Week 4 - Southern Miss at Western Kentucky

Posted Sep 19, 2012

Week 4 CFN Fearless Prediction – Southern Miss at Western Kentucky

Southern Miss (0-2) at Western Kentucky (2-1) Sept. 22, 7:00, ESPN3

Here's The Deal: Southern Miss and Western Kentucky meet in Bowling Green on Saturday night, with the pair heading in polar opposite directions. The Hilltoppers are fresh off a thrilling overtime win against Kentucky, arguably the most poignant victory since making the move to the FBS in 2007. Having only lost to Alabama, 35-0, WKU is bucking to become a serious Sun Belt Conference contender in 2012. The Golden Eagles, to the contrary, have been quite a bit slower out of the gate. The defending Conference USA champs will have a particularly tough time overcoming last week's home loss to East Carolina that could shape the East Division race.

Why Southern Miss Might Win: The Golden Eagles D took a much-needed step forward on Saturday, overcoming a rough start in the opener versus Nebraska. It yielded just 228 yards to East Carolina, showcasing the speed and the toughness that's become synonymous with the Nasty Bunch in Hattiesburg. Bandit Jamie Collins, CB Deron Wilson and S Jacorius Cotton are all-star-caliber players, helping corral the Western Kentucky offense.

Why Western Kentucky Might Win: Southern Miss needs to run the ball to be successful on Saturday night. It won't happen in this game. The Hilltoppers have quietly fashioned a nasty D of their own led by LB Andrew Jackson and DE Quanterus Smith. WKU's No. 17 overall defensive ranking includes holding ‘Bama to 103 yards rushing and sacking AJ McCarron six times two weeks ago.

What To Watch Out For: Western Kentucky is pining for a consistent back to help complement the short-range passing of senior Kawaun Jakes. Fingers are crossed, but Antonio Andrews just might be that guy. In the most extensive action of his Hilltoppers career, he was one of the MVPs in the Kentucky upset, carrying 34 times for 125 yards and three touchdowns.

What Will Happen: While the letdown is certainly possible for Western Kentucky, it's more likely that this team feeds off last week's dramatic win. The Hilltoppers defense will cause problems for a Southern Miss offense having problems moving the ball, especially through the air. WKU isn't exactly lighting up the scoreboard either, but it'll manufacture enough points at home to secure another important win.

CFN Prediction: Western Kentucky 24 … Southern Miss 17
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) Western Kentucky -4.5 O/U: 47.5
Must Watch Rating (5 – Ray Lewis: A Football Life, 1 – Frankenweenie): 1.5