In three of their four losses entering the Nov. 9 weekend, Western Kentucky’s football team couldn’t hold on to double-digit leads.
That narrative took a 180 degree turn Saturday afternoon against Army.
Trailing 17-14 with 4:16 to play, the Toppers drove 87 yards in 3:49, punctuated by a 2-yard game-winning touchdown run by senior running back Antonio Andrews.
Junior quarterback Brandon Doughty was 5-for-6 passing for 73 yards on the go-ahead scoring drive.
“Yeah, it was really good execution,” said WKU head coach Bobby Petrino regarding the final drive. “Brandon did a nice job, our offensive line gave ‘em really good time, they knew when they were blitzing and picked up the blitzes and knew when they were in zone coverage.
“It was just really well-executed.”
Doughty completed throws to multiple targets for first downs on the final touchdown possession, including receivers Willie Mcneal and Nicholas Norris, and tight end Tim Gorski.
But when the Toppers found themselves with a 1st-and-goal and under 1:00 to play, Petrino called on Andrews, the nation’s leading rusher, to finish the job.
It was the easy—but certainly correct—call to make.
“They (Army) pretty much submarined the middle,” said Andrews on the game-winning play. “And I just had to bounce it out a little bit.
“I didn’t want to go out too wide. Stuck my nose in there and dove for it.”
The former Black Knights recruit finished with 117 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries, moving him into the top 30 on the NCAA’s FBS career all-purpose yards list.
He’s now posted 100 or more rushing yards for WKU in nine straight games.
Moving to 6-4 overall on the season, the Toppers are now bowl-eligible for the third consecutive season, after entering FBS play only five years ago.
WKU has a bye week next, before a road game at Texas State and a home matchup against Arkansas State finishes their regular season.
“We’ll come out and give ‘em a couple days off and we’ll practice Tuesday, Wednesday and a little bit of practice Thursday,” Petrino said. “Give ‘em next Friday and Saturday off and then start on Sunday night with our gameplan for the next.
“It’ll be a good time to have a break and obviously our coaches will get out on the road and recruit a little bit next Thursday and Friday.”
Stay tuned with WKUInsider.com for the latest in WKU recruiting and team news.