although Vanderbilt is probably the worst team in the SEC this season, it’s still an accomplishment for the Hilltoppers to knock off a Power 5 conference in their season opener. Western Kentucky has the best offensive in C-USA and although Louisiana Tech was able to take down the Hilltoppers 59-10 last season, I expect the Hilltoppers and their offensive will be able to get revenge on the Bulldogs at home on Thursday night. I’m going with the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers to cover this small line.