Indiana Hoosiers vs Western Kentucky Hilltoppers Prediction, Odds and Preview - 09/25/2021

by Big Al Staff

Game Time: 8:00 pm ET, Saturday, September 25, 2021
Venue:  Houchens Industries - L. T. Smith Stadium, Bowling Green, KY
Where to Watch:  CBS Sports


Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks

DraftKings:  Point Spread:  Indiana -9, WKU +9; Over/Under:  63.5 points
Bet365:  Point Spread:  Indiana -9, WKU +9; Over/Under:  62.5 points
BetMGM:  Point Spread:  Indiana -9, WKU +9; Over/Under:  62.5 points

Season Record

Indiana Hoosiers:  1-2 (7th place, Big Ten East)
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers:  1-1 (4th place, C-USA East)
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Indiana Hoosiers vs Western Kentucky Hilltoppers Preview and Analysis

Recent Form
Indiana Hoosiers:  lost at home on Sep. 18 against the Cincinnati Bearcats 38-24.
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers:  lost on the road on Sep. 11 against the Army Black Knights 38-35.

Indiana Hoosiers Analysis

Indiana is coming into this college football game with a 1-2 record overall and they are 0-1 in their road games this season where they will be in this game. This will be their last non-conference game on the schedule as the conference schedule will be starting for them after. Their 1 win came against the Idaho Vandals while their 2 losses came against the Iowa Hawkeyes in their season opener and the Cincinnati Bearcats in their last game. Michael Penix Jr. really struggled in that game as he completed 17/40 passes for 224 yards, 2 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. The run game was quiet in that one as Stephen Carr led the team in rushing with 52 yards on 21 carries. D.J. Matthews had a big day for the receivers as he led them with 120 yards on 5 receptions. Ryder Anderson led the defense with 6 solo tackles and 1 assisted one. No one on the defense recorded a sack in that game while Marcelino McCrary-Ball came away with the only interception for them. They have scored 86 points in their first 3 games and they have allowed their opponents to score 86 points against them. Their offense is averaging 315.7 YPG while their defense is allowing 297.3 YPG.

Western Kentucky Hilltoppers Analysis

WKU is coming into this game with a 1-1 record overall and they are 1-0 in their home games this season where they will be in this game. This will also be their last non-conference game on their schedule as conference play begins next week for them. They won their season opener against the Tennessee-Martin Skyhawks but they followed that up with a loss against the Army Black Knights in their last game. Bailey Zappe had a good game in that one as he completed 28/40 passes for 435 yards, 3 touchdowns and 1 interception. They did not really have a run game at all in that one as Noah Whittington led the team in rushing with 33 yards on 8 carries. The receiving corps had a very busy day though. Jerreth Sterns led the team in receiving with 171 yards and 2 touchdowns on 9 receptions while Mitchell Tinsley also had a good game with 5 receptions for 93 yards and 1 TD. Jaden Hunter led the defense with 6 solo tackles and 4 assisted ones. Juwuan Jones had the only sack in the game for his team. They have scored 94 points in their first 2 games and they have allowed their opponents to score 59 points against them. Their offense is averaging 532 YPG while their defense is allowing 406 YPG.


Indiana vs Western Kentucky Prediction

Western Kentucky is a big underdog here with the point total set at around 63. Neither team had much of a run game in their last game but both were playing from behind for a majority of the game. Western Kentucky struggled to keep up with an Army team that does not throw the ball at all. If Indiana can establish a good ground game here, then they are going to run all over WKU. Indiana had a chance to win their last game against Cincinnati as they were in the lead for a lot of the first half but it all fell apart as the 4th quarter came around. They will be upset about letting that game get away from them and they will likely take it out here in this game by putting up a lot of points. WKU will not be able to keep up with them so the best bet here is to wager on Indiana to cover the spread.
Indiana Western Kentucky Prediction:  Our NCAAF Pick for Saturday, September 25, 2021 (8:00 pm ET start time) is Indiana 38 WKU 17.
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NCAAF Betting Trends

Indiana Hoosiers: 16-8 ATS in all games. 9-2 ATS off 1 or more straight overs.
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers: 22-9 to the over after scoring 31 points or more in 2 straight games. 25-12 to the over after gaining 325 or more passing yards in last game.

Key Injuries

Indiana Hoosiers:  C. Keys (DB) out for season - Knee injury. D. Matthews (DB) Ques Sat - Upper Body injury. J. Head Jr. (DL) Ques Sat - Undisclosed injury.
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers:  D. Smith (WR) Ques Sat - Undisclosed injury. J. Simon (TE) Ques Sat - Knee injury. J. Moses (RB) out for season - Knee injury.

Players to Watch

Indiana Hoosiers: Peyton Hendershot and Ty Fryfogle are both players to watch in this FBS matchup. Neither of them have a team-high for anything this season but they are both dynamic players and have the potential to make big plays when they get the ball. They have been quiet recently but look for both of them to step up here and help their team come out as the winners.
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers: Kye Robichaux is one player to watch in this game. He leads the team in rushing yards and rush attempts even though they do not have a lot. They will need him to establish a good ground game here if they want to have a chance.

Notable Quotes

"This is huge. I feel like it's a weight lifted off our shoulders. People talk about checklists and what you've got to do and that's a check mark off the list." - Desmond Ridder after a big win against Indiana.
"It was a good first win, a lot of positives and a lot of things to build off of. Felt like the guys were in it the whole game they were playing for each other and really happy for the overall performance. Now if we got to go back to the drawing board correct some mistakes we had and correct some things that get you beat, but it was a good first win and we celebrate all wins. So, very happy for this football team." - Tyson Helton after getting a win against UT Martin.

Starting Lineups

Indiana Hoosiers
WR Marshall, Miles 
WR Fryfogle, Ty 
WR Matthews Jr., D.J
TE Hendershot, Peyton 
QB Penix Jr., Michael 
RB Carr, Stephen 
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers
WR Tinsley, Mitchell 
WR Davis, Daewood 
WR Sterns, Jerreth 
TE Simon, Joshua 
QB Zappe, Bailey 
RB Whittington, Noah 

Statistical Leaders

Indiana Hoosiers
Passing: M. Penix Jr. (448)
Rushing: S. Carr (227)
Receiving: D. Matthews Jr. (150)
Touchdowns: S. Carr (1)
Sacks: R. Anderson (2)
Tackles: T. Mullen (14)
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers
Passing: B. Zappe (859)
Rushing: K. Robichaux (44)
Receiving: J. Sterns (278)
Touchdowns: J. Sterns (4)
Sacks: M. Pitts (1)
Tackles: A. Kincade (9)
Indiana Hoosiers: Tom Allen (6th season)
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers: Tyson Helton (3rd season)

Weather Forecast

69 degrees F mostly sunny, 65% humidity, 10% chance of rain, up to 4 mph wind speeds SE.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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