Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (2-3) at Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (4-1)
|Date & Time||Saturday October 10, 2015, 12:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Western Kentucky Hilltoppers -8 -- Over/Under: 65
|TV Channel||Stream College Football all season on ESPN+. Start your 7-day FREE trial today!|
The Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders will face a tough test as they travel to L.T. Smith Stadium to take on the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers this Saturday afternoon in College Football action.
The Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders couldn’t hold on to a late double digit lead and dropped to 2-3 (1-0 C-USA East) after being defeated by the Vanderbilt Commodores 17-13 this past Saturday. The Blue Raiders were outgained by Vanderbilt by a 414-320 margin and loss the turnover battle to the Commodores by a 3-2 margin. The Blue Raiders had major trouble finding a running game as they were only able to gain 34 yards on the ground on 23 carries. On the season, Middle Tennessee is averaging 38.2 ppg led by QB Brent Stockstill who is completing 67.7% of his passes for 1507 yards, 13 TD’s and 2 Int. The Blue Raiders have two outstanding WR’s in Ed’Marques Batties (40 receptions, 528 yards, 8 TD’s) and Richie James (42 receptions, 447 yards, 1 TD). Jordan Parker (63 carries, 307 yards, 4 TD) leads the rushing attack for the Blue Raiders. Middle Tennessee has been decent on the defensive end this season as they are currently allowing their opponents to average 21.8 ppg. The Blue Raiders defense has forced 13 turnovers so far on the season. Leading the way for the defense is T.T. Barber (34 tackles, 3 sacks) and DB Kevin Byard (28 tackles).
Western Kentucky used another big offensive performance by QB Brandon Doughty to defeat the Rice Owls 49-10 and improve to 4-1 (2-0 C-USA East) on the season. Doughty threw four 1st half TD passes and outgained the Owls by a 504-322 margin. The Hilltoppers defense was equally impressive in the victory as they held Rice who entered the game averaging almost 35 ppg, to just 10 points. Western Kentucky forced the owls to commit 5 turnovers in the victory. On the season, the Hilltoppers have been led by QB Brandon Doughty is putting up Heisman like numbers as he has completed 74.1% of his passes for 2000 yards, 15 TD’s and 2 Int. The Hilltoppers also have a great pair of receivers in WR Taywan Taylor (32 receptions, 571 yards, 5 TD), TE Tyler Higbee (28 receptions, 408 yards, 5 TD) and WR Jared Dangerfield (29 receptions, 346 yards and 3 TD). Defensively, Western Kentucky is currently holding their opponents to 22.4 ppg. The Hilltoppers have an outstanding plus 12 turnover margin as they’ve forced their opponents into committing 15 turnovers this season. Leading the way for the Hilltoppers defense has been LB TJ McCollum (41 tackles, 2 sacks) and Nick Holt (39 tackles).
The Blue Raiders are 4-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record however just 4-9 ATS in their last 13 road games. The Hilltoppers are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 conference games and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games.
Both the Western Kentucky and Middle Tennessee offensives are quite explosive and although both defensives have shown improvement this season, this was still a game that Middle Tennessee won at home by a 50-47 margin last season. Western Kentucky has been solid at home this season but I’m not convinced that they will be able to hold the Blue Raiders passing game in check and I think this game will come down to who has the ball in the final possession. I’m going to take Middle Tennessee and points and will also take over.