It's a good thing I am not a betting man. The line for this game opened with the Hilltoppers as a 21.5 favorite, but dropped down to 20.5 before kickoff. I thought there was no way in - choose an unpleasant place - that it would be that big a win for WKU, if a win at all. Sure, Miami's defense wasn't very good, but they hung tough with Cincinnati last week and certainly the could find their way around Feix Field.
Wrong. The Hilltoppers came out fast and furious, putting up 21 points in the first quarter and outdid themselves by putting up 28 points in the second quarter, allowing just a 10-yard touchdown pass in the second stanza as the only blemish on a 49-7 halftime score.
Brandon Doughty set a new Western Kentucky record with completions in a career (finishing his day with 750 all-time completions) and Garrett Schwettman became the all-time points leader in Hilltopper history (304) and extra points (175) made in a career. Another WKU game, another set of records broken. No big deal.
Ace Wales was dressed - yay - but was held out of action - boo. If twitter is true (and Chad Bishop and Zach Greenwell usually are), he'll be in action next week. Again, yay. In his absence, D'Andre Ferby gave the Tops yet another 100-yard game (again, really nothing new) from the backfield, his first in his career, going 115 yards on 22 attempts, but no touchdowns.
Doughty was nearly perfect all around (aside from a few bad sacks), going 33-of-41 for 457 yards and six touchdowns (no interceptions), and heavily favored the combination of Jared Dangerfield and Taywan Taylor. Dangerfield finished with a team-high 11 receptions and 148 yards with a touchdown while Taylor hauled in nine catches for 154 yards and two scores. In total, nine different players caught at least one pass (including one George Fant, who it's still weird to see in a football uniform), so not bad.
The defense looked hungry and ready to avenge last week, as they well should have, forcing four total turnovers and picking off Billy Bahl three times. The RedHawks were held to 291 total yards of offense while WKU finished with 569 yards on offense. Again, not bad.
Ferby looked better than he did last week against the Hoosiers, and Anthony Davis even got in on the action(!) turning in five carries for 13 yards and a garbage time touchdown (but hey, a score is a score, right?).
It's fun to think that, in some alternate universe, the Hilltoppers are sitting pretty at 4-0 and are firing on all cylinders as they take their first trip to Rice as a Conference USA member. But, alas, here we sit with a 3-1 Tops team...still getting ready to take on Rice for the first time as a Conference USA member.