Robinson leads Troy past W. Kentucky 32-26
TROY, Ala. (AP)
A late drive by Western Kentucky (4-4, 1-3 Sun Belt) was stalled as Antonio Andrews fell inches short of the first down at the Troy 22-yard line with just inside of two minutes to play. The Hilltoppers lost despite outperforming the Trojans (5-3, 3-1) on offense with 532 yards.
Troy outscored WKU 22-6 in the second half, erasing a 20-10 at halftime deficit.
Robinson became the Sun Belt's all-time leader in touchdown passes after his 40-yard score to Chris Williams in the third quarter.
WKU quarterback Brandon Doughty did not start the game, but finished with 387 yards on 29 completions.
Andrews led WKU in rushing and receiving in the Hilltoppers' loss. He ran for 144 yards and caught seven passes for 125 yards.
Sophomore Nelson Fishback earned his first FBS start for WKU in place of junior Brandon Doughty. Fishback led the Hilltoppers on a 55-yard drive that ended with a 29-yard field goal from Garrett Schwettman. The kicker went on to make four of his five field goal attempts on the night. Settling for field goals rather than scoring touchdowns is what coach Bobby Petrino said made the difference in his team's loss.
''We didn't get the ball in the end zone enough,'' Petrino said. ''When we get down in the critical area, we had some opportunities to score touchdowns and it seemed like every time we get inside the 20 we don't make plays to score touchdowns and you have to settle for a field goal. That's what kills you.''
Petrino said he believed Doughty gave his team the best chance to make the big plays he was looking for against Troy's defense, even in spite of his first drive that ended in a fumble, setting up Troy with its first trip to the end zone. Jordan Chunn punched it in on his third run from inside the 10-yard line to give Troy its first lead of the day at 10-3.
On the ensuing drive, Doughty bounced back and completed six passes for 78 yards, and Andrews punched it in from the goal line on fourth down to tie the game at 10.
Doughty led another solid drive on the Hilltoppers next possession going 59 yards in 10 plays to allow Leon Allen to score from three-yards out.
Schwettman booted a 33-yard field goal - his second of the night - as time expired to give WKU a 20-10 lead at halftime.
After WKU held Troy to only 41 yards passing in the first half, Robinson lit up the WKU defense in the second.
Troy was once again able to capitalize off of WKU turnovers by recovering a bad hand off exchange between Doughty and Andrews, giving the Trojans the ball at their own 41-yard line. Three plays later, Corey Robinson became the Sun Belt Conference's all-time touchdown passer - surpassing former Florida Atlantic quarterback Rusty Smith - with a 40-yard score to Chris Williams to cut the WKU lead to 20-17. Williams ended his night with four catches for 61 yards.
''In the second half, they hit the plays,'' Petrino said. ''Our defense did enough to give us the opportunity to win the game in the end, but we just didn't do it.''
A nine-yard touchdown run by Deon Anthony in the third quarter and Chunn's second touchdown was all Troy needed to hand WKU its second home loss in as many weeks.
Chunn finished the night with only seven carries for 19 yards to go with his two scores. Brandon Burks led all Troy rushers with nine carries for 52 yards.