BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) Brandon Doughty threw four touchdowns passes and added a touchdown reception in Western Kentucky's 35-19 win on Saturday in the C-USA matchup at L.T. Smith Stadium.
A homecoming crowd of 18,421 saw the senior quarterback complete 24 of 29 passes for 273 yards and one interception along with his four touchdown passes.
Western Kentucky (8-2 6-0 C-USA) pulled away in the second half from a scrappy Florida Atlantic (2-7 2-4) team that trailed at the half 14-13.
Anthony Wales led the Hilltoppers ground attack with 17 carries for 135 yards while receiver Taywan Taylor had 5 receptions for 87 yards and two touchdowns.
Taylor's two touchdowns both came in the first half on receptions of 4 and 44 yards for the only two scores of the half for WKU.
Jaquez Johnson connected with receiver Jenson Stoshak on a 19 yard reception for FAU's only touchdown of the first half.
Western Kentucky survived a slow start in the first half and penalties derailed two potential scoring drives, allowing Florida Atlantic to stay close.
''I thought that was a good, hard-fought victory for our team,'' said Hilltoppers head coach Jeff Brohm after the game. ''Which was exactly what we needed. I thought FAU was ready to play. I thought that they were going to match up pretty well with us and they did. They're good up front. Their offense did a good job in the first half, and we had to earn that victory.''
Greg Joseph was perfect in field goal attempts for the Owls, connecting from 20 and 21 yards in the first half as Florida Atlantic finished 4 of 5 in red-zone scoring for the game.
Doughty moved into the Top 25 in FBS history in career passing touchdowns with 97, and the Top 40 in career passing yards with 11,383. He has thrown a touchdown pass in 24-straight games, which is the longest active streak in the FBS behind Trevone Boykin (23) of TCU who plays later tonight.
Doughty also caught the first touchdown of his career on a double-reverse pass from Nacarius Fant for the first score of the second half. The score extended the Hilltoppers lead to 21-13.
Taylor's two touchdowns give him 13 for the season, setting the WKU single-season record for touchdown receptions in a season. He also became just the second player in WKU history to have 1,000 receiving yards in a season, with 1,044 following Saturday's win.