The two best teams in Conference USA, Southern Miss and Western Kentucky will square off for the conference championship in five days. Here is a first look at the Golden Eagles high powered opponent, Western Kentucky..
Still New to This
You'd never guess it the way the Hilltoppers have played this season, but Western Kentucky is only in their 7th season as an FBS program. They have had tremendous success as a program over those seven years, and their bowl game this year will be the 5th one in a row. This season, they have doubt digit wins for the first time since 2002. They carry an 11 game winning streak in the conference into the game with Southern Miss.
Western Kentucky is getting it done early and often. This season, they have taken into the half leads of 42, 25, 38, 20, 21, 35 and 21 points. They have outscored their opponents 347 to 133, on average that's 17.8 which happens to be the best in the nation. Southern Miss is one of the top score differential teams in the 2nd half this season, making a very intriguing match-up even moreso. In most games the Hilltoppers have played this season, they have put the game out of reach by halftime. Against Marshall in the battle for the east, WKU scored in the first minute and was off to the races.
Video Game Numbers
The offensive output from Western Kentucky is what you might find on your current dynasty on playstation. In 12 games, they have scored 530 points, which is slightly ahead of last season's record setting pace. They are averaging 44.2 points per game, and are only giving up 25 points per game on average. They convert on 49% of third downs, 10th best in the nation. Also, they are really effecient in the red zone, scoring 88% of the time. The league's number one defense in conference in Southern Miss will certainly be tested against this high powered offense. When we break down Southern Miss, it is amazing how similar the offensive numbers are.
The unquestioned leader of the offense for Western Kentucky is QB Brandon Doughty, who was granted a 6th year of eligibity before the season. He's made the most of it. Doughty registered 4 consecutive 400+ passing games in conference this season, 4th longest in FBS history. He has thrown for 32 TD's in the first halves of game this season. Against Marshall, he became the 3rd QB in FBS history to throw for over 4,000 yards and 40 TD's in a season. He leads the nation in completion percentage and in TD's thrown. He is also being tutored by one of Louisville's best QB's, current head coach Jeff Brohm.
Southern Miss and Western Kentucky have had many common opponents this season. They beat Louisiana Tech 41-38 to start the season, Rice 49-10, North Texas 55-28, ODU 55-30, and Marshall 49-28. Their only two losses this year came at Indiana 35-38, and at LSU 20-48.
Plenty more to come as we break down the match-up in the conference championship game, stay tuned...