Western Kentucky vs

South Alabama

at New Orleans
Wed, Dec 21
6:00 PM Pacific
Rotation: 225
Odds: South Alabama -4.5, Total: 56

Game Analysis

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South Alabama (-4.5)  31   Western Kentucky  27

I’ll assume that Western Kentucky quarterback Austin Reed will start this game after withdrawing from the transfer portal last Tuesday. If so, Reed will be returning to play behind an offensive line that will be without two starters (transfer portal), his #2 receiver Daewood Davis (opt out to prepare for NFL draft) and starting TE Joshua Simon. Western Kentucky’s pass-heavy offense averaged close to 500 yards per game at 6.7 yards per play (against teams that would allow 6.1 yppl to an average attack) but that unit rates at 0.2 yppl better than average after adjusting for the 4 absent starters.

The Hilltoppers will likely throw the ball more often than normal against a good South Alabama defense and playing in a domed stadium also leads to more passing in general. South Alabama is 0.4 yards per pass play better than average defending the pass and I project a modest 6.5 yppp for Western Kentucky even in the perfect dome conditions. Overall, the Hilltoppers are expected to gain 402 yards at 5.8 yppl in this game, which is well below their norm. Western Kentucky averaged just 23.5 points per game against the 4 better than average defensive teams that they faced (Indiana, Troy, UAB, and Auburn) but I project 27 points for the Hilltoppers in this game.

South Alabama’s offense is 0.3 yppl worse than average (6.0 yppl against teams that would allow 6.3 yppl) but quarterback Bradley Carter is slightly better than average throwing the ball and he’ll likely throw it more than normal in this game against a Western Kentucky secondary that will be without their best cornerback Kahlef Hailassie, who has declared for the NFL draft and presumably will not play in this game. The Hilltoppers’ defense was 0.1 yppl worse than average this season but I rate that unit at 0.3 yppl worse than average without their top corner and the Jaguars are projected to gain 446 yards at 6.1 yppl in this game.

My math favors South Alabama by 4.5 points with a total of 58.4 total points so this is a pass for me.

  • Team Stats
  • Game Log
  • Western Kentucky
  • South Alabama


  • Run Plays 28.5 35.6
  • Run Yards 153.3 174.6
  • YPRP 5.4 4.9


  • Pass Comp 28.0 21.5
  • Pass Att 43.3 34.3
  • Comp % 64.7% 62.8%
  • Pass Yards 340.2 227.9
  • Sacks 1.0 2.2
  • Sack Yards 6.1 12.8
  • Sack % 2.3% 5.9%
  • Pass Plays 44.3 36.5
  • Net Pass Yards 334.1 215.2
  • YPPP 7.5 5.9


  • Total Plays 72.8 72.1
  • Total Yards 487.4 389.8
  • YPPL 6.7 5.4


  • Int 0.9 1.3
  • Int % 2.0% 3.8%
  • Fumbles 0.7 1.0
  • Turnovers 1.5 2.3
  • Points 35.8 23.5
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