Troy delivers 32-26 loss at WKU’s Homecoming

Western Kentucky University’s Antonio Andrews gets away from Troy’s Chris Pickett during their game at against Troy at WKU on Saturday, October 26, 2013. 

WKU’s bowl hopes took a big hit Saturday as the Toppers fell to Troy 32-26 in front of 20,110 fans at Smith Stadium.

WKU (4-4, 1-3 Sun Belt Conference) built a solid 20-10 lead heading into halftime but got outplayed in the second half — the Toppers were outscored 22-6 in the final 30 minutes.

 A late drive by the Toppers was stalled as Antonio Andrews fell inches short of the first down at the Troy 22-yard line with just inside of two minutes to play. WKU lost despite outperforming the Trojans (5-3, 3-1 SBC) on offense with just 532 yards.
Even with those numbers, WKU couldn’t execute the way it needed to. As a result, kicker Garrett Schwettman was 4-of-5 on field goals for the night.
“We didn’t get the ball in the end zone enough,” coach Bobby Petrino said. “When we get down in the critical area, we had some opportunities to score touchdowns and it seemed like every time we get inside the 20 we don’t make plays to score touchdowns and you have to settle for a field goal.
“That’s what kills you.”

Sophomore Nelson Fishback got the start at quarterback but was pulled for junior Brandon Doughty at the start of the third series on offense. Fishback finished 2-of-3 for 12 yards.

Doughty was solid through the air through much of the game but had two crucial fumbles that led to Troy touchdowns. The quarterback finished 29-of-25 for 387 yards.

Senior running back Antonio Andrews racked up 292 all-purpose yards with 144 rushing yards to go along with 125 receiving yards.

The Toppers started strong by getting quarterback Corey Robinson under pressure resulting in a struggle to find open receivers.

The second half was a different story, though. Robinson aired it out in the second half — he finished 20-of-32 for 306 yards with a touchdown and an interception — and helped Troy score three second half touchdowns.

“In the second half, they hit the plays,” Petrino said. “Our defense did enough to give us the opportunity to win the game in the end, but we just didn’t do it.”

At 1-3 in the Sun Belt, the Toppers remain at No. 7 in the standings. They will join the bottom of their conference company at Georgia State next Saturday.