Bayou Beatdown: LA Tech shuts down WKU in 59-10 win

Junior running back Leon Allen (33) runs for a touchdown during the third quarter of WKU’s Oct. 25 victory over Old Dominion. Allen rushed 32 times for 182 yards and two touchdowns as the Hilltoppers defeated the Monarchs 66-51. Brandon Carter/HERALD

Kyle Williams

WKU football traveled to Ruston, Louisiana on Saturday looking to maintain momentum following its first Conference USA victory over Old Dominion a week ago – however, the Hilltoppers left Bulldog territory with anything but.

WKU (3-5, 1-4 Conference USA) was handed a 59-10 loss, marking its worse conference defeat in program history.

The Bulldogs totaled 507 yards of offense – 378 in the air and 129 on the ground. LA Tech converted six of seven red zone trips into points and scored 21 off five WKU turnovers.

WKU gained just 297 yards of offense, led by junior running back Leon Allen with 76 yards rushing on 14 carries.

Redshirt senior quarterback Brandon Doughty put forth his worst performance of the season against the Bulldogs, completing just 14 of his 35 passes for 134 yards, a touchdown and four interceptions. Doughty came into the game with four interceptions through seven games.

Redshirt senior defensive back Cam Thomas (hamstring) and redshirt junior defensive back Wonderful Terry (concussion) did not play for the Hilltoppers.

The Hilltoppers trailed 31-10 at the halfway mark and totaled just 226 yards on 45 plays in the first half while converting two of their nine third downs. Doughty completed a lowly 42 percent of his passes for 122 yards to go along with one touchdown and two interceptions. Allen carried the ball 12 times for 76 yards through the first two periods.

The Bulldogs tallied 247 yards on offense in the first half behind senior quarterback Cody Sokol’s 186 yards and two touchdowns. Junior running back Kenneth Dixon added 62 yards on nine carries and a score. The Bulldog special teams tallied 117 yards on two kickoff returns, including a 96-yard touchdown return by Carlos Henderson.

The 10 first-half points scored by the Hilltoppers marked the lowest halftime total of the season.

Things didn’t get any easier for WKU in the second half, as LA Tech tacked on 21 points in the third quarter on scoring plays of 18, nine and 11 yards. The Hilltoppers turned the ball over three times in the third quarter in the form of two Doughty interceptions and a fumble by redshirt freshman receiver Kylen Towner.

LA Tech extended its lead over the Hilltoppers with 14:09 in the fourth quarter on a three-yard keeper by Sokol en route to the 59-10 loss.

WKU is at home next week, Nov. 8, against UTEP in the Hilltoppers’ Homecoming game, which is set to kickoff at 3 p.m.