HALFTIME: WKU trails Tennessee 31-17

Quarterback Brandon Doughty watches as running back Leon Allen is tackled in the backfield by Tennessee defensive back LaDarrell McNeil during Saturday’s game at Tennessee.

Lucas Aulbach

After a turnover-filled first quarter, Tennessee leads WKU 31-17 at halftime.

The Toppers started strong, with their first drive resulting in a field goal to take the lead, but a series of turnovers put WKU in a deep hole early.

WKU turned the ball over in five straight possessions — two consecutive interceptions returned for touchdowns followed by two fumbles and another interception — helping Tennessee rush to a 31-3 lead a minute into the second quarter.

The Toppers were able to finally get in the end zone with 6:47 to go before halftime on a one-yard run from sophomore running back Leon Allen.

Junior quarterback Brandon Doughty, who completed 27-of-34 passes last week against Kentucky, finished the half 13-of-25 for 154 yards, with one touchdown and four interceptions.

Senior running back Antonio Andrews had 32 rushing yards and a 43-yard catch, with a fumble. Senior running back Keshawn Simpson, who had nine rushing yards, was responsible for the other fumble.

Allen was a bright spot on the WKU offense, finishing the half with 45 rushing yards and a score.

The Toppers added a second touchdown before halftime on a six-yard pass from Doughty to freshman wide receiver Nicholas Norris after WKU blocked a punt deep in Tennessee territory.

Tennessee will take the ball first in the second half.