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November 2, 2012

Recap: MTSU 34, WKU 29

This story will be updated with quotes, pictures, and videos throughout the afternoon.

Mistakes at any point in a college football game can prove costly, but none hurt more than miscues in the fourth quarter.

The Toppers (6-3 overall, 3-2 Sun Belt) learned that lesson the hard way Thursday night, after a 34-29 loss to MTSU (6-3, 4-1 Sun Belt).

The Blue Raiders scored 10 points in the 4th quarter to secure the victory, after several key mistakes from the Hilltoppers offense, defense, and special teams.


The Topper miscues began at the start of the 4th quarter, when MTSU faced a 4th and 6 from the WKU 48 yard line.

The Blue Raiders punted away to WKU junior runningback Antonio Andrews, who returned the ball 11 yards before fumbling it away to a swarming MTSU special teams.

The Raiders recovered the ball at the WKU 18, eventually scoring a field goal to take the lead at 27-24.

"It's all on us," said WKU head coach Willie Taggart. "We can't blame (the loss) on anybody else."


WKU did tie the game on their next possession, via a 28 yard field goal by freshman kicker Garrett Schwettman, after a 66 yard drive.

But the Toppers wasted two valuable timeouts in the process, after struggling to get play calls in right as the play clock was set to expire.

The cost of the lost timeouts would prove heavy, as on the very next play, MTSU's Reggie Whatley ran a 96 yard kickoff back for a Blue Raider touchdown, putting MTSU ahead 34-27 with only 6:03 remaining in the game.


WKU drove again down the field, looking to tie the game with a 1st and 10 on the MTSU 21.

But senior quarterback Kawaun Jakes' pass was tipped in the air, falling into the hands of MTSU's Kenneth Gilstrap at the Blue Raider 6 yard line.


With only one WKU timeout remaining, MTSU was able to run the remaining 1:39 off the game clock, leaving Bowling Green with the 34-29 win.

"It sucks," Taggart said. "We hate losing.

"But we did it to ourselves."

Andrews had a banner day outside of his fumble, finishing with 392 all-purpose yards, the third highest total in any NCAA game all season.

"I'm still mad, man," Andrews said. "Three hundred yards, it's good, but we still got that loss."

Jakes finished 19-for-30 passing for 283 yards, adding three touchdowns and one interception.

The Toppers out-gained MTSU 438 to 342 in total yardage, but WKU committed two turnovers in the 4th quarter, compared to none in the game for MTSU.

WKU hosts 2-6 overall FAU next week, while MTSU travels to 2-6 overall South Alabama.

This story will be updated with quotes, pictures, and videos throughout the afternoon.



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