Middle Tennessee vs. Western Kentucky final score: MTSU hangs on for 34-29 win

Kevin Liles-US PRESSWIRE

Middle Tennessee took over sole possession of second place in the Sun Belt with a 34-29 win against Western Kentucky.

Middle Tennessee scored a late touchdown on a kickoff return to win a back-and-forth game against Western Kentucky, 34-29, on Thursday.

Western Kentucky tied the game 27-27 with a field goal with 6:17 to play, but Reggie Whatley returned the ensuing kickoff 96 yards for the game-winning touchdown. Whatley was dangerous on kickoffs all game, averaging 38.8 yards per return.

After jumping out to a 10-0 lead, Middle Tennessee led 17-7 early in the second quarter, but Western Kentucky came back with 10 second-quarter points to tie the game at 17 at halftime. Prior to the game-winning touchdown, Middle Tennessee took the lead twice in the second half only to see Western Kentucky answer to tie the game both times.

Western Kentucky had a chance to tie the game late in the fourth quarter, but Kawaun Jakes threw his first interception of the game. Middle Tennessee lined up to punt with just seconds remaining, but punter Josh Davis held the ball before running out of the end zone for the safety as time expired.

With the win, Middle Tennessee moved to 4-1 in Sun Belt play, taking over sole possession of second play.

Box Score Hero: Jordan Parker led the way offensively for Middle Tennessee with 148 rushing yards and a touchdown. Reggie Whatley racked up 222 kick-return yards, including the game-winning touchdown.

Rankings Ramifications: Neither team entered the game in the rankings picture although Middle Tennessee moved into sole possession of second place in the Sun Belt.

But Did They Cover? Western Kentucky opened as a 9-point favorite, a number they failed to cover with the loss.

Next Week's Schedule:

11/10 1 p.m. ET: Western Kentucky vs. Florida Atlantic

11/17: Middle Tennessee at South Alabama

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