LEXINGTON — Western Kentucky utilized a trick play in overtime to stun Kentucky on the road 32-31 Saturday night.
The Hilltoppers (2-1) went for the win with a two-point try after Antonio Andrews pulled them within a point on 2-yard touchdown run. Quarterback Kawaun Jakes threw a lateral to Andrews, who threw back to Jakes to clinch the victory.
The Wildcats (1-2) had scored first in overtime on a Jonathan George 12-yard run to take a 31-24 lead. On Western Kentucky's OT possession, a roughing-the-passer call set the Hilltoppers up at the Kentucky 2-yard line and led to Andrews' TD.
The Hilltoppers raced out to a 17-0 first-half lead, intercepting Kentucky's Maxwell Smith three times — the sophomore quarterback would add another later. Smith did lead Kentucky on a 77-yard scoring drive that culminated in a 22-yard, game-tying touchdown pass to wide receiver DeMarcus Sweat.
Jakes completed 16 of 20 passes for 160 yards and a touchdown and Andrews rushed 34 times for 123 yards and three scores to lead the Hilltoppers' upset victory.
Smith entered the game ranked 24th nationally in total offense but struggled from the outset before coming to life late, completing 37 of 60 passes for 332 yards with two touchdowns and four interceptions. Smith came in having not thrown an interception in 89 pass attempts.
Jonathan Dowling intercepted Smith for the third time — the fourth Western Kentucky interception — early in the fourth quarter but fumbled on the return and Kentucky offensive tackle Darrian Miller recovered, giving the Wildcats another chance. Western Kentucky's defense held firm again, breaking up a Kentucky pass on fourth-and-7 at its own 33 to maintain its 24-17 lead.
The Hilltoppers took an early 3-0 lead on a 23-yard Garrett Schwettman field goal, capitalizing on a Brett Harrington interception of Kentucky's Smith. Western Kentucky drove inside the Kentucky 10-yard line but had an 8-yard touchdown pass from Jakes to tight end Jack Doyle nullified by an illegal formation.
A stop of Kentucky on fourth-and-1 further emboldened the underdog Hilltoppers, who marched 71 yards in 12 plays on the ensuing drive to claim a 10-0 lead when Andrews scored on a 1-yard run with 7:06 remaining in the first half. Three plays later, Hilltoppers free safety Jonathan Dowling stepped in front of a receiver to intercept Smith for the second time, returning the ball to the Kentucky 2-yard line. Andrews scored two plays later on a carbon copy of his first touchdown, giving Western Kentucky a 17-0 lead with 5:01 remaining in the first half.
Kentucky regained some momentum as Smith engineered a quick 65-yard scoring drive, completing six consecutive passes before Jonathan George dashed eight yards off the left side for a touchdown to cut the Western Kentucky lead to 17-7. After forcing a punt and taking over at their own 34 with 22 seconds remaining in the half, the Wildcats added a 47-yard field goal by Craig McIntosh as time expired to draw within 17-10 at the break.