Bobby Petrino has announced his return to the college football landscape with an exclamation point, leading his Western Kentucky Hilltoppers to a win over their in-state rival Kentucky Wildcats by a final score of 35-26. It is the second time Western Kentucky has ever defeated the Wildcats, and the second year in a row that they've done it.
The Hilltoppers scored on their first drive, a nine-play, 75-yard effort that ended in a three-yard touchdown from Keshawn Simpson to take a lead they would never relinquish. Petrino's squad put together long drive after long drive, with drives of nine, 12, nine, eight and five plays resulting in touchdowns. Kentucky's first two touchdown drives, on the other hand, lasted just four plays each, before a third drive of nine plays.
Both teams showed a strong ability on the ground, each posting over 200 yards rushing. Neither team had a 100-yard rusher, interestingly enough - the Hilltoppers had two 90-yard rushers in Leon Allen and Antonio Andrews, while the Wildcats received 98 yards from Raymond Sanders and 75 more from quarterback Jalen Whitlow . In addition to Allen and Andrews, who both scored, Western Kentucky got two touchdowns on the ground from Simpson.
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Box Score Hero: Brandon Doughty. While the Hilltoppers did a bulk of their damage on the ground, the quarterback set a school FBS record with 27 completions. His final line? 27/34 for 271 yards and a touchdown.
Rankings Ramifications: Neither team received any votes in the latest polls. Western Kentucky may receive a few in the next one, but nothing significant.
But Did They Cover? Western Kentucky was a three-point underdog, so yes!
For More On This Game: For the Kentucky reaction, make sure to check out A Sea of Blue.
Next Week's Schedule: Next up for Kentucky is a home date with Miami (Ohio). Western Kentucky has a road game against Tennessee for the Hilltoppers' second straight SEC contest.