Conference foes meet on a Thursday night in prime time. It’s a game these schools have been waiting for ever since it was scheduled. How will the balance of power in Conference USA shift, if at all?
Louisiana Tech easily won its opener over Southern University, scoring over 60 points. The player to watch for the Bulldogs this year is quarterback Jeff Driskel, who did not play well at all when he was in the Southeastern Conference at the University of Florida. Playing in a smaller conference, Driskel has much more of a chance to succeed. He should feel that he can attack Western Kentucky’s defense. He should also feel that in Conference USA, defenses will move and react more slowly than they do in the SEC. They will also have smaller players who won’t hit as hard or intimidate nearly as much. Louisiana Tech barely lost the Conference USA Championship Game to Marshall last season. The Bulldogs are optimistic that they can take the next step up the ladder this year.
Western Kentucky had a fine season last year. It upset Marshall on the road to knock the Thundering Herd from the ranks of the unbeaten, and out of the Group Of Five chase for a prestigious bowl bid. Brandon Doughty returns at quarterback this season under head coach Jeff Brohm. The Hilltoppers think they have the best offense in their conference, one which can create a special season.
The college football odds are at pick ‘em in a number of places, but it stands at one point for Louisiana Tech in a few more outlets. If there’s a slight lean toward Louisiana Tech on Western Kentucky’s field, it’s because Western Kentucky was not very convincing on offense last week, barely skating by Vanderbilt in a very close and low-scoring game, 14-12. Western Kentucky brought back what many people figured would be an explosive offense, but that unit did not show much of anything last Thursday. It’s true that it was week one and it’s just as true that WKU was playing a road game against an opponent which actually has a very good defense, but being so limited on offense should be a cause for concern. This is why Louisiana Tech might be considered the favorite.
Louisiana Tech does not have any notable injuries at this time.
Western Kentucky running back Anthony Wales is out indefinitely. Offensive lineman Matt Nord is also out indefinitely. Offensive lineman Brandon Ray is probable for this game. Wide receiver Jared Dangerfield is probable, too. Linebacker Dejon Brown is questionable for this game. Offensive lineman Joe Manley is questionable as well.
Handicapping The Game
The presence of Driskel, combined with Louisiana Tech’s near-miss in Conference USA last season, should give the Bulldogs a competitive edge in this road game. One should be concerned about Western Kentucky’s offense after last week, too. Grab the Bulldogs as your college football pick at PK odds this Thursday.
College Football Pick: Louisiana Tech PK at The Greek