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(Saturday, November 30)
Final Score: Western Kentucky 34, Arkansas State 31
Bowling Green, KY (SportsNetwork.com) - Brandon Doughty completed a two-yard touchdown pass to Willie McNeal with only 10 seconds left in regulation to lift the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers to a 34-31 decision over the Arkansas State Red Wolves in a Sun Belt Conference thriller at Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium.
Doughty finished 21-of-37 passing for 255 yards and three scores while under center as the Hilltoppers (8-4, 4-3 SBC) picked up their fourth consecutive victory. Antonio Andrews racked up 119 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries while also recording four catches for a team-high 58 yards. McNeal made five receptions for 57 yards and two scores. Andrew Jackson anchored WKU's defense with 11 tackles and two stops for loss.
Fredi Knighten and Adam Kennedy combined to hit on 18-of-27 pass attempts for 128 yards to lead ASU (7-5, 5-2), which had won its previous four contests. Knighten also scored two rushing touchdowns while Michael Gordon rushed 19 times for 132 yards. Artez Brown stood out on the defensive side of the ball with one sack, a forced fumble and three pass break-ups.
The Red Wolves fielded the opening kickoff and drove 82 yards on 11 plays to set up Ryan Carrethers for a one-yard touchdown run. WKU answered as Keshawn Simpson rushed one-yard for a score to tie the game at seven. Doughty and McNeal connected on a 24-yard touchdown pass at the 4:15 mark of the first quarter to give WKU a 14-7 lead.
Doughty threw a 23-yard touchdown pass to Nicholas Norris to begin the second quarter. Garrett Schwettman's extra-point try was unsuccessful, which left WKU with a 20-7 advantage.
Knighten capped off a 15-play, 85-yard drive with a one-yard sneak into the end zone with just under three minutes remaining in the first half. Brian Davis sent the ensuing extra-point attempt through the uprights, which sent ASU into the intermission facing a 20-14 deficit.
The Red Wolves went back in front less than three minutes into the second half as Knighten dashed eight yards for a touchdown. Davis made a 45-yard field goal attempt at the 5:07 mark of the third quarter to give the visitors a 24-20 lead.
WKU went back on top late in the third stanza when Andrews rushed two yards across the goal line.
The Red Wolves opened up the scoring in the final frame as wide receiver J.D. McKissic completed a six-yard touchdown pass to Julian Jones with 9:27 left in regulation. WKU tallied only 13 yards on its first three drives of the fourth quarter before it marched 99 yards on 16 plays for its late go-ahead score.
The Hilltoppers lost three fumbles and went 5-of-11 on third-down conversion attempts. ASU could not overcome its 10 penalties, which sent it backwards 233 yards.
11/30 21:08:50 ET