BOWLING GREEN, Ky. -- Reggie Whatley's 96-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter lifted Middle Tennessee to a 34-29 win over Western Kentucky on Thursday night.
With the win, the Blue Raiders (6-3, 4-1 Sun Belt) are now in sole possession of second place in the Sun Belt, trailing first-place Louisiana-Monroe (6-2, 4-0).
Whatley's kick return came with 6:03 left just after Western Kentucky had tied the game at 27 with a field goal.
The Hilltoppers (6-3, 3-2) drove toward the end zone in the closing stages, but the Blue Raiders' Kenneth Gilstrap picked off a Kawaun Jakes pass deep in MTSU territory with two minutes left to seal the win.
Western Kentucky got a safety as time expired.
Freshman Jordan Parker rushed for 149 yards and a touchdown for the Blue Raiders, who became bowl eligible for the first time since 2010.
Texas Tech WR Jakeem Grant turned a trick play into a touchdown in the final minutes, leading the Red Raiders past the Longhorns.
Todd McShay analyzes six college football players with something to prove this weekend, including Michigan CB Jourdan Lewis, who will face Ohio State WR Michael Thomas on Saturday.
ESPN college football analyst Robert Smith explains how Michigan likes to pound away with the running game but is still be able to use a big-play passing attack with the same look offensively.
Munaweera wants to launch it down the ground... But he does not get hold of it. He can only skewer it to mid-on, where Shadman pouches it
Last season's 61-58 slugfest will be hard to top, but both Baylor and TCU still have much at stake as they meet Friday night.
Success on the ground could well dictate who controls this matchup, whose winner still has some shot at the College Football Playoff.