WKU FOOTBALL| Tops Back on Top vs Houston Baptist

10/01/2016 08:51 PM

The WKU Hilltoppers were able to get back in the win column against Houston Baptist Saturday night after suffering a heartbreaking loss against Vanderbilt in overtime the week before, defeating the Huskies 50-3.

WKU struck first- less than 2 minutes into the game Anthony Wales found the end zone on a 45-yard run. Skyler Simcox kicked the ball through the uprights to put WKU ahead 7-0 with 13:31 on the clock.

WKU found the end zone again when Mike White connected to Nicholas Norris for a 34-yard touchdown. This time it was Ryan Nuss to kick the point after attempted. Tops lead the Huskies 14-0 with 6:33 remaining in the 1st quarter.

Rounding out the first quarter, Houston Baptist got on the board with a 25-yard field goal with 0:34 on the clock to make the score 14-3, WKU.

Opening the second quarter, White connected with Norris for a second touchdown- 19 yards. Simcox kicked the PAT, making the score 21-3 with 11:19 until the half.

With 5:59 until the half, Skyler Simcox kicked a 50-yard field goal to give the Tops a 21-point lead. That kick was the longest for WKU since the Tops played Kentucky in 2008.

To end the first half, the Hilltoppers found the end zone again- this time it was Mike White with a 80-yard touchdown pass to Taywan Taylor. The Tops went for the 2-point conversion, but weren’t successful. The score heading into the locker room was 30-3, WKU.

To begin the second half, WKU struck again at the 9:34 mark when Norris rushed for an 85-yard touchdown. Ryan Nuss’ PAT attempt failed, but WKU lead 36-3 with 9:34 until the 4th quarter.

WKU forced a three-and-out, and followed up with a 50-yard punt return for a touchdown by Nacarius Fant. Skyler Simcox kicked the point after and WKU took a 40-point lead over the Huskies with 8:23 in the 4th quarter.

Roughly four minutes later Marquez Trigg ran 12-yards for another touchdown. Ryan Nuss kicked the point after, making the score WKU-50, HBU-3 with 4:31 until the 4th quarter.

To round out the 3rd quarter, Drew Davis intercepted HBU quarterback Max Staver, returning it 5 yards. WKU was not able to capitalize on the turnover- Nuss’ 40-yard field goal attempt was no good.

Neither team was able to put points on the board in the 4th quarter.

WKU starting quarterback Mike White went 11/13 for 225 yards and 3 touchdowns. Tyler Ferguson was 4/7 for 49 yards and Drew Eckles was 1/2 for 9 yards. Ace Wales led the Tops in rushing yards- 7 carries for 87 yards and a touchdown. Freshman Quinton Baker had 10 carries for 69 yards. Taywan Taylor led the Tops in receptions, 7 for 146 yards and one touchdown. Taylor surpassed 3,000 career receiving yards with a 9-yard catch in the first quarter. He currently ranks 130th in NCAA history with 3,106 yards. Norris posted an impressive three offensive touches and three touchdowns.

On the defensive front, WKU had an impressive night. Keith Brown led WKU in tackles for the third consecutive game with 10 tackles and 0.5 TFL. Drew Davis got his first career pass break-up and interception on back-to-back plays. He added a career-high 5 tackles. Masai White also had a career-high 8 tackles.

WKU had 23 first downs, to HBU’s 17, but HBU was 9-22 on 3rd downs, where WKU was 4-8. WKU had 525 total yards and held HBU to 224.

This was the first time WKU kept an opponent from scoring a touchdown since October 2012, vs. FIU (14-6).

WKU is back on the road at Louisiana Tech in just 5 days.

Lyndsey Gough

Lyndsey Gough joined cn2 in August 2016 as a reporter for cn2 Sports. Before that, Lyndsey was a multimedia journalist, reporter, anchor and producer at WBKO-TV in Bowling Green, KY covering both news and sports. Lyndsey graduated from the University of Kentucky in May of 2015 after covering the Cats for 3 years for print, radio, and television for various outlets. She is excited to finally be covering sports full-time again here in the Bluegrass. You can follow Lyndsey on Twitter @lgough_cn2 and send story ideas her way.

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