BOWLING GREEN, Ky. - Late game heroics on special teams and defense spurred Middle Tennessee to a 34-29 win over its archrival Western Kentucky. The winning effort also helped MT reach bowl eligibility status at Houchens-Smith Stadium.
MT (6-3, 4-1) moved into second place in the Sun Belt as the Raiders came out victorious in a game that saw three ties and remained close until the very end. WKU (6-3, 3-2) fought back three times, but never held a lead during the contest.
Redshirt sophomore Reggie Whatley found the gamewinner for Middle Tennessee with his 96-yard touchdown return at the six minute mark in the fourth quarter. Whatley broke through to give the Blue Raiders a 34-27 advantage.
The Blue Raiders, who had 342 yards total offense, became bowl eligible for the third time in four seasons. It also marked the earliest time since 2001 that MT had reached the six win plateau.