FACTS & STATS: Site: Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium (22,113) —
Bowling Green, Kentucky. Television: CBSSN. Home Record: Army 2-2, WKU 3-1.
Away Record: Army 0-4, WKU 1-4. Neutral Record: Army 1-0, WKU 0-0. Conference
Record: Army 0-0, WKU 2-4. Series Record: Western Kentucky leads, 1-0.
GAME NOTES: The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers will step outside of Conference
USA action on Saturday afternoon when they play host to the Army Black Knights
at Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium.
Army had lost three straight games heading into its most recent contest, when
snapped its skid with a 35-21 victory over Connecticut at Yankee Stadium. The
Black Knights’ season has still been a disappointment at 3-6, which includes
loss in all four of their road games.
WKU’s campaign has also been less than ideal at 4-5, although it is on the
upswing of late with wins in two of its last three, most recently winning its
homecoming matchup with Texas-El Paso last Saturday, 35-27, to improve to 2-4
in C-USA and 3-1 at home.
The Hilltoppers lead the all-time series, 1-0.
The Black Knights’ modest offensive success (24.8 ppg, 367.2 ypg) is
predicated on the nation’s fifth-ranked rushing offense, which picks up just
shy of 300 yards per game.
Quarterback Angel Santiago orchestrates the triple-option attack and has
picked up 673 yards and eight touchdowns on 146 carries. His pass attempts
come few and far between. He was just 2-of-3 last week and is 30-of-58 on the
season for 400 yards, a touchdown and an interception.
Larry Dixon is the primary tailback and has turned 140 carries into 739 yards
and five touchdowns. Four others have between 215 and 323 rushing yards for
the run-heavy squad.
Edgar Poe leads the team in receiving yards with 168 on just seven catches.
Xavier Moss (six receptions, 52 yards) has two of the team’s three receiving
Army’s defense has also underperformed this season, allowing 32.8 ppg and
Despite the unit’s disappointing play, it still has a handful of standout
performers. Jeremy Timpf has a team-best 83 tackles and 12.0 TFL and is active
in the takeaway battle with three interceptions, a forced fumble and a fumble
recovery. Josh Jenkins (54 tackles) has picked off four passes, and Chris
Carnegie (40 tackles) has three interceptions.
While Army does the majority of its damage on the ground, WKU (40.4 ppg)
employs one of the nation’s best aerial assaults. Of its 507.6 ypg, 371.1 come
through the air, which ranks second in the country.
Brandon Doughty (3,329 yards) is second in the FBS in passing yards behind
Washington State’s Connor Halliday and is destined to take over the top spot
in the coming weeks with Halliday out for the season. With a three-touchdown,
zero-interception performance in last week’s win, Doughty sits with 28
touchdowns to eight picks on 67.0 percent completions.
Doughty’s huge campaign has been aided by a deep corps of receivers, as eight
players have tallied at least 275 receiving yards. Jared Dangerfield (45
receptions, 512 yards), Antwane Grant (39 receptions, 479 yards), Taywan
Taylor (37 receptions, 544 yards) and Willie McNeal (37 receptions, 325 yards)
all have five touchdowns.
Although WKU only rushes for 136.4 ypg, Leon Allen has been a great three-down
back, as he’s not only rushed for 840 yards and eight touchdowns but is a
trusty receiving option with 36 catches for 303 yards and a touchdown.
Predictably, the Hilltoppers’ downfall this season has been the porous play of
a defense (41.6 ppg, 527.4 ypg) that can’t support their high-octane offense
Nick Holt has registered team highs in both tackles (81) and TFL (7.0). Bryan
Shorter has 4.5 sacks and Wonderful Terry is a game-changer two interceptions
and a fumble recovery, with those of those takeaways resulting in 90-plus yard
Army hopes that its rushing attack will be good enough to keep Doughty on the
sideline, but the Black Knights’ defense ultimately isn’t strong enough to
contain the WKU passing attack, especially on the road.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Western Kentucky 44, Army 37