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September 15, 2012

Recap: WKU 32, Kentucky 31

In what some are calling the biggest victory in WKU football history, the Hilltoppers defeated in-state foe Kentucky 32-31 in overtime Saturday night in Lexington.

The dramatic finish unraveled as Kentucky scored the first touchdown in overtime to take a 31-24 lead, before WKU answered with its own 2 yard touchdown run from Antonio Andrews.

But instead of kicking the extra point to go for a second overtime, WKU head coach Willie Taggart had something else in mind.

The Hilltoppers went for the win on a 2 point conversion attempt, a lateral pass from senior QB Kawaun Jakes to runningback Antonio Andrews, who then threw it back to the QB for a trick play.

"A couple of our players had been calling for that one all game," Taggart said. "We said we'd call it once we got past the four yard line, I just didn't get to."

Jakes made a scramble for the endzone with the football, untouched by the Kentucky defense, ending the game with a Hilltopper victory, 32-31.

"This is a big win for us," Taggart said. "We beat an SEC opponent.

"That's bigtime for our program, our university."

Jakes finished 16 for 22 passing on the day, totaling 160 yards, one touchdown, and one interception, while Andrews finished with 125 yards on the ground and 3 touchdowns.

While the duo carried the load on WKU's offense, it was sophomore safety Jonathan Dowling who made the biggest plays for the Hilltopper defense.

Dowling picked off Kentucky quarterback Max Smith three times on Saturday night, adding four tackles in the victory.

Entering the Week 3 matchup, Smith had six touchdowns and zero interceptions on the season.

"(Tonight) showed me that I'm in the right place," said Dowling, who transferred to WKU from the University of Florida.

Kentucky forced overtime by scoring a touchdown on a 12 play, 77 yard drive, a possession in which they only had 2:14 to score.

Smith threw a 22 yard touchdown strike to DeMarcus Sweat with only 24 seconds left on the clock, tying the game at 24-24.

The Hilltoppers had led since the 7:17 mark in the first quarter, for a total of 54:53 for the game, before giving up the game-tying touchdown with 24 seconds left in regulation.

The victory is the first BCS win for the program in 21 tries.

The Hilltoppers are now 2-1 entering next weekend's home matchup against Conference USA foe Southern Miss.

Stay tuned with InsideHilltopperSports.com for more reaction on WKU's historic victory.

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