Defense saves the day for WKU
09/03/2015 11:52 PM
In a complete role reversal from last year, Western Kentucky’s Defense came up big, as the Hilltoppers prevented a Vanderbilt two point conversion, to hold on for the 14-12 victory. It is WKU’s 6th straight win dating back to last season.
The first half was a comedy of errors as five different Hilltopper receivers dropped passes. Vanderbilt could not capitalize as Commodores QB Johnny McCrary threw an interception in the end zone, and later Vandy missed a chip shot field goal. WKU trailed 3-0 at the half, but it should have been much worse.
It was more of the same in the second half as the Hilltoppers intercepted another Vandy pass in the end zone, ending another Commodores drive. Finally WKU was abe to take advantage, as Quarterback Brandon Doughty at one point completeed 12 of 14 passes. It included a big 65 yard pass to tight end Tyler Higbee. On the next play Leon Allen ran in for the 4 yard touchdown.
Later in the 4th quarter, it’s Higbee again, who caught a 9 yard touchdown pass. Higbee finished with a game high 102 yards receiving. Doughty meanwhile finishes 19 of 30 for 209 yards and the touchdown pass.
In the final minute, Vandy would score a touchdown on 4th down, but on the two point conversion try, WKU’s Joe Brown would make a big hit to deny Nathan Marcus a yard short of the goal line.
Vanderbilt did recover the onsides kick, but it was ruled as illegal touching, and WKU ran out the clock.
This is the third time Western has beaten an SEC team, but for the first time it was a school other than Kentucky.
WKU is now 1-0 and next plays this coming Thursday (September 10th) when the Hilltoppers host Louisiana Tech at 8 pm ET/7pm CT.