How Western Kentucky got to the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl
Breaking down Western Kentucky's 2012 season:
Western Kentucky 49, Austin Peay 10
The Western Kentucky defense only allowed 11 passing yards and got an interception off Austin Peay, who only had 11 passing attempts. Offensively, WKU senior quarterback Kawaun Jakes threw for four touchdowns and rushed for another one.
No. 1 Alabama 35, Western Kentucky 0
Then top-ranked Crimson Tide flexed its muscles defensively, allowing WKU only 46 rushing yards on 28 attempts. Alabama scored all five of its touchdowns from longer than 12 yards out in a game that was never within question.
Western Kentucky 32, Kentucky 31 (OT)
After trailing by 17 in the first half, Kentucky finally tied the game with 24 seconds left in regulation on a 22-yard pass, putting the game in overtime. After a Wildcats touchdown, WKU scored during its possession of overtime but went for the win with a two-point conversion. A lateral pass turned into a trick-play with a toss back to the quarterback to seal the upset for the Hilltoppers over their Southeastern Conference opponent.
Western Kentucky 42, Southern Miss 17
The Hilltoppers offense flourished with two running backs with more than 130 yards and a touchdown, while Jakes threw three touchdowns. WKU was penalized eight times for 95 yards but held the Southern Miss passing attack to 101 yards.
Western Kentucky 26, Arkansas State 13
It looked like WKU would lose its second game down 13-0 at halftime, but a 26-0 route in the second half put the Hilltoppers at 4-1. Junior WKU running back Antonio Andrews rushed for 215 yards and a touchdown.
Western Kentucky 31, Troy 26
Troy had three different players throw for touchdowns, while WKU quarterback Jakes threw three himself and 255 yards. The Trojans won the turnover battle with two fumble recoveries and had more overall offensive yards, but not more points.
Louisiana-Monroe 43, Western Kentucky 42
Louisiana-Monroe used what WKU did to Kentucky a month earlier, going for a two-point conversion in overtime to give the Hilltoppers their second loss of the season. WKU let up a touchdown to tie the game at the end of regulation from a 12-yard pass with 31 seconds remaining. Jakes threw for 308 yards and four touchdowns.
Western Kentucky 14, Florida International 6
WKU became bow- eligible mostly due to four Florida International turnovers. FIU outgained the Hilltoppers but could only settle for field goals and turnovers to end drives instead of touchdowns. Andrews rushed for 158 yards and a touchdown.
Middle Tennessee 34, Western Kentucky 29
With six minutes left and the game tied at 27, Middle Tennessee sophomore Reggie Whatley changed the game with a 99-yard kick return for a touchdown. Sophomore wide receiver Willie McNeal had seven receptions for 119 yards and a touchdown for WKU.
Florida Atlantic 37, Western Kentucky 28
Jakes threw three interceptions and FAU racked up 355 total yards to beat WKU. There were two fumble recovers for touchdowns by both teams in the last three minutes of the game. Andrews rushed for 88 yards and had 71 receiving yards along with two touchdowns.
Louisiana-Lafayette 31, Western Kentucky 27
WKU lost its third-straight game, allowing Louisiana-Lafayette to score two touchdowns in the last 2:43 to steal the game. The Ragin' Cajuns did whatever they wanted offensively, rushing for 324 yards and throwing for 258 yards. Four turnovers by ULL kept this game close.
Western Kentucky 25, North Texas 24
Down 24-10 going into the fourth quarter, a 39-yard interception return for a touchdown by sophomore defensive back Jonathan Dowling put WKU back in the game. Two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter completed the comeback. Andrews rushed for 230 yards and a touchdown.