The Western Kentucky offense didn't reach its peak on Thursday night, but they were darn near close.
For the fifth time this season, the Hilltoppers marched down the field on their opening drive and scored when quarterback Brandon Doughty found a very wide-open Willie McNeal running down the seam for a 33-yard touchdown.
They struck again on their second offensive series when Doughty lobbed a 17-yard touchdown strike into the hands of running back Leon Allen, who had a 5-yard cushion on the linebacker that was assigned to cover him.
Before Louisiana-Monroe could blink, Western Kentucky had a 14-0 lead and quarterback Brandon Doughty was in the initial stages of a breakout game. Doughty was 8-for-8 passing for 118 yards and two touchdowns on WKU's first two drives.
Todd Berry's team put up a fight, scoring on consecutive drives to trim their deficit to 14-10. They had momentum as well, stuffing Antonio Andrews at the 1-yard line as time expired in the second quarter. They got the ball to begin the second half, but Western Kentucky's defense switched into shutdown mode.
Maintaining a four-point lead, the Hilltoppers orchestrated a 7-play, 80-yard drive that saw Doughty hit all his targets, going 4-for-4 for 81 yards, including a 45-yard completion to freshman Taywan Taylor. Then, the drive was capped off with an Antonio Andrews 6-yard touchdown run.
With a 21-10 lead, the Hilltoppers turned to the closer - it's that guy again, Antonio Andrews. On the next three offensive possessions, Andrews kept the chains moving with 11 carries for 79 yards as WKU added a Garrett Schwettman field goal and Leon Allen hit the pylon from 5-yards out to seal the deal.
Final score, 31-10.
Western Kentucky is now on a three-game winning streak as they improve to 4-2 on the season and even up their Sun Belt Conference record to 1-1.
The Hilltoppers have a well-deserved break before they host their own primetime showdown against Louisiana-Lafayette on Tuesday, October 15th.
The Final Stats
Total Offense - 530 total yards (370 passing, 160 rushing)
Brandon Doughty - 24-of-36, 370 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT
Antonio Andrews - 27 carries, 155 yards, 1 TD - 22 yards receiving - 25 punt return yards
Taywan Taylor - 3 catches, 75 yards
Willie McNeal - 2 catches, 47 yards, 1 TD