WKU Hilltoppers College Football Preview 2021: Keys To The Season
WKU Hilltoppers Biggest Key: Offense
Don’t screw it all up by turning it over. The key to the offense is generating some semblance of consistently explosive production, and that’s happening with all the parts coming in from Houston Baptist. QB Bailey Zappe was careful with the ball in his four games, but WKU as a whole has to stop fumbling.
Interceptions weren’t an issue last year, but the 11 lost fumbles in the 12 games were too much. They slowed down late – the team didn’t turn it over in any of the last four regular season games – but this isn’t a team that can handle losing the turnover margin.
WKU Hilltoppers Biggest Key: Defense
The run defense is important, but … it won’t have to be the rock it was last year.
If the Hilltoppers didn’t crush defensively, the offense wasn’t going to get the job done and carry its end of the bargain to keep up. So the D doesn’t have to be perfect, but if the front can stop the run like it did last year, everything should be fine.
However, WKU was 1-7 when allowing 140 rushing yards or more.
WKU Hilltoppers Key Player To A Successful Season
DT Jeremy Darvin, Sr.
The defensive front should be fine as long as DeAngelo Malone is doing DeAngelo Malone things in the backfield, but the interior needs some help after losing Ricky Barber to UCF.
The 6-1, 295-pound Darvin is good enough to hold up against the run, made 31 tackles with three sacks and 31 tackles and 5.5 tackles for loss, and now he has to do even more as the veteran anchor in the interior.
WKU Hilltoppers Key Game To The 2021 Season
Florida Atlantic, Nov. 20
The offense needs to be humming by this point. The Hilltoppers have a relatively easy run in Conference USA play to kick things off, but if everything goes right, the last two games against Florida Atlantic and at Marshall should decide whether or not they’re playing for the conference title.
FAU has beaten WKU over the last four years including a 10-6 thriller – zzzzzzzzzzz – last season. This time around will be more entertaining.
2020 WKU Hilltoppers Fun Stats
– 2nd Quarter Scoring: Opponents 113 – WKU 54
– Fumbles: WKU 17 (lost 11) – Opponents 12 (lost 4)
– 4th Down Conversions: Opponents 19-of-33 (58%) – WKU 18-of-32 (56%)