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DAWGS PREVIEW: FAMOUS TOASTERY BOWL WESTERN KENTUCKY VS OLD DOMINION



 

The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (7-5) and the Old Dominion Monarchs (6-6) travel to Jerry Richardson Stadium in Charlotte, NC to meet in the Famous Toastery Bowl. This game was originally the Bahamas Bowl but renovations on Thomas Robinson Stadium in Nassau, Bahamas, forced a venue change. Famous Toastery stepped up and became the sponsor for the game, which will return as the Bahamas Bowl in 2024. The former Conference USA foes have faced off seven times in the past with Western Kentucky winning six of those meetings.

 

Old Dominion -2.5 O/U 54.5

 

BROADCAST INFORMATION




- Monday, December 18, 2023, 2:30 PM Eastern Time Kickoff on ESPN

- Dave Neal and Tom Luginbill will be on the call for ESPN and Abby Labar will be on the sideline.

- On the Western Kentucky side the radio broadcast will be on FM 100.7 and 102.7. On the Old Dominion side, the radio broadcast will be on FM 94.1.

 

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

 

If Western Kentucky wins it will mark the fourth time in the last six years that the Hilltoppers have reached eight wins in a season. For Old Dominion, a win would mean seven wins in a season for only the second time since moving up to the FBS ranks in 2014.

 

KEY PLAYERS



 Western Kentucky

 

QB Austin Reed – 61.5% passes completed, 3,340 yards, 16th nationally, 31 TD, tied for 5th nationally, and 11 INT. Reed also leads the Hilltoppers with four rushing touchdowns.

 

WR Malachi Corley – 75 catches for 958 yards and he is tied for 9th nationally with 11 touchdowns.

 

16 WKU players have entered the transfer portal since the end of the regular season.




Old Dominion

 

LB Jason Henderson – Leads the nation with 170 total tackles, which includes 118 assisted tackles, he is 3rd nationally with 19.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, 1 pass broken up, 5 quarterback hurries, and 1 forced fumble.

 

LB Wayne Matthews – 2nd on ODU in three categories: tackles with 121, tackles for loss with 8.5 and sacks with 2.5. Also had 2 passes broken up, 1 fumble recovery, and 2 forced fumbles.

 

13 ODU players have entered the transfer portal since the end of the regular season.

 

KEY MATCHUPS

 

The potent Hilltopper passing attack against a subpar Monarch pass defense. Western Kentucky is 17th in the nation with 287.9 passing yards per game. The duo of Austin Reed and Malachi Corley have carved up opposing defenses all season long. Old Dominion’s pass defense has not been very good, giving up 238.2 passing yards per game, 86th overall. Western Kentucky has only given up 9 sacks all season.

 

Old Dominion’s run game against a very bad Western Kentucky defense. ODU’s offense in general is not very good, but neither is WKU’s defense. The Hilltoppers are particularly bad at defending the run, giving up 189.5 rushing yards per game, which is 120th in the nation. If the Monarchs can get some kind of a run game going they will have a chance to win this game.

 

PREDICTION - Famous Toastery Bowl

 

On the Old Dominion side, their offense is below average and their defense is slightly better. For Western Kentucky, their defense is even worse than Old Dominion’s but the Hilltopper’s offense is very good. The time off since both teams have played may cause some rust at the start of the game, but I expect it to pick up and be a back-and-forth affair. Western Kentucky will get the win with a late field goal or touchdown.

 

Western Kentucky pulls the upset 38-37, take the Hilltoppers, and take the over 55.5.

 

1 opmerking


Nick Crosetto
Nick Crosetto
15 dec. 2023

Great write up TJ! Can’t wait to see what Jason Henderson piled up in this game. Plus, what that Monarch rushing attack can pull off vs that Hilltoppers D.

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