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The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (2-2) will host the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (1-3) on Thursday at 7:30 PM ET.
The Hilltoppers are favored, but by less than a touchdown (-5.5), against the Blue Raiders. The over/under for this matchup is 60.5 points.
Game Info for Western Kentucky vs. Middle Tennessee
- Game Day: Thursday, September 28, 2023
- Game Time: 7:30 PM ET
- TV Channel: CBS Sports Network
- Location: Bowling Green, Kentucky
- Stadium: Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium
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Western Kentucky Pick Insights
- Western Kentucky is 2-1-0 against the spread this season.
- Western Kentucky is a perfect 1-0 against the spread when favored by 5.5 points or more this season.
- One of Western Kentucky’s three games with a set total has hit the over (33.3%).
Western Kentucky Stats & Insights
- Despite sporting a bottom-25 defense that ranks sixth-worst in the FBS (497.8 yards allowed per game), Western Kentucky has had more success on the other side of the ball, ranking 85th in the FBS offensively totaling 367.5 yards per game.
- Western Kentucky sports the 54th-ranked scoring offense this season (31.8 points per game), and has been less effective on the other side of the ball, ranking 18th-worst with 34 points allowed per game.
- With 271.5 passing yards allowed per game on defense, which ranks 22nd-worst in the FBS, Western Kentucky has had to lean on their 30th-ranked passing offense (281.5 passing yards per contest) to keep them in games.
- Western Kentucky ranks 11th-worst in rushing offense (86 rushing yards per game) and eighth-worst in rushing defense (226.3 rushing yards per game allowed) this season.
- With a 32.7% third-down percentage (17th-worst) and a 47.5% third-down rate allowed on defense (16th-worst), Western Kentucky has been playing poorly on both sides of the ball this year in terms of third-down efficiency.
- Western Kentucky has the seventh-best turnover margin in college football at +5, forcing 11 turnovers (second in the FBS) while turning it over six times (69th in the FBS).
Western Kentucky’s Best Players
- Austin Reed has racked up 1,064 yards (266 ypg) on 100-of-159 passing with nine touchdowns compared to one interception this season. In addition, he’s added 47 rushing yards (11.8 ypg) on 17 carries while scoring two touchdowns on the ground.
- Davion Ervin-Poindexter has carried the ball 21 times for a team-high 101 yards on the ground.
- Markese Stepp has carried the ball 21 times for 88 yards (22 per game) and one touchdown.
- Malachi Corley’s 255 yards as a receiver pace the team. He’s been targeted 34 times and has collected 21 receptions and two touchdowns.
- Easton Messer has reeled in 18 passes while averaging 59.3 yards per game and scoring two touchdowns.
- Blue Smith has a total of 118 receiving yards so far this year, grabbing 10 throws and scoring one touchdown.
- Kendrick Simpkins leads the team with four sacks, and also has four TFL and 15 tackles.
- Western Kentucky’s leading tackler, Talique Allen, has 20 tackles this year.
- Aaron Key leads the team with one interception, while also putting up 12 tackles and one pass defended.
Middle Tennessee Betting Insights
- Middle Tennessee has covered the spread once in four games this year.
- In games they have played as at least 5.5-point underdogs this season, the Blue Raiders are 1-1 against the spread.
- Out of Middle Tennessee’s four games with a set total, two have hit the over (50%).
Middle Tennessee Pick Insights
- From an offensive standpoint, Middle Tennessee is posting 358.5 total yards per game (91st-ranked). It ranks 85th in the FBS on the other side of the ball (381.5 total yards surrendered per game).
- Middle Tennessee’s offense has been bottom-25 this season, posting 21 points per game, which ranks 25th-worst in the FBS. Defensively, it ranks 106th with 31 points allowed per contest.
- In terms of passing, Middle Tennessee ranks 81st in the FBS (229.3 passing yards per game) and 91st defensively (242.3 passing yards allowed per game).
- With 129.3 rushing yards per game on offense, Middle Tennessee ranks 94th in the FBS. On defense it ranks 79th, surrendering 139.3 rushing yards per game.
- Middle Tennessee’s defense has been bottom-25 on third down this season, surrendering a 54.5% third-down conversion rate, which ranks fifth-worst in the FBS. On offense, it ranks 59th with a 54.5% third-down rate.
- Middle Tennessee has a -1 turnover margin this season, which ranks 82nd in the FBS.
Middle Tennessee’s Best Players
- Nicholas Vattiato has been a dual threat for Middle Tennessee this season. He has 911 passing yards (227.8 per game) while completing 70.6% of his passes. He’s thrown seven touchdown passes and two interceptions this season. On the ground, he’s compiled 138 yards (34.5 ypg) on 42 carries with one rushing touchdown.
- Jaiden Credle has rushed for 188 yards on 29 carries so far this year while scoring one time on the ground.
- Elijah Metcalf leads his team with 192 receiving yards on 22 receptions with one touchdown.
- Holden Willis has 13 receptions (on 14 targets) for a total of 142 yards (35.5 yards per game) and one touchdown this year.
- Jeremy Tate Jr. has racked up 129 reciving yards (32.3 ypg) and one touchdown this season.
- Sam Brumfield has two sacks to pace the team, and also has one TFL and seven tackles.
- Jakobe Thomas, Middle Tennessee’s leading tackler, has seven tackles this year.
- Deonte Stanley has a team-leading one interception to go along with one pass defended.