Recap: Western Ky vs. Middle Tennessee
Bowling Green, KY (Sports Network) - Logan Kilgore had two touchdown passes and Reggie Whatley's kickoff return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter gave Middle Tennessee a 34-29 victory over Western Kentucky in Sun Belt action.
Kilgore was 11-for-17 with 118 yards while Jordan Parker carried the ball 32 times for 149 yards and a score for the Blue Raiders (6-3, 4-1 Sun Belt), who have won their past two games.
Kawaun Jakes had three touchdown passes and went 19-for-30 with 283 yards and an interception for the Hilltoppers (6-3, 3-2), who have lost two of their last three. Antonio Andrews gained 136 yards on 25 carries in the loss.
With the score tied at the break, the Blue Raiders took a 24-17 lead on their first possession of the second half as Kilgore tossed a 5-yard score to Anthony Amos with 5:33 left in the third to finish a 13-play, 80-yard drive.
Western Kentucky answered with a scoring drive of its own as the seventh play of the 73-yard march saw Jakes loft a pass into the right corner of the end zone where Willie McNeal came down with the 32-yard score with 2:03 left in the third.
Middle Tennessee was forced to punt on its next possession, but Andrews fumbled after catching the ball and the Blue Raiders recovered at the Western Kentucky 18.
The Raiders got down to the 2-yard line, but were unable to punch it in and Carlos Lopez's 19-yard field goal gave the team a 27-24 lead with 11 minutes to play.
Western Kentucky came back with a long drive that went 66 yards over 10 plays and was finished on a 28-yard field goal from Garrett Schwettman to make it 27-all.
Whatley, though, took the ensuing kickoff near his own end zone, kicked it out to the left and raced into the end zone on a 96-yard return for a 34-27 lead with 6:03 to play.
Western Kentucky came right back down the field and got to the Middle Tennessee 21, but Jakes had a pass tipped and Kenneth Gilstrap came down with it for an interception to give the Blue Raiders the ball back with 1:39 to play.
Middle Tennessee was unable to get a first down, but fourth down came with five seconds to play. With the ball at his own 7-yard line and Western Kentucky brining everyone in an attempt to block a punt, Kilgore ran the clock down before running out of bounds for the safety to account for the final score.
Middle Tennessee started the game with the ball and a steady diet of Parker, who carried the ball nine times for 52 yards on the opening drive, which led to a 19-yard field goal from Lopez five minutes in.
Following a three-and-out from Western Kentucky, the Blue Raiders struck quick as Parker busted a run on the sixth play for 58 yards and a 10-0 lead with 6:01 left in the first.
The Hilltoppers answered on their next touch as a 6-play, 75-yard drive was capped on a 35-yard touchdown catch by Austin Aikens from Jakes to make it a 10-7 game with 2:38 left in the first.
Middle Tennessee answered with a 8-yard touchdown catch by Amos from Kilgore for a 17-7 lead early in the second quarter, but Western Kentucky scored on its next two possessions to tie the game.
Jakes' second touchdown pass of the game, a 24-yarder to Andrews with 7:52 to play made it a three-point game and, following a three-and-out from Middle Tennessee, Schwettman tied the contest at 17-all with his 29-yard field goal with 3:50 left in the first half.Game Notes