- Sam Khan Jr., ESPN Staff Writer
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In a battle of debuting coaches, Bobby Petrino and Western Kentucky came out on top, earning a 35-26 win over Kentucky and its new coach, Mark Stoops.
Kentucky struggled early offensively, especially in the passing game, netting just 18 first-half passing yards, yet still staying in the game, down 21-17 at the half. Western Kentucky outgained the Wildcats in total offense 487-419 for the night.
The Hilltoppers pulled away in the late third and early fourth quarters. Quarterback Brandon Doughty connected with Mitchell Henry for a 9-yard touchdown to extend their lead to 11 with 1:50 to go in the third, then Leon Allen gave Western Kentucky a 35-17 lead with a 14-yard touchdown run with 13:32 remaining.
Doughty was 27 of 34 passing for 271 yards and a touchdown. Allen (10 carries, 92 yards) and Antonio Andrews (20 carries, 99 yards) each neared the century mark in rushing yards.
Sophomore Maxwell Smith replaced starting quarterback Jalen Whitlow in the fourth quarter. Smith was 8-of-13 for 125 yards and a score while Whitlow finished 10-of-15 for 78 yards and added 75 rushing yards and a score on the ground.
The Wildcats had a stretch where they punted on four straight possessions that spanned the 1:46 mark in the second quarter to the 1:36 mark in the third.
Franklin was 26-of-38 passing for 318 yards and three touchdowns before exiting the game in the third quarter.
Murray State hung tough with the Tigers in the first quarter, taking a 14-13 lead, helped by a Missouri fumble on the first drive of the game that Murray State later turned into a Maikhai Miller 17-yard touchdown pass to Walter Powell for a 7-0 lead.
But Missouri pulled away with 45 unanswered points. The Racers punted or turned it over on their next 11 possessions.
Josey, who was making his first appearance since having two knee surgeries that kept him out of action last season, had 113 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries. Russell Hansbrough also got involved in the running game, posting 104 yards on eight carries. Miller threw three interceptions in the game for Murray State.
The Volunteers launched a new era and made a little history in the process as they cruised to an easy win over FCS foe Austin Peay.
The Butch Jones era at Tennessee got off to a positive start as the Vols scored three touchdowns in the first quarter and three touchdowns in the second quarter to take a commanding 42-0 halftime lead.
The win marked the Volunteers' 800th win in program history. They are the eighth school in the country to reach that mark, joining Alabama, Michigan, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma and Texas.
3dSam Khan Jr.