The Vanderbilt Commodores look to end a five-game skid as they welcome the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers to Nashville for an 11 AM CT kickoff. The game will be televised on ESPNU and can be streamed online via WatchESPN. Audio coverage is available via the Vanderbilt IMG Sports Network.
Western Kentucky enters this game with a 5-3 record, but a quick look at those five wins should tell you why the Commodores are favored in this game. The Hilltoppers have beaten FCS Eastern Kentucky and four teams ranked 121st or worse in the S&P+ rankings. Western Kentucky barely survived winless UTEP a few weeks ago and scored seven points in a loss to 2-6 Illinois earlier this season.
Vanderbilt has struggled with the Hilltoppers in the last two meetings, losing 14-12 in Nashville in 2015 and winning 31-30 in overtime in Bowling Green last year, but those were significantly better teams than this one. WKU's 2015 team finished the season ranked 11th in S&P+ and last year's team ranked 16th; this year's team is currently ranked 79th under first-year coach Mike Sanford.
While Vanderbilt is on a five-game losing streak, this is the first time since September 16 that Vanderbilt has played a home game against a team ranked outside the top 2 of the CFP. If we don't win this game, our bowl hopes are pretty much gone. Anchor Down.