*10* Top Championship Game POWER-PLAY ~ Early Saturday!
LA Tech vs. WKU,
12/03/2016 12:00 EDT,
Score: 44 - 58
Point Spread: -9½/-111 WKU
10* Western Kentucky (12:00 ET): With a 60-6 thrashing of Marshall last week (on the road!), WKU guaranteed itself a second consecutive appearance in the C-USA Title Game. Even better, because Louisiana Tech lost last week (39-24 as 15.5-pt road favorites), the Hilltoppers will play host for a second straight year as they look to make it B2B titles (they beat Southern Miss 45-28 as 8-pt favorites in LY's C-USA Title Game). This is a revenge spot for WKU, as they lost down in Ruston earlier this year, 55-52 as 3-pt favorites, a game they trailed by as many as 25 at one point. A furious rally fell short back in early October, but I believe there will be no need for a comeback effort here as the home team is 3-0 SU all-time as C-USA rivals and I look for the Hilltoppers to roll. Home teams have won the L4 C-USA Title games and 8 of 11 all-time. Lay the points.
The regular season meeting was a Thursday night game. Like I said earlier, playing on the road, WKU fell into an early hole. That's odd considering the Hilltoppers have outscored opponents by 202 pts in the first half this year, the third largest margin in the FBS. They allowed 35 1H points in Ruston and trailed 49-24 midway through the fourth quarter. Though by no means a defensive stalwart, the number of points allowed in the 1st Half vs. La Tech was more than they allowed in all but two other games. One was vs. Alabama! Besides 'Bama and La Tech, the Hilltoppers only other loss was by 1 pt at Vanderbilt. Obviously, it goes w/o saying that this is an outstanding offensive team, one that is tied for 5th in points per game nationally (w/ LA Tech!) at 44 PPG. They are third in TD drives of three plays or less (21), tied w/ Louisville.
Though they didn't show it in the regular season meeting, WKU really has a significant edge defensively here. They allow just 22.4 PPG overall and 16.7 PPG here in Bowling Green. Meanwhile, La Tech allows 30.6 PPG overall and 33.3 PPG on the road. It was a crushing loss LW in Hattiesburg for the Bulldogs as they were outgained 426-254 (-10 in first downs) by a 5-6 Southern Miss team. Since losing to LA Tech, WKU has won six in a row, the last five all by 28 pts or greater. They've won those L5 games by a combined score of 265-61! This spread should be closer to two touchdowns. 10* Western Kentucky