Ty Storey, the grad transfer from Arkansas, got his first start at quarterback following Steven Duncan’s season ending injury. Storey did exactly as he needed to do, which was control the ball and give the defense a break. The defense stepped up HUGE in this game, combining for four interceptions of UAB quarterback Tyler Johnston. They stayed in the backfield all night, forcing 8 tackles for loss. This game was tied at 3, 10, and 13, but the Hilltoppers were able to score last giving them the W in front of a good crowd at the Houch.
Storey completed 15/24 passes for 189 yards and two touchdowns, having no turnovers. He looked comfortable in the offense and made good reads, opting for the quick pass most of the night. He was also called to run 13 times, making him the leading rusher in attempts and yards with 26. Rushing was otherwise a letdown as Gaej Walker fumbled on the Hilltopper’s first play from scrimmage and never looked like he did the first two weeks of the season. He finished with just 19 yards with his longest rush being 5 yards. Walker’s fumble led to a quick field goal by UAB but WKU quickly tied it up after Kyle Bailey recorded his first pick of the night. The two teams would trade touchdowns next, with Storey hitting receiver Joshua Simon for an eight yard score. Corey Munson kicked his second field goal of the game and the Tops went to the break up a score. A touchdown pass to Jacour Pearson gave the Hilltopper’s the lead for good to start the 4th. Pearson finished with five grabs for 94 yards, including a 50 yard grab.
Defensively, this is the best the Hilltoppers have looked all season. A secondary that has looked non-existent at times stepped up huge. Kyle Bailey had two interceptions and Trae Meadows and Jeremy Darvin each added one. Devon Key and DeAngelo Malone paced the defense, putting up 12 and 10 tackles respectively. Malone also posted 2 sacs and 3 tackles for loss on his own. Overall, the defense controlled the game allowing the offense to play conservative in order to beat an undefeated UAB squad. This win kept WKU atop the C-USA leaderboard with a 2-0 conference record. The Toppers will travel to Old Dominion next week looking to avenge their loss in Bowling Green last year that ended about as wildly as you could imagine.