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New Rushing Record Gives WKU Victory over Army

In what was a rushing outing for the ages, Western Kentucky outran Army in a 52-24 blowout. The Hilltoppers have now reached .500 on the season while Army is now officially eliminated from bowl consideration.

Leon Allen, seen carried by his teammates, carried his team to a 52-24 victory against Army.
Leon Allen, seen carried by his teammates, carried his team to a 52-24 victory against Army.
Brian Powers-USA TODAY Sports

You don't see stat lines like this anymore. Almost 900 yards of total offense between the two teams, but only about 200 of that came through the air.

Western Kentucky, on the back and legs of Leon Allen, out-ran the 6th best rushing team in the county. Allen, 33 carries for 345 yards and 3 scores, broke Matt Forte's single-game conference record. Brandon Doughty took the backseat to Allen this game, but still threw for 3 touchdowns. Jared Dangerfield led the team in receiving with 7 catches for 73 yards and one score. This places the Hilltoppers one victory away from bowl eligibility with games against UTSA and Marshall left on their schedule.

Army, however, is still winless on the road and will most likely stay home after their game against Navy. Despite the final score, Army was competitive for all 4 quarters and looked impressive on all 3 sides of the ball. Led by Larry Dixon and his 131 yards rushing, Army was able to go an entire game with zero turnovers (except one turnover on downs in a 4th and must situation), had long drives mixed with explosive long runs, and actually recorded a sack on Doughty.

Angel Santiago had 2 rushing scores on 78 yards, including one 54 yard run, and completed 3 huge passing plays. Edgar Poe (no confirmed relation to the other Edgar Poe, middle name Allan) caught two passes and finished 2nd in best name award, behind WKU defensive tackle Ge'Monee Brown (pronounced like G-Money) who had a solid game upfront for the Hilltoppers.

With only 2 games left against Fordham and Navy, it does not seem like Army will be playing in late December. This season can still be salvaged by beating Fordham (bringing their record against FCS opponents to 1-1) and defeating Navy, which would end their drought of 13 years and their record against the Service Academies also at 1-1. In Head Coach Jeff Monken's maiden season, that would be a great end to a sub-par season.

Player of the Game: Leon Allen

Without a question, this young man had the performance of a lifetime today. On a 4th and 2 late in the 4th quarter, Allen was just a couple yards shy of Forte's record. Rather than punt the ball away and risk letting Army run the clock out, WKU went for it, gave Allen the ball, and the record was his. Now, most of the time, a coach going for it in his own territory up 28 with little time left would be seen as an unsportsmanlike decision. But in this case, Allen had been fighting hard all game and earned every last yard to that record. It was a class-act by a classy team in what seemed like a classless moment, and hats off to Allen and his new record.