Western Kentucky Hilltoppers vs. BYU Cougars
Saturday, October 31, 2020 – 10:15pm EST LaVell Edwards Stadium
BYU is on a quest for an undefeated season. Behind a premier quarterback in Zach Wilson and a defense that has looked really solid this season, an undefeated season isn’t out of question.
BYU has started the season 6-0 with wins over Houston and Louisiana Tech to name a few. They’re currently the highest rated team outside of the Power Five schools and want an opportunity in a New Year’s Six bowl.
The offense is averaging 547 yards per game with 353.3 yards passing and 194 yards rushing. Wilson has thrown 1928 yards for 16 touchdowns and just one interception. Meanwhile, Tyler Allgeier is rushing for an average of 6.6 yards per carry with six touchdowns on 75 attempts.
But it hasn’t been just the offense. The defense is allowing 284.5 yards per game with just 88.2 yards on the ground per game. The defense has prevented third down conversions all season, holding opponents' conversion rate to 29.11 percent. To compare and contrast, BYU has converted 50 percent of their third down conversions this season.
They’ve held opponents to just 2.86 yards per carry and 4.75 yards per play. They’ve been sensational on defense all season long and haven’t allowed an offense to score more than 26 points in a game this season. The defense is allowing 14 points per game while scoring 45.
That’s insane. That’s also why the BYU Cougars have the oddsmakers taking away 28.5 points against the spread. Yet, the consensus is still on BYU to dominate Western Kentucky by 30 or more.
Western Kentucky has a poor offense through six games. They’re 2-4 and scoring just 17.7 points per game while allowing 27.8 points per game. The Hillttoppers are the complete opposite of BYU.
WKU gets just 277 yards on offense while BYU allows just 284.5 yards on defense. Meanwhile, BYU gets nearly 550 yards of offense while WKU allows 370 yards on defense.
All of these numbers point to a BYU blowout. Tyrell Pgrome was the senior starting quarterback for Western Kentucky to start the season. He’s thrown seven touchdowns without throwing an interception. However, he’s more of a running quarterback. He has 58 attempts for 227 yards on the ground, averaging nearly four yards per carry. Pigrome has a poor completion percentage.
That’s why Western Kentucky is now starting Kevaris Thomas, the sophomore. In the last game against Chatanooga, he had 12 completions of 17 attempts for just 59 yards. In the game before that, against UAB, he threw for two touchdowns but also threw two interceptions. He was also sacked five times by UAB.
Imagine what this BYU defense could do to Thomas? BYU has one of the best front sevens in college football and especially outside the power five schools. BYU is averaging 2.67 sacks per game. Going up against Western Kentucky, that average can change.
Tyler Batty already has four sacks on the season and is averaging one a game, as he’s only played in four games as a freshman. The defense also averages 7.17 tackles for a loss per game. That’s 43 tackles for a loss on the season. BYU is big up front.
Western Kentucky has no shot at winning this game. But the spread is a whole other story. I never recommend taking a spread of over 20+ points in college football. There’s plenty of other lines that will be out there.
But if you must pick this game. If you’re chasing after a bad day on Saturday, I’d highly recommend BYU’s team total of 40.5.
BYU is already averaging 45 points per game and they’re going up against a Western Kentucky team that allowed UAB to score 37 and Marshall to score 38. Those are solid offensive teams but neither even come close to what BYU’s offense is capable of. This is an extremely high number but BYU has reached 43 or more points in four of their last five games. I don’t see why they wouldn’t hit it here against a Western Kentucky defense that struggles against the run.
The Hilltoppers haven’t been bad in the passing game but Zach Wilson is one of the best quarterbacks in college football. WKU hasn’t faced a quarterback like Wilson this season.