Louisiana Tech vs. Western Kentucky C-USA Championship prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins between the Bulldogs and Hilltoppers on Saturday in Bowling Green, KY.
Louisiana Tech vs. Western Kentucky – C-USA Championship Game Preview
When: Saturday, Dec. 3 – Noon ET
Where: L.T. Smith Stadium, Bowling Green, KY
TV Broadcast: ESPN
Skip Holtz’s Bulldogs (8-4, 6-2 Conference USA) saw their seven-game win streak snapped this past weekend at Southern Miss, as Nick Mullens threw for 342 yards and three touchdowns and sneaked in for another one in a 39-24 victory. Despite the loss, Louisiana Tech will still play in the C-USA championship game after having already clinched the division. In the defeat, Ryan Higgins was 21-of-27 through the air for 244 yards and three interceptions after coming in with just four picks this fall. Trent Taylor added 119 receiving yards.
Meanwhile, Jeff Brohm’s Hilltoppers (9-3, 7-1) went on the road and cruised to a 60-6 win over Marshall behind three Mike White touchdown passes and three scores from Anthony Wales to secure the Conference USA East division crown. Wales had 13 carries for 110 yards and two touchdowns and added a 16-yard scoring reception, while Quinton Baker had 10 carries for 104 yards and a score. Kylen Towner returned the opening kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown as WKU scored 48 consecutive points.
When these two teams met earlier this season in Ruston, Higgins passed for 454 yards and five touchdowns to help the Bulldogs hold off the Hilltoppers, 55-52. Louisiana Tech had a 49-24 lead in the middle of the third quarter before WKU began a furious rally spurred by the play of White, who had scoring passes of 31, 8 and 11 yards that made it 55-45 with over 7:00 left. A blocked punt for a score pulled the ‘Toppers to within three with 5:02 left, but White was strip-sacked on the offense’s last possession to seal a Bulldogs win.
What To Know About Louisiana Tech
The fact that Higgins threw three picks in his last outing is an aberration, as he had thrown a total of one in his previous four games. Expect Higgins to be at his best in this title game. He’s a senior who leads what at times looks like an unstoppable air-raid offense, as the signal-caller has the ability to go up and down the field with his surrounding playmakers, highlighted by wide receiver Taylor. There are defensive deficiencies that can be exposed, but the Bulldogs make up for them on offense.
What to Know About Western Kentucky
This will be a home game for Western Kentucky, which is the defending C-USA champion. Brohm’s team is loaded offensively behind White, Wales and wide receiver Taywan Taylor, and it’s one of the most fun units to watch when both the pass and run games are clicking. Defensively, WKU has been very susceptible to the pass, so teams need to exploit that secondary if they want any chance at an upset. But, as is the case with the Bulldogs, the offense can mask some defensive issues.
Offense: Even. You couldn’t get more of a wash with these two prolific offenses, as both units average over 505 total yards per game.
Defense: Western Kentucky. The Hilltoppers have been more stout, allowing 356.2 total yards per contest.
Special Teams: Even. Both squads have return men that can take it to the house.
Coaching: Even. Both of these head coaches could get Power Five jobs sooner than later.
Intangibles: Western Kentucky. The Hilltoppers have the home-field advantage in a championship game. That’s big.
Matchup To Watch
Carlos Henderson vs. Western Kentucky defense/special teams
In the matchup between these teams earlier in the year, Henderson had eight catches for 232 yards and three touchdowns. He’s also an X-Factor as a return man, having returned the opening kickoff 90 yards for a score a few weeks ago. Offensively, Henderson can line up anywhere on the field, so he’s one of the more dangerous players in the Group of Five, and he can be the difference in this one.
Spread: Western Kentucky -7.5
Over/Under: No Line (as of post)
Louisiana Tech vs. Western Kentucky Prediction
This should be one of the more entertaining games of Championship Saturday. The ‘Toppers get revenge at home behind the arm of White, the legs of Wales and a key fourth-quarter turnover.
Louisiana Tech vs. Western Kentucky Final Score Prediction: Western Kentucky 41, Louisiana Tech 37