Zappe leads Western Kentucky past Middle Tennessee, 48-21

NCAA Football

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP)Bailey Zappe threw four touchdown passes and ran for a fifth as Western Kentucky won its fourth straight game, knocking off Middle Tennessee 48-21 on Saturday.

Zappe, who entered leading the Football Bowl Subdivision by averaging 425.9 yards per game, completed 29 of 50 attempts for 281 yards. He has thrown 37 touchdown passes to put Western Kentucky (5-4 4-1) atop the East Division of Conference USA.

Nick Vattiato threw a 45-yard touchdown pass to DJ England-Chisolm on Middle Tennessee’s opening drive to put the Blue Raiders (4-5, 2-5) up 7-0, but Zappe answered with a 17-yard touchdown pass to Daewood Davis and a 5-yard strike to Malachi Corley. Beanie Bishop picked off a Vattiato pass and returned it 43 yards for a score to make it 21-7 after one quarter.

After Vattiato fired a 36-yard scoring pass to Yusuf Ali in the second quarter, Brayden Narveson kicked a 35-yard field goal and Zappe hit Mitchell Tinsley from 10-yards out to make it 31-14 at intermission.

Vattiato was 24 of 41 for 205 yards and two touchdowns but was picked off five times.

Zappe has thrown 16 touchdown passes during the Hilltoppers’ four-game win streak.

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