BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) -- The Sun Belt Conference has upheld its one-game suspension of Western Kentucky safety Jonathan Dowling following his ejection from Saturday's victory against Southern Mississippi.
The conference on Tuesday rejected WKU's appeal of Dowling's suspension announced on Monday.
Dowling, whose four interceptions are tied with UCLA's Sheldon Price and Mississippi State's Darius Slay for the NCAA lead, will miss WKU's Sun Belt opener Saturday against defending conference champion Arkansas State.
Hilltoppers coach Willie Taggart said Monday that senior Kareem Peterson, a former starter, will replace Dowling.
The sophomore transfer from Florida was ejected after a helmet-to-helmet hit on receiver Tyre Bracken following his third-quarter touchdown reception.
WKU won 42-17 and is 3-1 for the first time since 2007.