Oddsmakers heavily favor the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (5-5) when they host the Sam Houston Bearkats (2-8) on Saturday, November 18, 2023 in a matchup between CUSA opponents at Houchens Industries–L.T. Smith Stadium. Western Kentucky is favored by 10 points. The over/under is 53.5 for the contest.
This game will be available on ESPN+.
Hilltoppers vs. Bearkats Game Info
- Date: Saturday, November 18, 2023
- Time: 3:30 PM ET
- Channel: ESPN+
- Livestream: Stream NCAA football on Fubo and ESPN+
- City: Bowling Green, Kentucky
- Venue: Houchens Industries–L.T. Smith Stadium
- With 446.8 yards allowed per game on defense, which ranks eighth-worst in the FBS, the Hilltoppers have had to rely on their 67th-ranked offense (388.4 yards per contest) to keep them in games.
- The Hilltoppers are averaging 28.9 points per game on offense (57th in the FBS), and they rank 95th on defense with 28.7 points allowed per game.
- Western Kentucky is compiling 271.4 passing yards per game on offense, which ranks them 32nd in the FBS. The defense ranks 80th, allowing 234.3 passing yards per contest.
- The Hilltoppers rank 24th-worst in rushing offense (117.0 rushing yards per game) and third-worst in rushing defense (212.5 rushing yards per game allowed) this year.
- Western Kentucky ranks 76th in third-down efficiency (38.1%) on offense and 70th in third-down percentage allowed (38.9%) on defense this season.
- The Hilltoppers own the 16th-best turnover margin in college football at +6, forcing 18 turnovers (third in the FBS) while turning it over 12 times (81st in the FBS).
- Sam Houston’s offense has been a bottom-25 unit in total offense this season, registering 309.6 total yards per game, which ranks 13th-worst in the FBS. On the defensive side of the ball, it ranks 85th with 390.3 total yards allowed per contest.
- Sam Houston’s offense has been a bottom-25 unit this season, registering 19.4 points per game, which ranks 15th-worst in the FBS. On defense, it ranks 69th with 26.6 points surrendered per contest.
- With 219.8 passing yards per game on offense, the Bearkats rank 76th in the FBS. Defensively, they rank 43rd, allowing 208.7 passing yards per contest.
- Sam Houston has plenty of room to improve in the running game, as it ranks sixth-worst in rushing yards per game (89.8) and 17th-worst in rushing yards surrendered per game (181.6).
- With a 34.7% third-down conversion rate on offense, the Bearkats rank 106th in the FBS. Defensively, they rank 49th, giving up a 36.5% third-down rate.
- After forcing nine turnovers (91st in the FBS) and turning the ball over 10 times (45th in the FBS) this season, Sam Houston has the 73rd-ranked turnover margin of -1.
- Austin Reed has thrown for 2,645 yards, 24 touchdowns (10th in the FBS) and seven interceptions this year. He averages 264.5 yards per game and 6.7 per attempt, while completing 59.5% of his passes.
- He has added 113 rushing yards (11.3 per game) and four touchdowns on the ground.
- Malachi Corley’s 740 receiving yards this season have come from zero targets and 59 receptions. He’s averaging 82.2 receiving yards and 6.6 catches per game, with nine receiving touchdowns.
- Elijah Young’s output on the ground this season includes 406 yards and three TDs. He’s averaging 40.6 yards per game and 5.6 per attempt (80th in the FBS).
- Young also has 12 catches, 150 yards and two TDs through the air.
- Keegan Shoemaker has passed for 2,035 yards this year, with 14 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He is completing 63.8% of his attempts while averaging 226.1 yards per game and 6.2 per attempt.
- Shoemaker has also rushed for one touchdown and 214 yards (second on the Bearkats).
- Noah Smith has put together a 2023 campaign that includes 67 catches for 659 yards and five receiving touchdowns through 10 games played. He has been on the receiving end of zero targets and is averaging 6.7 receptions per game.
- So far this season in eight games, John Gentry has racked up 286 rushing yards (leading the Bearkats) and scored one rushing touchdown. He averages 35.8 yards per game and 3.3 per attempt (322nd in the FBS).
- In addition to his rushing stats, Gentry has hauled in 26 passes (on zero targets) for 188 yards (fourth on the Bearkats), with two receiving touchdowns. He averages 23.5 yards per game.