BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) — Tyrrell Pigrome ran for two touchdowns and the defense scored two more on back-to-back takeaways as Western Kentucky scored four unanswered touchdowns in the second half to defeat Florida International 38-21 on Saturday.
FIU (0-5, 0-3 Conference USA) was first on the board when JJ Holloman pulled in a 28-yard pass from Max Bortenschlager midway through the opening quarter, and the Panthers led 13-10 at halftime.
The Hilltoppers (4-6, 3-3) rallied for 35 unanswered points beginning in the first half. But defense turned the tide in the third quarter when Bortenschlager was hit and fumbled. Roger Cray picked up the ball on the bounce and ran it 19 yards to the end zone to put Western Kentucky ahead 17-13. On FIU’s next play, Eli Brown picked off Bortgenschlager for a 22-yard interception return and touchdown.
Gaej Walker and Pigrome scored short rushing touchdowns in the final quarter as WKU extended its scoring run. Walker finished with 127 yards on 17 carries. Pigrome passed for 121 yards.
Western Kentucky hasn’t lost a home finale since 2010. The Hilltoppers end their season at Charlotte next Saturday.
Bortenschlager was 8-for-18 passing for 106 yards with a touchdown and an interception, and was one of three quarterbacks for FIU Saturday. Kaylan Wiggins (5-for-11 passing for 39 yards) scored FIU’s final touchdown on a fourth-and-goal, faking a handoff to the inside and running to the left corner of the end zone. He also ran in the two-point conversion.
FIU has lost seven straight, going back to last season.
More AP college football: https://apnews.com/tag/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25