Western Kentucky beats Bowling Green 59-31
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) Brandon Doughty threw for a school-record 569 yards and six touchdowns to help Western Kentucky beat Bowling Green State 59-31 on Friday night in the head coaching debuts of Jeff Brohm and Dino Babers.
Brohm's Hilltoppers had a school-record 702 total yards against the defending MAC champions.
''Everything went extremely well. We wanted to take care of the quarterback and get completions for him and get him confidence,'' Brohm said. ''(Doughty) also made scrambles and good plays outside the pocket. He definitely has improved his play.''
The Hilltoppers broke five school records in their first win as members of Conference USA.
''It was one of those games where everything seemed to go right,'' Brohm said. ''Our receivers made tremendous plays with the ball and you couldn't have wrote the script any better. It's a great start, but it's one of 12 games. It's a great way to start the season.''
Along with Doughty's single-game yards, completions and touchdown marks, the 59 points were a FBS school record for most points.
''I thought we played Hilltopper football and what we're supposed to be about this year,'' Doughty said. ''We really stressed the game plan this week and we came out and executed.''
Western Kentucky raced to a 21-0 lead on Leon Allen's 2-yard run, and Doughty's 55-yard touchdown pass to Taywan Taylor, and 34-yarder to Atwane Grant.
Taylor finished with 12 catches for 185 yards and Jared Dangerfield had 10 catches for 92 yards and two touchdowns.
Bowling Green scored in the third quarter on Andre Givens' 3-yard run and Matt Johnson's 41-yard pass to Ronnie Moore. Johnson completed 25 of 36 passes for 314 yards.
Doughty countered with two more scoring strikes, finding Willie McNeal for 20 yards and Dangerfield from 5 yards out.
The Western Kentucky defense, which replaced 10 lettermen from the 2013 squad, held the Falcons to 83 yards in the first quarter after forcing three three-and-outs and a turnover on downs, while the WKU offense worked flawlessly. Western Kentucky held Bowling Green to 151 rushing yards.
The Hilltoppers matched a school-record 97 plays on offense to complement their 702 yards - without turning the ball over - while also scoring on all seven red-zone trips.
''The main thing we didn't do last year was we turned the ball over and we didn't execute in the red zone,'' Brohm said. ''If you don't turn the ball over in my opinion, we're going to have a chance to win in the fourth quarter.''
Travis Greene led Bowling Green with 94 rushing yards and a touchdown, while Fred Coppet followed with six carries for 65 yards and a score.