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|ULM tops Western Kentucky in OT|
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. -- ULM (5-2, 3-0) ruined the Homecoming festivities for Western Kentucky (5-2, 2-1), 43-42, in overtime inside L.T. Smith Stadium. Kolton Browning rushed the touchdown before finding Rashon Ceasar on the two-point conversion to secure the victory.
Browning engineered a seven-play, 90-yard drive ending with a 12-yard pass to Ceasar for the touchdown to tie the game and send it to overtime. The win guaranteed ULM its best overall start since 1993 and best Sun Belt start since 2009 (3-0). In addition, it is the first four-game winning streak in FBS era. ULM won five in a row from Oct. 16 to Nov. 13 in 1993, their last as a I-AA program.
ULM was down 28-7 before scoring 21 straight unanswered points to tie the game in the fourth quarter. ULM began the comeback with an eight-play, 75-yard drive capped by a Browning rushing touchdown. A quick stop by the ULM defense gave the Warhawks the ball with 1:07 in the first half. Browning connected with Cortney Davis for a 30-yard touchdown to cap a eight-play, 64-yard drive as time expired. It was Davis' first career catch and touchdown.
ULM threatened in the third quarter as Jyruss Edwards caught a 44-yard pass and was pulled down at the one-yard line. WKU stuffed ULM to turn the Warhawks over on downs, highlighted by a missed fake field goal.
The third quarter marked the first time in a ULM game this season that neither team scored.
Browning found Harper for a 16-yard touchdown with 11:23 remaining in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 28-all. The drive covered 46 yards in seven plays.
ULM had a chance to take the lead on its next possession but was forced to punt giving the ball back to the Hilltoppers at their own 36-yard line. WKU marched 64 yards in 10 plays for the touchdown capped by Antonio Andrews' two-yard run with 2:29 to play in regulation.
Browning finished 22-for-41 passing with four touchdowns and 308 yards while rushing for a team-high 69 yards and two touchdowns. Harper caught seven balls for 62 yards and a touchdown.
Western Kentucky began the game with a scoring drive capped by a 22-yard touchdown pass from Kawaun Jakes to Willie McNeal giving the Hilltoppers a 7-0 advantage with just 3:40 off of the clock.
WKU picked off Browning on ULM's first play from scrimmage. On the ensuing drive the Hilltoppers elected to go for it on fourth down and Isaiah Newsome came up with his second interception of the season and sixth of his career.
A Justin Manton punt was downed inside WKU's own one-yard in an attempt to slow the Hilltopper offense. However, the Hilltoppers were able to string first downs together and end the drive with WKU extending its lead to 14-0 on a 12-yard touchdown pass from Jakes to Jack Doyle with 13:02 left in the half. The drive went 99 yards and lasted 8:23.
An excellent 51-yard kickoff return from Cortney Davis gave ULM excellent starting field position. Browning scampered for 13 yards before finding Je'Ron Hamm for a 16-yard touchdown pass to get the Warhawks within a score, 14-7, with 11 minutes remaining.
A 58-yard kickoff return from Antonio Andrews sent the momentum back to the home sideline. WKU continued to attack and went up 21-7 on a five-yard touchdown pass from Jakes to Austin Aikens with 8:37 left in the half.
Browning threw his second interception of the day, this time by Cam Thomas to give WKU the ball on ULM's 18-yard line. Jakes found Doyle again for a 19-yard touchdown, giving the Hilltoppers a 28-7 lead with just under six minutes before halftime.
The Warhawks will be at home the next two weeks beginning with Homecoming against South Alabama at 6 p.m. on Saturday.
Head Coach Todd Berry
On the strategy in overtime...
"Certainly us having the opportunity to play defense first gave us an opportunity to say 'OK, how is this going to be played out? How is the overtime going to be played out?' It was expressed pretty early that we were going to have a pretty difficult time stopping them and so at that point and time you might as well end it."
On the two-point conversion in overtime to win the game...
"I felt great about the call. Coach [Steve] Farmer did a great job. There were certainly a lot of things that happened during that game. Everything was operating in two-minute mode it seemed like the entire game and he [Farmer] did a great job calling plays. We had a lot of confidence in the two-point conversion. I knew when the play was called we had it. As soon as I saw the defense, I knew we had it."
WKU - 22-yard pass from K. Jakes to W. McNeal (G. Schwettmann XP), 6-75 3:40 WKU 7-0
WKU - 12-yard pass from K. Jakes to J. Doyle (G. Schwettmann XP), 13-99 8:23 WKU 14-0
ULM - 16-yard pass from K. Browning to J. Hamm (J. Manton XP), 4-32 1:53 WKU 14-7
WKU - 5-yard pass from K. Jakes to A. Aikens (G. Schwettmann XP), 4-32 2:13 WKU 21-7
WKU - 19-yard pass from K. Jakes to J. Doyle (G. Schwettmann XP), 3-18 1:32 WKU 28-7
ULM - 20-yard run from K. Browning (J. Manton XP), 8-75 2:24 WKU 28-14
ULM - 30-yard pass from K. Browning to C. Davis (J. Manton XP), 8-64 1:07 WKU 28-21
ULM - 16-yard pass from K. Browning to C. Harper (J. Manton XP), 7-46 2:23 Tied 28-28
WKU - 2-yard run from A. Andrews (G. Schwettmann XP), 10-64 4:49 WKU 35-28
ULM - 12-yard pass from K. Browning (J. Manton XP), 7-90, 1:50 Tied 35-35
WKU - 9-yard run from K. Jakes (G. Schwettmann XP), 2-25 WKU 42-35
ULM - 3-yard run from K. Browning (K. Browning to R. Ceaser Good) 4-25 ULM 43-42
Report courtesy ulmwarhawks.com