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WKU, Doughty rout Marshall, 49-28

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) — Brandon Doughty threw for 370 yards, including five touchdowns, as Western Kentucky routed Marshall 49-28 to win the East Division of Conference USA on Friday.

The Hilltoppers (10-2, 8-0) earned the right to host the conference championship game on Dec. 5 against the winner of Saturday’s game between Southern Miss and Louisiana Tech to determine the West Division champion.

Doughty also became the first quarterback in Division I history to have consecutive seasons with more than 4,000 yards passing and 40 touchdown throws. Doughty completed 27 of his 39 passes against the Thundering Herd (9-3, 6-2). He has 42 touchdown passes for 4,214 yards this season.

The Hilltoppers needed just three plays and 44 seconds to find the end zone in the opening series. Nicholas Norris hauled in Doughty’s pass on a short inside route and turned it into a 35-yard catch and run for the game’s first touchdown.

Western Kentucky added two more touchdowns early in the second quarter, a 15-yard run from Anthony Wales, followed by Doughty’s 5-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Higbee that pushed the lead to 21-0 with 6:21 to play in the half.

Marshall finally got on the scoreboard when Deandre Reeves returned the ensuing kickoff 97 yards up the right sideline to make it 21-7.

But Western Kentucky’s offense continued to pile up points and yards, scoring three more times in the period as part of a first half that included 54 plays and 424 yards of total offense in the two quarters. The Hilltoppers led 35-14 at halftime and coasted to victory by adding a pair of field goals from Garrett Schwettman in the third quarter and Doughty’s fifth TD pass, a 19-yarder to Antwane Grant in the fourth quarter.

In addition to Doughty’s big day passing, the Hilltoppers rushing attack was strong as well. Wales had 24 carries for 131 yards, while D’Andre Ferby added 62 yards on 12 carries.

Marshall 0 14 7 7 = 28

W. Kentucky 7 28 6 8 = 49

First Quarter

WKen-Norris 35 pass from Doughty (Schwettman kick), 14:16.

Second Quarter

WKen-Wales 15 run (Schwettman kick), 14:54.

WKen-Higbee 5 pass from Doughty (Schwettman kick), 6:21.

Mar-Reaves 97 kickoff return (N.Smith kick), 6:07.

WKen-Higbee 11 pass from Doughty (Schwettman kick), 3:20.

Mar-Yurachek 5 pass from Litton (N.Smith kick), 2:01.

WKen-Taylor 9 pass from Doughty (Schwettman kick), :33.

Third Quarter

WKen-FG Schwettman 38, 7:33.

WKen-FG Schwettman 29, 6:54.

Mar-Hunt 32 pass from Litton (N.Smith kick), 1:19.

Fourth Quarter

WKen-Grant 19 pass from Doughty (N.Fant pass from Doughty), 12:07.

Mar-Foster 4 run (N.Smith kick), 4:05.

A-17,687.

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Mar WKen

First downs 16 31

Rushes-yards 25-31 43-176

Passing 242 370

Comp-Att-Int 20-41-2 27-40-0

Return Yards 0 27

Punts-Avg. 6-43.8 5-37.0

Fumbles-Lost 2-2 3-2

Penalties-Yards 6-65 8-102

Time of Possession 24:49 35:11

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INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING-Marshall, Watson 9-29, Foster 7-7, Birdsong 2-6, Davis 2-0, Litton 5-(minus 11). W. Kentucky, Wales 24-131, Ferby 12-62, Taylor 1-10, Team 2-(minus 2), Doughty 4-(minus 25).

PASSING-Marshall, Litton 19-38-2-230, Birdsong 1-3-0-12. W. Kentucky, Doughty 27-39-0-370, Wales 0-1-0-0.

RECEIVING-Marshall, D.Allen 5-35, Byrd 3-37, McManus 3-30, Hunt 2-45, Reaves 2-45, Yurachek 2-31, Watson 2-18, Foster 1-1. W. Kentucky, Norris 7-75, Higbee 6-92, Grant 4-77, Taylor 3-47, Dangerfield 3-46, Wales 3-25, Ferby 1-8.