BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) Austin Reed threw for two touchdowns, ran for another and Western Kentucky defeated Middle Tennessee 31-10 on Thursday night in a Conference USA opener.

Reed was 30 for 52 for 297 yards and an interception as the Hilltoppers (3-2) won their fifth-straight in the series dubbed “100 Miles of Hate" that WKU leads 37-35-1.

Western Kentucky (3-2) had 444 total yards to 373 for the Blue Raiders but Middle Tennessee (1-4) was 5 of 16 on third down, 2 of 4 on fourth down and had three turnovers.

The Hilltoppers used a late first-half turnover to get a rushing touchdown from Reed to go with his two passing scores, for a 23-3 halftime lead. Reed was 24 of 38 for 233 yards with touchdown passes to Easton Messer and Davion Ervin-Poindexter.

But the Blue Raiders lost a fumble on their 310 and Reed took advantage with two passes to Jimmy Holiday getting the ball to the 1 before Reed bulled in for the score with nine seconds to go.

Nicholas Vattiato was 27 of 45 for 252 yards for Middle Tennessee but had two interceptions. Frank Peasant ran for 76 yards and a touchdown.


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