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Western Kentucky Football Preview
by Matt Fargo - 06/12/2008
No. 120 Western Kentucky Hilltoppers
2007 Record ~ 7-5 SU ~ 0-0 ATS
Starters Returning ~ Offense (7) Defense (6)
Western Kentucky is in its first season as a Division I-A team with the majority of games against like competition. The Hilltoppers will compete in the Sun Belt Conference but not until next season when it becomes an official member. They went 7-5 last season but half of their games came against 1-AA teams and they went 1-5 in the other half. Western Kentucky will face 10 teams from 1-A this season so a winning campaign is not likely. The toughest slate in school history warrants the lowest ranking across the board.
While it looks to be a long season, there are many good things happening with this program and there will be some positives this year. At the top of the list is a strong running game and that is a great place to start in order to pick up some wins or more importantly in our case, some covers. Tyrell Hayden is back following 1,134 yards on the ground last year and he is just a junior. He will be running behind an experienced offensive line that contains all upperclassmen as starters.
The passing game is the weakness of the offense but it should still be decent enough to contribute some. Sophomore quarterback K.J. Black made a big move this spring and not only because David Wolke was injured for most of the drills. He led the offense like a veteran and is the man to beat out. Also, Quinterrance Cooper had 178 yards receiving in the spring game and looks to be the top threat on the outside. Defensively, this team will be weak and the spring did no help as injuries were the main problems across the unit.
As mentioned, the schedule will be much tougher this season and it is a top heavy brutal start. Five of the Hilltoppers first six games are on the road including games at Indiana, Alabama, Kentucky and Virginia Tech. Four of the final six games are at home and five of those will feature games against Sun Belt teams which will provide a glimpse into the very near future. It is a transition year for Western Kentucky but it is an exciting time and we can definitely find some spread value at some point this upcoming season.