Western Kentucky hosts Marshall on Friday afternoon

WKU Insider previews Friday's game between Western Kentucky and Marshall

Date: Nov. 27, 2015
Game Time: 11:00 am (CDT)
Location: Houchens-Smith Stadium, Bowling Green, Ky.
Television: Fox Sports 1
  Play by Play: Greg Wolf
  Analyst: George Wrighster

WEATHER

The Weather Channel forecasts temperatures in the mid to upper 60s, with a slight chance of rain.

About the Hilltoppers and Thundering Herd

  • The winner of Friday's game will win the Conference USA East Division and host the league championship game the following weekend.
  • WKU enters the contest on a three-game winning streak and at 9-2 overall and 7-0 in C-USA play.
  • Marshall is 9-2 overall and 6-1 in C-USA, with its lone in league loss coming at Middle Tennessee.
  • The Hilltoppers carry a 10-game winning streak over C-USA opponents into the game, the longest active streak in the country vs. conference opponent.
  • WKU is aiming to become just the seventh team in C-USA’s 20 year history to finish undefeated in conference play. Houston last went 8-0 in 2011. Before that, Louisville went 8-0 in 2004.
    The Marshall pass defense leads the nation in multiple categories, including pass effeciency defense.
  • The game will pit the league's top-scoring offense vs the league's top-rated defense.  WKU is averaging 43.7 points per outing, while Marshall is holding opponents to just 15.6.
  • WKU QB Brandon Doughty leads the FBS in completion percentage (72.8), while ranking second in TDs (37) and fourth in yds (3,841).
  • WKU RB Anthony Wales became the 10th running back in C-USA history to have 5-straight 100 yard outings when he eclipsed that mark against FIU.
  • Marshall QB Chase Litton leads FBS true freshman quarterbacks in touchdown passes with 20, in nine games.

SENIORS

On Friday, WKU will recognize the contributions of 23 seniors who have turned the program they entered from a flegedling FBS program in transition, in the midst of a 26-game losing streak, into a consistent winner with bowl aspirations every year. Since 2012, the first year of competition for many of the players (with the exception of sixth-year QB Brandon Doughty and TE Tyler Higbee), WKU has won 32 games, the most successful senior class since the 2004 class won 38 games.

3 Things for Marshall

1.  Tough Defense. The Herd passing defense is among the nation's best and they'll need to play that way to pull off the upset.  However, they'll also need to slow down WKU running back Anthony Wales, who has rushed for over 100 yards in five straight C-USA contests.

2.  Come Out Quick. The Hilltoppers have outscored opponents 136-34 in the first quarter and 176-85 in the second quarter.  Marshall needs to score early to keep things interesting.

3.  Force Turnovers. The Tops don't turn it over much, ranking No. 16 nationally in fewest turnovers, but they did twice in each of their losses (at Indiana, at LSU).

3 Things for WKU

1.  Focus.  In what could be the biggest game in WKU's FBS era, the team must focus as if it is just another game.

2.  Defend. WKU defensive coordinator Nick Holt's troops need to slow down a Marshall offense that averages 413 yards and 33 points per game.

3.  Run with Success. If Anthony Wales eclipses 100-yards for sixth straight time against C-USA foes, the Tops will win the East Division.


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