WKU rival Middle Tennessee State visits The Hill this weekend

WKU Insider answers questions about the upcoming rivalry game between the Hilltoppers and visiting Middle Tennessee.

1. Confidence has to be high for the team, any concern of a letdown on Saturday? The concern is understandable.  The Hilltoppers have outscored their last two opponents 105-24 and entering the game as a slightly more than a touchdown favorite, there is even more reason to be concered about a possible letdown.  However, don't expect it.  This a driven team, still likely a bit upset with the loss at Indiana.  This is a team full of veterans that spoke about their roles in WKU's rapid development since moving to the FBS level.  Of course, there is a rival coming to The Hill, so that alone should remove any concerns about a possible letdown on Saturday.

2. Two great games by the defense, is this the new normal of what we should expect? The expectations for the defense were on the climb as the 2015 season and there's no question that there has been significant improvement.  While the Hilltoppers currently rank No.105 in total defense, they are trending upwards.  They unit excels in creating turnovers, ranking first in the nation. And, while they have bent on a few times, allowing chunks of yardage on drives, they have also proven difficult to finish against and rank among the nation's top 20 in red zone defense.

3. Will the Blue Raiders be able to slow down the WKU offense? I suspect that WKU head coach Jeff Brohm and offensive coordinator Tyson Helton are preparing a game plan with the expectation of a close game. The MTSU defense ranks among the nation's top 25 in scoring defense, allowing just 21.8 points per outing and No.54 in total defense. Additionally, the Bue Raiders are No.6 in red zone defense.  Their soft spot, where they give up 220 yards per game, is the passing defense.

4. Brandon Doughty continues to set new records, what's next for him? There's no question that Doughty has proven to be one of the nation's top quarterbacks for a third consecutive season.  Doughty already owns double-digit school records and has established new multiple Conference USA marks.  Selected to six national award watchlists, up next for Doughty is the 10,000 yards barrier.  He needs 200 yards to become the 92nd quarterback in FBS history to reach that milestone.

5. Largest crowd of the season this Saturday? The Hilltoppers last home outing, a 56-14 blasting of Miami of Ohio, Houchens-Smith Stadium welcomed 20,320 fans for the largest crowd during the Jeff Brohm era. With a team that is off to an excellent start and a projected sunny autumn afternoon, the stage has been set an even closer to sellout crowd.  Also, remember it's a Red Out.

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