Doughty leads Western Kentucky past Old Dominion
BOWLING GREEN, Kent. (AP) Brandon Doughty completed 23 of 26 passes for 371 yards and five touchdowns and Western Kentucky earned its first win in Conference USA, beating Old Dominion 66-51 on Saturday.
Western Kentucky (3-4, 1-3 Conference USA) sealed the win with a 96-yard interception return for a touchdown by Juwan Gardner, which put the Hilltoppers up 63-51 with 8:54 left.
Western Kentucky's Leon Allen rushed for a career high 182 yards on 32 carries, including a one-yard touchdown run to open the scoring.
Back-to-back second-quarter touchdown passes from Doughty to Joel German and Antwane Grant made it 21-3 after the first quarter.
Taylor Heinicke led Old Dominion (3-5, 1-4) to 643 yards of offense behind 471 passing yards and three touchdowns.
Old Dominion's Ray Lawry rushed for four scores, including touchdowns from 17 and 4 yards out on the Monarch's first two possessions of the second half, and 148 yards.
Following Lawry's 17-yard run to open the second half, Kylen Towner took the kickoff back 94 yards for a touchdown to extend the Western Kentucky lead to 49-37 with 11:09 remaining in the third quarter. It was WKU's first kick return for a touchdown since 2011.
The Hilltoppers scored on 10 of their 13 possessions and only punted once.
''Never a dull moment, but that's how it's going to be this year,'' Western Kentucky coach Jeff Brohm said. ''We talked at halftime about going out and giving it our all and believing ourselves and not second guessing ourselves and finding a way to slightly improve and get better. We had our moments where we looked a little hairy, but we improved slightly. Guys stepped up and made plays when they had to.''
Along with WKU's season-high 66 points, Doughty surpassed his own single-season passing yards record set last season (2,857), and the single-season record for touchdown passes while moving his 2014 totals up to 2,871 yards, 24 touchdowns with five interceptions.
''From the beginning of the season I thought we had a heck of a squad as an offensive group,'' Doughty said. ''I thought we came together today and our goal is to score every time we get the ball. Tonight things were clicking.''
Old Dominion pulled within five when Heinicke found Antonio Vaughn from 39-yards out to make it 56-51 with 2:05 left in the third quarter. Vaughn led the Monarchs with 220 yards receiving on six receptions.
Western Kentucky kept the Monarchs off the board and held their offense to just 57 yards in the fourth quarter as Garrett Schwettman capped the scoring with a 27-yard field goal with 2:04 remaining.