(Saturday, October 22nd)
Final Score: Western Kentucky 42, Louisiana 23
Bowling Green, KY (Sports Network) - Western Kentucky snapped the nation's longest home losing streak at 18 games, as the Hilltoppers defeated Louisiana 42-23 in a Sun Belt Conference matchup at Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium.
The conference's leading rusher Bobby Rainey was unstoppable as he rushed for 206 yards and three touchdowns on 32 carries for Western Kentucky (3-4, 3-1 Sun Belt) in its third straight win. Kawaun Jakes was efficient completing 15-of-18 passes for 242 yards and a touchdown. Jack Doyle led the Hilltoppers with 106 receiving yards on seven catches.
The loss gave Louisiana (6-2, 4-1) its first conference blemish of the season and snapped the Ragin' Cajuns six-game winning streak. Blaine Gautier led the offense completing 32-of-51 passes for a career-high 419 yards with two touchdowns. Harry Peoples and Javone Lawson both had 100-plus receiving yards with 140 and 102, respectively. Tight end Ladarius Green made a big impact as well, with eight catches for 59 yards and two touchdowns.
Western Kentucky scored first when Rainey punched it from a yard out at the 11:39 mark of the opening quarter.
Louisiana scored its only first quarter points on a 22-yard field goal by Brett Baer that made the score 7-3 with just over seven minutes left in the opening period.
The Hilltoppers extended their lead in the opening minute of the second quarter when Kadeem Jones rushed two yards out for a score. The Ragin' Cajuns answered on the next play from scrimmage with a 79-yard touchdown run by Aaron Spikes that made the Western Kentucky lead 14-10 with just under 14 minutes remaining in the first half.
Both quarterbacks made their presence known as the first half neared its conclusion. Jakes put the Hilltoppers up 21-10 when he completed a four-yard touchdown pass to Mitchell Henry that capped off a 12-play, 65-yard drive at the second quarter's 2:23 mark.
Gautier countered with his first touchdown pass of the game with just nine seconds left in the period, a two-yarder to Ladarius Green to send the game into halftime with the home team leading 21-17.
The only score of the third quarter came with less than a minute remaining, as Rainey rushed five yards for his second score of the contest. The score capped off a seven-play, 94-yard drive and sent the Hilltoppers into the final frame up 28-17.
The Ragin' Cajuns opened up the fourth quarter scoring with a six-yard touchdown pass from Gautier to Green. The second scoring connection by the duo of the day left Louisiana trailing by five points before failing on a two point conversion attempt.
The Hilltoppers answered with a touchdown of their own at the 10:59 mark as Jones punched it in again, this time from one yard out. The sophomore running back's second touchdown of the day put WKU up 35-23.
Rainey scored his third touchdown of the day with just over a minute remaining on a 24-yard rush to finish off the 42-23 victory for the Hilltoppers.
Both offenses were productive as Louisiana's 540 yards of total offense edged out Western Kentucky's 507.
WKU's offensive eruption marked the most yards since racking up 538 yards against NC Central in 2007.
10/22 21:11:26 ET