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Hilltoppers earn first win of the season

Western Kentucky quarterback Tyrrell Pigrome drops back against Liberty.
Western Kentucky quarterback Tyrrell Pigrome drops back against Liberty.(Hunter Smith)
Published: Oct. 3, 2020 at 8:11 PM CDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - Western Kentucky picked up its first win of the season with a 20-17 victory over rival Middle Tennessee. WKU is now 1-2 this season and 1-0 in Conference USA.

“It’s a big win against our rival,” Helton said. "To be 1-0 in the conference gives us momentum, that was our goal. I felt like our guys came really fired up and ready to play.”

After struggling through the first two games, the Tops offense final showed the ability to sustain drives throughout the ball game. Especially in the second half.

“It was an uphill battle,” Helton said. “I felt like we earned every yard we made.”

WKU finished with 326 yards of total offense against MTSU. Tyrrell Prigrome was 21/36 for 188 yards and two touchdowns while leading the team in rushing for the third straight game with 55 yards.

This was the first game for the Tops since the departure of wide receiver Jahcour Pearson. Craig Burt Jr. was also out this week. Stepping up for WKU was Xavier Lane and Dayton Wade.

“I felt like I had to seize the moment,” Lane said. “That’s what I came to do.”

Lane finished with seven catches for 73 yards and a score while Wade tallied seven receptions and 66 yards.

Helton said he expected Lane and Wade to step up this weekend.

"They had to wait and be patient and I’m proud to see they made the most of their opportunity.

On the other side of the ball, the WKU’s defense set the tone early in this matchup. Jeremy Darvin said the team had spent the last two weeks focusing on bringing energy into Saturday’s game.

“It showed tonight and hopefully we can keep that going the rest of the year," Darvin said.

After struggling against athletic quarterbacks in their first two games, The Tops held the Blue Raiders’ Asher O’Hara in check.

Next up for the Tops will be a homecoming matchup against the Thundering Herd of Marshall on October 10.

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