BOWLING GREEN, Kentucky — Army received a taste of its own medicine against Western Kentucky on Saturday.
The Hilltoppers, who averaged 371 passing yards per game entering the game, switched up its high-octane attack to the ground with no answer from the Black Knights.
Leon Allen broke the Conference USA single-game rushing yards record with 345 yards and three touchdowns as the Hilltoppers defeated Army 52-24.
Army's main goal was getting its first winning streak of the season and first true road victory, though its win over Connecticut proved the Black Knights could win away from Michie Stadium.
That goal has to wait once again as the Black Knights (3-7) officially fall from bowl eligibility after falling to Western Kentucky for a second-consecutive season.
The Hilltoppers hosted Army for Military Appreciation Day that included WKU president Gary Ransdell tandem jumping with the U.S. Army Golden Knights to present the game ball prior to the coin toss.
WKU (5-5) registered 561 yards of offense to win back-to-back games for the first time this season, placing them one win away from bowl eligibility.
"We didn't play like a very good football team today," Army coach Jeff Monken said. "We have to play with great fundamentals and technique and we have to play with pad level that's better than anybody else we play. We have to execute our assignments exactly the way it's designed to. If we don't, it's going to be hard for us to succeed."
Initially, Army looked like its production on third-down would carry over from its win over UConn, where they converted 7 of 12.
The Black Knights converted two third-and-longs on a 12-play drive to open the game. Angel Santiago ran it in from one-yard out on another third down to give Army the game's first score. The Black Knights opened the game converting its first four third-down attempts, but finished the game having converted only 6 of 13 of their third downs.
"(Western Kentucky) came ready to play and played really aggressive," running back Larry Dixon said. "At the end of the day it's us not doing our technique to get the play running. When we do it right and do what we're coached to do, good things happen. When you saw us fail it's because we got away from that."
Dixon led the Black Knights with 131 yards and a 58-yard touchdown run in the third quarter as Army registered 293 yards on the ground.
Angel Santiago put Army on the board first with a one-yard run in the first quarter. Santiago had 78 yards and two scores for the Black Knights, who barely won the time of possession battle 31:33-28:27.
The Black Knights settled for a 43-yard field goal from Daniel Grochowski to cut the WKU lead to 14-10 before the Hilltoppers scored the last 10 points of the half thanks in part to a Brandon Doughty 45-yarder to Willie McNeal as time expired in the first half for the 24-10 halftime lead.
Army's offense re-emerged late in the third quarter with a 54 yard score from Santiago and a 58-yard touchdown run from Dixon. But Army was held off the scoreboard in the fourth quarter as WKU's defense has now shut out opponents in the fourth quarter at home for the third straight contest.
WKU quarterback Brandon Doughty threw for 178 yards and added a two late touchdown passes to seal the victory, keeping Army searching for its first road win since 2010.
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