For the most part, the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers have accomplished what they set out to this season. They’re back in a bowl game, Tyson Helton has the program headed in the right direction, and they earned a win over a P5 program that had some added significance for Ty Storey. The Tops clearly still have some gas left in the tank, however.
WKU beat the Southern Miss Golden Eagles 28-10 in Hattiesburg on Saturday. The loss for Southern Miss comes at a critical time, as they had a chance to jump Louisiana Tech for the lead in the West division. Instead, UAB now leads the division after defeating Louisiana Tech, along with this Southern Miss result.
WKU started this one off with a 75-yard scoring drive that ended with Jacquez Sloan running in a 21-yard touchdown on a reversal. A few drives later, USM followed up with a 68-yard bomb from Jack Abraham to Tim Jones to make it 7-7.
The second quarter was productive for WKU with two passing TDs by Ty Storey. The defense also forced and recovered a fumble before holding USM to just a missed field goal.
At the start of the third quarter, USM ran three plays before WKU’s Antwon Kincade picked off Abraham. Neither team managed to get anything going offensively in the third quarter. It was a series of trading punts and turnovers on downs.
In the fourth quarter, Jeremy Darvin sacked Jack Abraham and stripped the ball, allowing DeAngelo Malone to pick the ball up and run it in for a score.
WKU’s Cory Munson missed a field goal on their next offensive possession. Southern Miss would kick in a 22-yard field goal with about two minutes left. USM tried to get the ball back with an onside kick, but were unsuccessful.
Western Kentucky (now 7-4, 5-2 in conference) will close out the season on November 30th when they host Middle Tennessee in the latest chapter of the 100 Miles of Hate rivalry.
Southern Miss (also now 7-4, 5-2 in conference) will head to FAU that same day for their last regular season game of the year.