Western Kentucky built a 14-0 lead midway through the second quarter, but were thwart a late Vanderbilt rally and fell 31-30 on Saturday afternoon.
With a Houchens-Smith Stadium record crowd of 23,674 on hand, WKU allowed a pair of leads slip away, including its touchdown advantage with 1:02 remaining to play. Aided by pass interference call that placed the ball at the Hilltopper two-yard line that set up a Ralph Webb touchdown run to even the score 24-24 as time expired.
WKU built it's early lead on four-yard Anthony Wales touchdown run on the team's first possession of the game and a 61 yard pass from Tyler Ferguson to Nacarius Fant with 8:18 remaining in the first half.
The visiting Commodores responded with a pair of touchdown runs from Webb, a four-yard burst in the second quarter and another from 2-yards in the early stages of the third quarter.
A 20-yard run by Anthony Wales pushed the Hilltoppers back on top and a Ryan Nuss field goal with 1:02 to play gave the home squad a 24-17 lead before the last-minute tying drive by the Commodores that sent the contest into overtime.
WKU won the overtime coin toss and elected to play defense first, but a six-play drive gave the visitors their first lead of the game. WKU bounced back quickly with a two-play scoring drive, but an attempted two-point conversion attempt bounced away from the intended receiver to end the game.
The Hilltopper offense managed 501 yards of total offense, but three turnovers proved costly.
WKU quarterback Mike White completed 22 of 38 attempts for 222 yards and a touchdown. He also had an interception and was sacked just once. Wales finished with 157 yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries. Taywan Taylor led all receivers with nine catches for 112 yards.
Keith Brown led the Hilltopper defense with 12 tackles, including a two for a loss and a sack. Brandon Leston totaled 11 stops, with T.J. McCollum recording eight.
The Hilltoppers, who fall to 2-2 overall, will host Houston Baptist next.
Stay logged on the WKU Insider for continuing post-game coverage.