Western Kentucky Hilltoppers 2023 College Football Preview

Western Kentucky Hilltoppers 2023 College Football Preview

June 14, 2023

2022 Recap

Record – 9-4

ATS – 7-5 (vs FBS)

The TOPPERS had another good season under the tutelage of HC Tyson Helton as they won nine games including four of their last five contests. They finished the season in style with a convincing win over a very nasty South Alabama squad in the New Orleans Bowl (W 44-23).

Do they have what it takes to make a run at the Conference USA title in 2023?

Western Kentucky Hilltoppers 2023 Outlook


Yes, guy.

Star QB Austin Reed is back to torture opposing defenses after leading the country in passing yards (4,746) whilst throwing 40 TD passes. Even more amazing to us is that he only threw 11 INT in over 600 attempts. Reed loses a good chunk of his WR group but the good news is that the devastating Malachi Corley returns for duty (101, 1,295, 11 TD) and the TOPPERS bagged a number of intriguing doods via the transfer portal. Keep your eye on former Cincinnati Bearcat Blue Smith who’s got impressive size, and bottom line, offenses like this always find enough WRs to run the offense at a high level. The rushing attack is an afterthought but it’s noteworthy that they finished #69 in the country in rushing offense LY (145 YPG) despite being a pass-happy extravaganza. It’s nice to know that leading rusher Davion Ervin-Poindexter is back for another tour. Three starters return up front and that should be good enough to keep the train rolling down the tracks.


Western Kentucky put out one of the better stop units in C-USA last year (#4 run D, #2 pass efficiency D, #2 sacks) but the REAL story behind their success was forcing turnovers as the TOPPERS bagged an amazing 32 of them which led the nation. This came just after a 2021 campaign in which they forced 31 of those BAD BOYS (#3 FBS). Can they do it again? Well it won’t be easy given all the new faces on this side of the football as there are a mere four returning starters. On a positive note, they bring back their best player in LB JaQues Evans who led the team in tackles AND sacks LY (107,9) and three starters in the secondary. The DL needs to be rebuilt and they’ll rely on transfers to step up and GIT ER DONE. We feel pretty good about the defense but they might be a bit softer vs the run and it’s not fair to expect 30+ forced turnovers..


“I’d sooner get Munsoned out here in the middle of nowhere…..”

“Munsoned? What the hell is that?”

“You know, Munsoned. To be up a creek without a paddle, to have the whole world in the palm of your hand and then blow it….”  ***

We CAN’T WAIT for the drama to unfold when new Western Kentucky PK Cory MUNSON comes in to try a critical field goal. Will they win, or will they get MUNSONED? Anyway, back to the preview, at least they have a decent punter in Tom Ellard (40.1).

*** Karen has to be the only person on Earth that hasn’t seen the epic movie Kingpin and the story of Roy Munson.

Schedule Analysis

Overall – They’ve got a pair of nasty non-conference tilts (at Ohio St, at Troy) and also have to deal with a stretch of five road games in seven. On the bright side, they tackle Liberty at home and have a soft schedule in November.

Potential ATS Trouble Spot – at Troy (Sept 23)

This game follows the visit to Ohio St and precedes the start of conference play (MTSU).

Season Win Total

Market consensus June 14 <wide range of prices are available>

Over 8 -130

Under 8 -110


Lean: Over

The only automatic loss is the game in Columbus. They should blow out a number of Conference USA foes.

MEGAmazing Tidbit

Western Kentucky’s mascot “Big Red” is neither male, or female. A perfect fit for the CLOWN WORLD that is the year 2023.


The TOPPERS are easily one of the most talented teams in the conference. They should be able to steamroll a number of opponents and their prospects for a title game appearance will be decided mid-season when they battle MTSU, Louisiana Tech, and Liberty in a span of four games. We’ll call for just that, a trip to the C-USA Championship Game and a shot to win all the marbles.