Brandon Doughty threw for 350 yards and four touchdowns, while Anthony Wales rushed for a career-high to guide Western Kentucky to a 55-28 victory at North Texas on Thursday night and become bowl eligible for the fifth consecutive season.
After being forced to punt on its first possession of the game, the WKU offense scored on nine of its next 11 possessions to build a 55-14 lead with 10:23 left to play in the game.
With D'Andre Ferby sidelined, Wales, a junior, posted career-highs with 193 yards on 21 carries. He averaged 9.2 yards per carry and reached the end zone twice. Among the nation's leaders in multiple passing categories, Doughty completed 70 percent of passes and connected for touchdown passes with Wales, Jared Dangerfield and twice to Taywan Taylor.
North Texas managed just 267 yards until early in the fourth quarter, trailing 55-14 and the visitors playing reserves in more of a prevent role. Former WKU quarterback DaMarcus Smith made his first career start for the Mean Green on Thursday night. He threw for 228 yards and four touchdowns, much of it coming in the fourth quarter, while also rushing for 122 yards on 16 carries.
WKU improved to 6-1 overall and are 4-0 in league play for the first time in the program's FBS era. The Hilltoppers have now won seven straight over C-USA opponents.
Up next is a trip to Baton Rouge, La., for a Saturday night contest on October 24.