BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) Leon Allen broke the Conference USA single-game rushing yards record with 345 yards and three touchdowns as the Hilltoppers defeated Army 52-24.
Western Kentucky (5-5, 2-4 Conference USA) registered 561 yards of offense to win back-to-back games for the first time this season, placing them one win away from bowl eligibility.
Allen scored on rushes of 1, 12, and a career-long 80-yards to give WKU its second-straight win over Army, and its fourth-straight versus the triple-option offense.
Brandon Doughty threw for three scores on 178 yards that included a 45-yarder to Willie McNeal as time expired in the first half for the 24-10 halftime lead.
Angel Santiago put Army (3-7) on the board first with a one-yard run in the first quarter and added a 54-yard run in the third. Larry Dixon led the Black Knights with 131 yards and a 58-yard touchdown run in the third quarter as Army registered 293 yards on the ground.
Santiago had 78 yards and two scores for the Black Knights, who barely won the time of possession battle 31:33-28:27.
WKU’s 52 points put its season total to 416, now a school FBS record.
Allen’s record-breaking game also put him over the 1,000 yard rushing mark on the season, making it five straight seasons where WKU has had a 1,000-yard rusher.
”The key was to run the ball, so it was there and I had to believe and trust in my line and hit it every time there was a hole,” Allen said. ”I didn’t think it was going to be like this. I prepared this week harder than I’ve ever prepared. I came in with a playoff mentality in practice. Ran the ball hard in practice, finished hard in practice and it carried over to the field.”
WKU’s mission to get to .500 and a step closer toward six wins was accomplished in order to be considered for the post season. That same goal for Army was diminished for Army, who has yet to earn a true road victory after winning last week over UConn at Yankee Stadium.