Recap: Western Ky vs. Texas-El Paso
Bowling Green, KY (SportsNetwork.com) - Brandon Doughty threw for 324 yards and three touchdowns as the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers rallied in the fourth quarter to defeat the Texas-El Paso Miners, 35-27, in a Conference USA battle at Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium.
Doughty completed 23-of-34 pass attempts while under center for WKU (4-5, 2-4 C-USA), which had lost three of its last four games coming into Saturday. Joel German and Leon Allen both reeled in touchdown grabs and finished with 92 and 88 receiving yards, respectively. Allen also tallied a team-best 48 rushing yards on 14 carries.
The Miners (5-4, 3-2 C-USA) had their three-game winning streak snapped despite racking up 236 rushing yards on 46 carries. Josh Bell and David Hamm rushed for 68 yards apiece, while Nathan Jeffery compiled 49 yards and a score on 12 totes. Jameill Showers struggled to move the ball through the air for UTEP, recording 158 yards and one interception on 9-of-22 passing efficiency.
The Miners struck first, as Jay Mattox converted a 28-yard field goal try just over three minutes after the opening kickoff to give the visitors a 3-0 lead. WKU answered with a seven-play, 75-yard drive which resulted in a 50-yard touchdown toss from Doughty to German.
Although it fell behind briefly, UTEP did not trail for very long in the first half. Autrey Golden put the Miners back in front on the ensuing kickoff, as he produced a 92-yard return for a touchdown. UTEP extended its lead to 17-7 at the 2:35 mark of the first frame, when Bell punched it in from a yard out to finish off a seven-play, 53-yard drive.
Neither offense found a great deal of success in the second quarter. UTEP added three points to its advantage as Mattox sent a 29-yard field goal try through the uprights with just under seven minutes left in the opening half. WKU went into the break trailing, 20-14, after Allen managed to rush two yards across the goal line at the 3:11 point of the second frame.
The Miners managed to evaporate over 11 minutes of game clock and made it a two-possession game with an 18-play drive in the third quarter. The long drive by the visitors was capped off with a three-yard touchdown rush by Jeffery. The Hilltoppers wasted no time responded, as Doughty engineered a seven-play, 75-yard drive in under two minutes to send the hosts into the final stanza facing a 27-21 deficit.
WKU's defense put it back in front at the 12:40 mark of the fourth quarter, as Wonderful Terry picked off Showers and returned the interception 90 yards for a score. Doughty gave the Hilltoppers some insurance with a 10-yard touchdown toss to Allen with 7:41 remaining in regulation. UTEP failed to reach its own 40-yard line on its final two drives.
WKU finished with only 64 rushing yards on 21 attempts. The Miners held a narrow, 394-388 edge in total yards of offense. This was the first meeting in history between these programs.Game Notes