The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers open the 2015 college football season taking on the Vanderbilt Commodores. The game is scheduled for an 8:00 p.m. start time and it will be televised nationally on the SEC Network. Currently the college football odds for the game have the Hilltoppers favored to pick up the win on the road.
Yes, Western Kentucky is favored to pick up a win at an SEC environment. The Hilltoppers are probably the best overall team in Conference USA this season, coming off a 9-4 campaign last year which included a 49-48 win over Central Michigan in the Bahamas Bowl. It's a-typical to see a visiting team be a favorite in SEC country, but remember Western Kentucky scores a ton of points and they bring a ton of starters back on the offense.
Brandon Doughty leads the way at quarterback. He pitched it for 4,800 yards last season and two of his best receivers, Jared Dangerfield and Taywan Taylor, return to school. The Hilltoppers will also have the services of tailback Leon Allen, who rumbled for better than 1,500 yards last season in helping Western Kentucky score better than 44 points per game, good for sixth best in the country. Western Kentucky is going to want to throw the ball in this one. Vanderbilt allowed opponents 7.6 yards per attempt through the air last season.
Vanderbilt has won just 29 games the last five years combined, but head coach Derek Mason is poised to turn it around. It's going to take some time, especially after going 0-8 in SEC play last year. Vandy also returns 17 total starters (8 offense, 9 defense) from last year, will an additional year of camp help the Commodores get any better? The quarterback position is not solid but having four returning offensive linemen, and a senior tight end, should help. Ralph Webb is the best tailback for Vanderbilt and he's coming off a 900-yard rushing year.
Western Kentucky's defense isn't great, they're going to have to get stops if they can win this game. The point spread alone tells us this will be a close one, the Hilltoppers have the better overall offense.
Free Pick: Western Kentucky -2
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