Mike White threw for 268 yards and two touchdowns and freshman Quinton Baker rushed for 103 yards and a score to lead Western Kentucky to a 31-24 win at Miami of Ohio on Saturday.
With 19,822 in attendance for the Red Hawks homecoming at Yager Stadium, the Hilltoppers built a commanding 24-3 third quarter lead to bounce back following last week's loss at top-ranked Alabama to improve to 2-1 on the season. The hosts added a pair of late scores, including a 41-yard bomb for a touchdown with 1:17 to play to pull within seven.
Making his first career start, Baker, a product of Ashland Blazer, eclipsed the century mark for the first time and WKU's first 100-yard rusher of the season.
White completed 19 of 31 pass attempts, including a career-best 11 to Nicholas Norris for 187 yards. Senior Taywan Taylor hauled in three catches for 58 yards. His 36-yard touchdown catch in the 4th quarter, established a new WKU record with 172 career catches, surpassing Willie McNeal’s mark of 171.
Nacarrius Fant joined the box score in the second quarter with a 48 yards punt return. It was his first career punt return for a touchdown and the first at WKU since Antonio Andrews recorded a 70-yard score against Austin Peay on Sept. 1, 2012.
Graduate transfer linebacker Keith Brown led the Hilltopper defense with 12 tackles, including his first career sack at WKU. The Hilltopper defense recorded six sacks, including a pair from Omarius Bryant and Chris Johnson.
Up next for Western Kentucky is a home contest against rival Vanderbilt at Houchens-Smith Stadium.