2016-17 Football Previews – (C-USA) – Hilltoppers
Looking for 2016 Western Kentucky Hilltoppers predictions? The Hilltoppers program does not have a deep history but last year was their best year by far. They collected 12 victories and won a bowl for the second year in a row. In the offseason they were also able to hold on to their coach, something that they were not able to do with the likes of Bobby Petrino and Willie Taggart, in back to back season before Jeff Brohm arrived.
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Western Kentucky Hilltoppers
2015/16 Record: 12-2
Head Coach: Jeff Brohm
Odds to win Conference USA: +375
Odds to win National Championship: Field
Win Total: 8.5
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If he keeps winning like he has his days in Bowling Green Kentucky will be numbered, in a good way. It probably means he has added some more hardware at WKU
WKU is definitely an offense first team and this will be a test of how much their system/program is in place vs just having the right players at the right time.
They have been lethal throwing the ball the last couple of years but QB Brandon Doughty has graduated. He put up video game numbers even though he was never really a pro prospect.
If they can get similar production from his replacement they can be the best team in Conference USA. If not it could be a very long season.
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers Strengths:
The Hilltoppers are looking for a new lead dog at quarterback and thanks to their recent successes are not having to pick off the scrap heap to find it.
Mike White was a pretty solid recruit for USF not that long ago and Tyler Ferguson played at Penn State before transferring to Louisville and then ultimately to WKU.
Neither would have if they didn’t like what they saw with that pass offense directed by Brohm.
Most likely it is White who gets hte nod and he has last year’s entire line in front of him as well as the top three rushers and top two receivers to work with.
There is talent too: RB Anthony Wales was close to 1100 on the ground and WR Taywan Taylor over 1400 in receiving.
On defense they return their top two tacklers from a year ago but that group was more steady than spectacular. If it slides they will have some problems this season.
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers Weaknesses:
Until they find their quarterback and he proves it on the field they just don’t know.
Last year this offense was third in the nation in scoring and if that slips significantly it will put a lot of pressure on a defense that is breaking in 7 new starters.
LB TJ McCollum and S Brandon Leston are highly productive players but last year’s defense was just middle of the pack and this year it would be quite an accomplishment if they can be even that.
Not only are there a dearth of returning players but last year’s group had the luxury of playing with the lead a lot. If the offense is not quite as productive this group will be on the field even more.
They really need grad transfer Keith Brown (Louisville) to be a force in the middle.
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers Prediction:
I don’t think anyone is predicting another 12 win season but most think this is the best team in Conference USA this year…provided they figure out that quarterback thing.
Even if the group is not humming like it was a year ago, with the playmakers they have this is still probably the best offense in the league.
The schedule is going to be tough. They have a true road game at Alabama and also have to visit Louisiana Tech, Middle Tennessee and Marshall. Those are all legitimate Conference USA contenders and possible losses.
This looks like an 8-4 team that should be in the running for an East Division title and spot in the Championship Game. Last year they ran the table only losing to Power 5 opponents.
This year things will be a lot more down to earth and I am not seeing much value in those future plays.
2016 Western Kentucky Hilltoppers Football Schedule
- 9/1/16 8:00 PM ET RICE
- 9/10/16 3:30 PM ET @ALA
- 9/17/16 3:30 PM ET @M-OH
- 9/24/16 4:30 PM ET VAN
- 10/1/16 7:00 PM ET HBU
- 10/6/16 8:00 PM ET @LT
- 10/15/16 2:30 PM ET @MTU
- 10/22/16 7:00 PM ET ODU
- 10/29/16 3:30 PM ET @FAU
- 11/5/16 5:30 PM ET FIU
- 11/12/16 4:30 PM ET UNT
- 11/26/16 TBD @MRSH
What do you think about our 2016 Western Kentucky Hilltoppers predictions? Please leave us a comment below telling us how you think they’ll do in 2016!
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