WKU Turns the Ball Over Often Early, Fades Late Against Tennessee

Sep 7, 2013

WKU couldn't overcome seven turnovers in their loss against Tennessee Saturday.
Credit Megan Stearman

In the end, WKU's success against the SEC only went so far.

Justin Coleman and Cameron Sutton returned interceptions for touchdowns Saturday as Tennessee scored after each of Western Kentucky's five first-quarter turnovers in a 52-20 victory.

Following last week's win over Kentucky in Nashville, Hilltopper fans were primed for a second straight win over an SEC team.

That won't happen when you give the ball away like WKU did in Knoxville.

The Hilltoppers (1-1) turned the ball over five times in a span of six snaps during the first quarter, turning an early 3-0 lead into a 31-3 deficit.

The Football Bowl Subdivision record for consecutive turnovers forced by a defense is seven straight series. Florida State had four fumbles and three interceptions in its first seven possessions of a 42-13 loss to Florida on Oct. 7, 1972.

Western Kentucky quarterback Brandon Doughty threw five interceptions, including Coleman's 23-yard touchdown return and Sutton's 36-yard score. Brian Randolph picked off two Doughty passes in the end zone.

Marlin Lane rushed for 97 yards and one touchdown for Tennessee (2-0). Rajion Neal ran for 74 yards and three touchdowns.

Western Kentucky's Antonio Anderson rushed for 111 yards.

Update at 2:35 p.m.:

Tennessee beat WKU 52-20. The Hilltoppers are 1-1 on the season and have their Sun Belt opener next week at South Alabama.

Update at 1:42 p.m:

Tennessee has benefited from six first half turnovers by WKU, and leads 45-20 late in the third quarter.

Original post:

Can the WKU Hilltoppers make it two in a row against SEC opponents?

The Tops are in Knoxville Saturday to take on the Tennessee Volunteers. The Vols are listed as 12-point favorites heading into the contest, but WKU enters the game with a load of confidence following their season-opening victory over Kentucky in Nashville.

Kickoff is scheduled for 11:21 a.m. central. Check out this great game preview put together by our friends at WKU Athletics.