BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WDRB) – Western Kentucky Hilltoppers head coach Jeff Brohm said he tapped the brakes in the second half of Saturday’s game against Middle Tennessee State, but it was full throttle in the first half.
The Hilltoppers (5-1, 3-0 in CUSA) hung 52 points on the visiting Blue Raiders (2-4, 1-1 in CUSA) in that first half, courtesy of five touchdowns from senior quarterback Brandon Doughty. WKU eased up in the second half, adding two field goals to win, 58-28.
“There’s things to work on. It wasn’t perfect. That’s what’s scary about our offense,” said Doughty, who finished with 359 yards passing.
The Hilltoppers racked up 593 yards of total offense in the program's first win over MTSU in Bowling Green for the first time since 1989.
“We talked about it a lot. You know, this is our rival. Middle Tennessee, in my opinion, is a good football team,” Brohm said. “We just happened to have their number today.”
Pleasure Ridge Park product Taywan Taylor caught three touchdown passes in the first half: two from Doughty and another on a trick play that had Doughty throwing to sophomore wide receiver Nacarius Fant, who then threw a 69-yard touchdown strike to Taylor.
“It’s a play we’d been practicing all week long. Basically, Doughty throws me a bubble screen, (Taylor) fakes the block, and I just throw it far and let him run under it. It’s wide open,” Fant said.
Saturday’s game also marked the reemergence of junior running back Ace Wales. The Central High School graduate has been limited with a hamstring injury. He rushed for 111 yards on 19 carries in the win over Middle Tennessee.
“Obviously, we have a base system, but we like to be creative and think outside the box," Brohm said. "We’re not scared to try different things, and our guys have been executing it. Hats off to them, because we’ve hit vertical shots up the field, and when you do that, it opens up the defense. It helps the running game, and when you score with it, it helps your overall team."
Western Kentucky now spends the remainder of the calendar month on the road, with away games at North Texas on Thursda, followed by a trip to LSU on Oct. 24 and a visit to Old Dominion a week later.
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