Western Kentucky lost to Texas-San Antonio (UTSA) in the regular season in a shootout, but the Hilltoppers get a chance for payback on Friday night against the Roadrunners in the Conference USA Championship Game from San Antonio. WKU is a short favorite on the NCAAF odds.
How to Bet Western Kentucky at UTSA NCAA Football Odds & TV Info
- When: Friday, 7 PM ET
- Where: Alamodome, San Antonio
- TV: CBS Sports Network
- Stream: CBS Sports app
- Radio: Tunein.com
- Opening NCAAF Lines: Western Kentucky -3 (total 72.5)
On Oct. 9, Western Kentucky lost 52-46 at home to UTSA. Frank Harris threw for 349 yards and six touchdowns and hauled in a 23-yard touchdown pass himself. Harris threw three touchdown passes to De’Corian Clark, the third on a 43-yard hook-up to give UTSA a 52-43 lead with 6:39 left. Joshua Cephus tossed a touchdown pass to Harris in the second quarter, then caught a three-yard toss for a score in the third. Sincere McCormick carried 23 times for 120 yards while Clark pulled in seven passes for 160 yards. Bailey Zappe completed 38 of 60 pass attempts for 523 yards and five touchdowns for the Hilltoppers.
Why Bet on Western Kentucky?
WKU (8-4) closed the regular season with a 53-21 win over Marshall, its seventh straight victory. After trailing 14-0 through the game’s first 22 minutes, WKU responded by scoring 36 consecutive points. Quarterback Bailey Zappe threw for 328 yards and four touchdown passes, pushing his season total to 52 and eclipsing Brandon Doughty’s 49 in 2014, becoming the all-time single-season record holder in WKU program and Conference USA history.
WKU out-gained Marshall 485-to-325 – including a 157-to-126 advantage in rushing yards – and held the Herd to only a 3-of-14 conversion rate on third downs. The Hilltopper defense sacked Marshall four times. All seven wins during WKU’s streak have been by at least 15 points, with the average margin of victory at 26.4 points (45.3-to-18.9). The Hilltopper defense has not allowed an opponent to score over 21 points during the stretch, while the offense topped 50 points in back-to-back games to finish the regular season.
Zappe was named C-USA Offensive Player of the year and leads the nation with 4,968 passing yards and 52 touchdowns. He ranks second in the nation in expected points added (EPA) with 127.96, behind only Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud (152.89). His 70% completion rate (406-of-580) and 168.44 passing efficiency rating are fifth among FBS quarterbacks over 211 attempts. His 52 touchdown passes are tied for 4th all-time in FBS with 2003 B.J. Symons, trailing 1990 David Klingler (54), 2006 Colt Brennan (58) and Joe Burrow (60). M
Jerreth Sterns has 123 catches for 1,511 yards and 12 TDs on the season. East Carolina’s Zay Jones set the FBS record with 158 receptions in 12 games in 2016, and Nevada’s Trevor Insley’s 2,060 yards in 11 games in 1999 is the all-time FBS mark.
With a win, WKU would become the first C-USA football program to claim 3 title games. The Hilltoppers, ECU, FAU, UAB, UCF and Tulsa each have won 2 since the inaugural game in 2005. Since the Hilltoppers joined the league prior to the 2014 season, WKU is 12-6 against the C-USA West division in the regular season and 2-0 against such teams in the championship game.
Why Bet on UTSA?
UTSA (11-1) lost its season finale 45-23 against North Texas last Saturday. North Texas converted three first-half fumble recoveries into 21 points and rushed for 340 yards. The loss snapped UTSA-record streaks for consecutive overall and conference wins at 11 and 10, respectively.
Senior QB Frank Harris was 7 of 14 for 59 yards and rushed 10 times for 97 yards and a score. Harris rushed for a season-long 69-yard TD. He has rushed for five TDs in 2021 and 14 in his career. Sincere McCormick rushed 12 times for 60 yards. McCormick is the program’s all-time leader in rush attempts with 688. He has 3,725 career rushing yards, tops in school history and the 12th most in C-USA history. McCormick has 1,275 rushing yards on the year, second-best in UTSA history.
UTSA has emerged as one of the highest-scoring teams in the nation this season, ranking second in Conference USA and 14th in the FBS at 36.9 points per game. The Roadrunners have topped the 30-point barrier in eight games and have surpassed 50 points twice this fall, including in the 52-46 shootout win at WKU on Oct. 9. UTSA ended up scoring 40-plus points in a four-game stretch — a program record — and is averaging 38.6 points over the last seven contests. With 443 points scored through 12 games, the Roadrunners have shattered the program’s single-season record of 379 points scored in 13 contests in 2016, and they have their sights set on taking down the points-per-game standard of 31.2 established in 12 games in 2012.
UTSA also ranks third in the FBS behind Nevada and Ohio State with five defensive touchdowns — three interception returns and a pair of fumble returns — to go along with one special teams TD this year. The Roadrunners are one of 11 FBS teams to have scored in all three phases in a single game.
Jeff Traylor is 18-6 at the helm of the Roadrunners, the best 24-game start for a UTSA coach. UTSA has won 14 of its last 16 contests dating back to last season. UTSA will make its first conference championship game appearance on Friday night. UTSA is 2-1 all-time in games played on a Friday and 3-3 in non-Saturday contests. The Roadrunners have won a school-record nine straight home games.
- Hilltoppers are 16-5-1 ATS in their last 22 games following a straight up win.
- Hilltoppers are 5-2-1 ATS in their last 8 games as a road favorite.
- Hilltoppers are 5-2-1 ATS in their last 8 games in December.
- Roadrunners are 6-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
- Roadrunners are 13-3 ATS in their last 16 games as an underdog.
Expert Prediction: Western Kentucky 34, UTSA 31
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