(Saturday, November 5th)
Final Score: Western Kentucky 10, FIU 9
Bowling Green, KY (Sports Network) - Casey Tinius hit a 34-yard field goal as time expired to lift the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers to a thrilling 10-9 victory over the FIU Panthers in a Sun Belt Conference battle at Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium.
Bobby Rainey ran for 155 yards on 28 carries to pace WKU (5-4, 5-1 SBC) in the win, while Kawaun Jakes completed 8-of-24 passes for 143 yards while taking the snaps in the Hilltoppers fifth consecutive victory.
Wesley Carroll completed 10-of-20 for 128 yards in the loss for FIU (5-4, 2-3), which has suffered setbacks in two of its last three outings. The Owls struggled to find a rhythm offensively during the meeting, achieving just 180 total yards and eight first downs.
The Panthers took a 3-0 lead early in the opening frame with a 40-yard Jack Griffin field goal. s Kadeem Jones gave WKU a 7-3 advantage late in the stanza following a two-yard TD run.
Griffin converted a 34-yard kick just minutes later to pull the Panthers to within 7-6. Griffin gave FIU the lead again early in the final period of play, this time connecting on a 43-yard field goal.
Faced with a 3rd-and-10 late, Jakes hit Rainey for a 12-yard completion and a 15-yard personal foul against FIU gave the Hilltoppers a first down at the Panther 26. Rainey then gained 10 yards on two carries and a spike by Jakes stopped the clock with just four second remaining at the 17-yard line to set up Tinius for the game-winner.
The five straight victories represent the longest winning streak for the Hilltoppers since 2004.
11/05 20:43:56 ET