The opener wasn't pretty on offense for WKU but the defense stepped up and somehow the Toppers won 14-12 before 30,037 fans - many dressed in WKU red - at Vanderbilt Stadium.
Joe Brown, who switched from running back to defensive back in the offseason, stopped Nathan Marcus one-yard shy of the goal line on a two-point conversion attempt with 33 seconds left to save the night for WKU.
Brown made an open-field tackle after Marcus caught a pass on a conversion to try and tie the game. Trent Sherfield caught a 2-yard TD pass on fourth-and-goal to set up the final play.
WKU then allowed Vandy to recover the onside kick but the Commodores touched the ball before it went 10 yards and the Toppers were able to run out the clock for the victory.
WKU was sluggish in the first half with six dropped passes. But Leon Allen had a 4-yard touchdown run and Tyler Higbee caught a 9-yard touchdown pass for Western Kentucky in the second half to spark the Toppers.
The much-talked about WKU defense stepped up with interceptions in the end zone by Nick Holt and Nick Newton.