Western Kentucky waste no time in getting to business in a meeting that came with significant Conference USA implications on Saturday night and raced to a 59-24 win over Old Dominion.
It only took three plays and just over a minute for Western Kentucky to score its first points against visiting ODU and built a three touchdown lead before the first quarter came to a completion. Two more touchdowns from the Hilltoppers during the first five minutes of the second quarter gave the hosts a quick 35-0 lead.
"I was excited about the play in the first half and I was really happy to see us play a complete half," said WKU head coach Jeff Brohm.
The Monarchs finally built some offensive momentum midway through the second quarter, but were still out-scored 17-14 during the closing minutes of the first half and 31-14 for the second frame. The 31 points scored by the Hilltoppers during that 2nd quarter is the most by the program in any quarter during its FBS era.
The second half saw the defensive efforts of both teams become more prominent. Old Dominion posted 10 points during the third quarter to creep within 24-52, but the WKU defense kept them scoreless for the remaining of the game. The Hilltoppers added a fourth quarter touchdown for the final margin.
Brohm described the performance as a "great" one for his team, which won back-to-back games for the first time this season to improve to 4-3 overall and 2-1 in league play.
"Our guys really stepped up, came ready to play and came out in the first half and really executed at a high level in all facets of the game," he said. "Our offense was hitting on all cylinders, we were playing tough, we were aggressive, we were making plays and we were moving the chains. The defense really came out and got stops, really came off the ball; you could tell they were playing hard and they were into it."
For the third consecutive game, quarterback Mike White threw for more than 300 yards. Against ODU he was close to perfect, completing 28 of 32 for 378 yards and four touchdowns, with just one interception.
Senior Taywan Taylor hauled in 10 catches for 124 yards and three touchdowns, marking his 6th game this season of 100+ yards and 16th of his career. He also became just the second player in program history to enjoy multiple games with 3 or more touchdowns in a career, joining Porter Williams.
Senior Ace Wales rushed for 157 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries.
Defensively, WKU was led by linebacker Keith Brown who topped the team in tackles for a sixth consecutive game. The graduate transfer finished with 10 total stops.
Up next for the Hilltoppers is a trip to Baca Raton, Fla., to face Florida Atlantic on Saturday, Oct. 29.