There’s a reason why Western Kentucky University quarterback Brandon Doughty is generating buzz among NFL scouts. The sixth-year QB threw for 457 yards and six touchdowns as he led the Hilltoppers to a 56-14 win against Miami University Saturday.
Western Kentucky out-gained Miami 569-291 in total yardage and 27-15 in first downs.
“I’m concerned about everything after this game,” head coach Chuck Martin said. “We didn’t do anything well today … you gotta reevaluate everything. These are the tough ones because you really start to question everything.”
WKU came out guns blazing and never stopped, scoring touchdowns on three of its first four drives. It took a 28-0 lead five minutes into the second quarter.
Miami’s first four drives ended in three punts and an interception.
Martin was out of answers earlier in the week when asked how Miami would stifle Doughty’s production, and it wasn’t any different after game day.
“He’s really good at reading defenses,” Martin said. “We got to him a little bit in the first half pressure-wise. Then in the second half, every time we tried to pressure him he’d just spit the ball out real quick, and next thing you know, they got enough athletes out there with space and we don’t have enough guys out there in coverage. He’s a tremendous player.”
Doughty went 33-for-41 and finished the game as WKU’s all-time leader in total yards.
The RedHawks’ first score of the game came 9:29 into the second quarter on a 10-yard touchdown pass from redshirt senior quarterback Drew Kummer to redshirt freshman receiver Chris Hudson.
The Hilltoppers answered with three touchdowns on three drives to end the half up 49-7.
“We knew they were a high-powered offense and their defense is tough,” Kummer said. “We didn’t get those first downs the first two series, and that really hurt.”
However, Miami had a small burst of life in the second half.
Redshirt freshman quarterback Gus Ragland rushed for 42 yards on five carries. He also added a Miami touchdown to the board, finding sophomore tight end Ryan Smith in the end zone with 7:28 on the clock to cap off a 10-play, 77-yard drive.
The ’Hawks had seven first downs in the fourth quarter, after totaling eight in the first three quarters combined. They also collected 119 yards in the fourth after producing 172 yards during the rest of the game.
“Our quarterbacks started playing pretty well. They were hitting receivers,” Kummer said. “Gus was able to provide us with a little running … we just settled in a little more in the second half.”
Martin said moving the ball in the second half was the only positive of the day.
“Some guys took a step back in the second quarter and I think they regrouped and played some solid ball in the second half,” he said. “But the look we had in our eyes was the look I saw last year, which I hoped we’d never see again … there was not a lot of fight from the RedHawks.”
Kummer finished 7-for-12 for 78 yards and a touchdown, while Ragland went 4-for-5 with one touchdown and 43 total rushing yards. Freshman Billy Bahl also saw some snaps, completing 4 of 11 for 45 yards and three interceptions.
Redshirt junior running back Spencer McInnis led the team on the ground, gaining 46 yards on 11 touches. Hudson led receivers with 64 yards and a touchdown on four catches.
The RedHawks begin Mid-American Conference play next weekend at Kent State University.
“I’m not worried, concerned maybe, but not worried,” Martin said. “I think we have the right group of kids that keep plowing ahead. We gotta find a way to beat Kent State.”