Memphis vs. Western Kentucky prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins the Boca Raton Bowl matchup between the Tigers and Hilltoppers.
Memphis vs. Western Kentucky Game Preview
When: Tuesday, December 20 – 7:00 p.m. ET
Where: FAU Football Stadium, Boca Raton, FL
TV Broadcast: ESPN
Memphis ended the regular season with an exciting last-second win against Houston 48-44, to improve to 8-4 on the season. Quarterback Riley Ferguson has been the catalyst for the offense, passing for 3,326 yards and 28 touchdowns.
Western Kentucky won its second-straight Conference USA Championship with a 58-44 victory over Louisiana Tech. Quarterback Mike White and running back Anthony Wales lead a potent Hilltoppers offense.
What To Know About Memphis
Ferguson has been wonderful under center for the Tigers, but the rushing game has been helpful as well, with Doroland Dorceus gaining 783 yards and scoring nine touchdowns on the ground this season. Looking for a key receiver? Anthony Miller is that man. The junior wide receiver has 1,283 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns on the season.
On defense, the Tigers have struggled, giving up 442.7 yards per game. That will be a problem against a Western Kentucky offense that loves to air it out with White under center.
What to Know About Western Kentucky
The Hilltoppers love to throw the ball, ranking No. 5 in the nation in passing offense by averaging 336.8 yards per game through the air. White is another quarterback that has thrived in Jeff Brohm’s system, throwing for 4,027 yards and 34 touchdowns. Wales has also been a stud, rushing for 1,376 yards and 24 touchdowns. The point? The Hilltoppers can score in a variety of ways and quickly.
The defense is underrated as well, with the HIlltoppers allowing just 367.8 yards per game, good for No. 37 in the nation. Keeping Ferguson and Dorceus under wraps and forcing other players to beat them will be a key priority.
Offense: Tie. Both are capable of putting up points in a hurry.
Defense: Western Kentucky. Linebacker Keith Brown has been a machine this season, making 123 total tackles.
Special Teams: Memphis. Kicker Jake Elliott has been solid this season, making 20-of-24 field goal attempts and all 54 extra points.
Coaching: Tie. Both coaches are up-and-coming names in the industry, with Brohm reportedly having been contacted by several schools with openings.
Intangibles: Western Kentucky. Memphis played against a SEC team last season. How hyped will they be for this one?
Matchup To Watch
Mike White vs. Memphis secondary
White will throw the ball until his arm falls off. Will the Tigers be able to keep up?
Memphis vs. Western Kentucky Betting Odds
Spread: None available at time of publication
Over/Under: None available at time of publication.
Memphis vs. Western Kentucky Prediction
Settle in for a long game that will turn into a shootout, as both teams can put up the points and love to air the ball out. In the end, it will come down to which defense has the ability to get a stop, and that is the Hilltoppers. Western Kentucky wins in a high-scoring affair.
Memphis vs. Western Kentucky Score Prediction: Western Kentucky 42, Memphis 38
Campus Insiders Staff Picks
Brian Stultz: Western Kentucky
Jeff Bartl: Western Kentucky
Rich Cirminiello: Memphis
Robert Judin: Memphis
Jordan Cornette: Western Kentucky