BOWLING GREEN, Ky. -- Reggie Whatley's 96-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter lifted Middle Tennessee to a 34-29 win over Western Kentucky on Thursday night.
With the win, the Blue Raiders (6-3, 4-1 Sun Belt) are now in sole possession of second place in the Sun Belt, trailing first-place Louisiana-Monroe (6-2, 4-0).
Whatley's kick return came with 6:03 left just after Western Kentucky had tied the game at 27 with a field goal.
The Hilltoppers (6-3, 3-2) drove toward the end zone in the closing stages, but the Blue Raiders' Kenneth Gilstrap picked off a Kawaun Jakes pass deep in MTSU territory with two minutes left to seal the win.
Western Kentucky got a safety as time expired.
Freshman Jordan Parker rushed for 149 yards and a touchdown for the Blue Raiders, who became bowl eligible for the first time since 2010.
Senior Jake Rudock started for the Wolverines on Thursday night in the opener against Utah. Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh had kept it a secret all preseason on who would be Michigan's starter.
Ohio State quarterback Cardale Jones is "doing fine" after he was released from the hospital Wednesday night after being treated for symptoms related to a migraine headache.
East Carolina receiver Trevon Brown will miss three games after being placed on probation for a violation of the school's student code of conduct.
Five Rutgers players were suspended Thursday after home-invasion and assault charges, another jolt to a program whose coach is embroiled in an ongoing academics-related probe.
Nebraska coach Mike Riley announced the suspensions Thursday of five players, including three key contributors, for the Cornhuskers' season opener Saturday against BYU.
The Florida Gators will start Treon Harris at quarterback in Saturday's opener vs. New Mexico State over redshirt freshman Will Grier, coach Jim McElwain said Tuesday.