BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) — Steven Duncan threw for two touchdowns and D’Andre Ferby ran for two more as Western Kentucky turned five first-half interceptions into a 40-0 lead and coasted past UTEP, 40-16 on Saturday night.
The Hilltoppers picked up their first Conference USA victory this season. They play at Louisiana Tech in the season finale Saturday.
Duncan drove Western Kentucky (2-9, 1-6) 75 yards in 11 plays on the opening drive of the game, finding Quin Jernighan from 17 yards out for the touchdown.
Roger Cray picked off Kai Locksley on the first UTEP play from scrimmage and the Hilltoppers were back in the end zone, with Ferby punching in from the 1. Locksley was picked off by Drell Greene on the first play of the next UTEP series and returned it 32 yards to set up Lucky Jackson’s 2-yard touchdown catch from Duncan. On their third series, the Miners ran six plays before Brandon Jones was picked off by Ta’Corian Darden and Ferby scored from the 7 for a 27-0 first-quarter lead.
Jones was picked off again on the next UTEP series, this time by Devon Key and it led to a Western Kentucky field goal. The Hilltoppers defense got its own touchdown when Gaej Walker returned a Kai Locksley pass 18 yards for a touchdown.
Jones finished 14 for 25 for 340 yards passing and two second-half touchdowns, but was picked off twice for UTEP (1-10, 1-6). Locksley attempted nine passes and completed just one and had three picked off.
Duncan finished 19 of 31 for 214 yards and two touchdowns, with one interception.