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Miami Redhawks vs. Western Kentucky Hilltoppers football recap: Doughty goes wild and Miami falls, 56-14

Brandon Doughty threw four touchdown passes in the first quarter, and Western Kentucky led by 42 at halftime. On a positive note, Miami played even with WKU in the second half.

Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami-Ohio Redhawks suffered a 56-14 blowout loss to the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers on Saturday afternoon (Sept. 26) in Bowling Green, Kentucky. The game was 28-0 after one quarter and was never close after that.

Miami traveled to Bowling Green with a 1-2 record on the heels of a solid effort in a 37-33 loss to Cincinnati. They were facing a Hilltoppers squad who was 2-1 but had played three very close games, decided by a combined eight points and none more than three. Their most recent game was a 38-35 loss to Indiana.

This contest was nothing like any of those close games.

WKU opened the game with a 10-play, 90-yard drive. Quarterback Brandon Doughty completed all seven of his passes on the drive, the last of which was a nine-yard scoring pass to Antwane Grant for a 7-0 lead.

Miami failed to gain a yard on their first drive and was forced to punt. On the first play of the ensuing possession, Doughty threw a 59-yard touchdown pass to Taywan Taylor, and the score was 14-0.

The Hilltoppers scored twice more in the first quarter, both on Doughty throws. Meanwhile, Miami's offense spent the first quarter in neutral. In five possessions, they punted four times and turned the ball over once on a Billy Bahl interception.

Drew Kummer led Miami on an 81-yard touchdown drive to open the second quarter to give his team a little hope, as he threw a touchdown to Chris Hudson. However, WKU immediately answered when Miami failed to recover an onside kick. Doughty drove them 41 yards in four plays for a 35-7 lead.

By the time the Redhawks scored again, on a 16-yard pass from Gus Ragland to Ryan Smith, it was the 4th quarter and Miami trailed 56-7.

Miami accumulated 291 yards of offense but much of that came in garbage time after the game was out of hand. They turned the ball over four times, including three interceptions. On the other side, WKU earned 569 yards and turned the ball over zero times.

You could absolutely say the difference in this game was quarterbacking. The Redhawks played three quarterbacks. Kummer and Ragland combined to go 11-for-17 with 123 yards and two touchdowns. That was the good. The bad? Bahl was 4-for-11 for just 45 yards and three interceptions. Meanwhile, Doughty led his WKU squad by going 33-for-41 with 457 yards and six touchdowns. Nearly 400 of the yards and five of the touchdowns were in the first half.

Miami begins Mid-American Conference play with a trip to face the Kent State Golden Flashes next Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET. They'll follow that with a game at Ohio before finally hosting Northern Illinois on Oct. 17th.