Brandon Doughty's final game at Western Kentucky perfectly epitomized his career with the Hilltoppers, with a slow start followed by a record-setting finish.
Doughty passed for 461 yards and three touchdowns, and No. 25 Western Kentucky overcame an early 14-point deficit to beat South Florida 45-35 in the Miami Beach Bowl on Monday at Marlins Park.
Doughty finished the season with 5,055 yards for the Hilltoppers (12-2), the 14th time in FBS history that a quarterback has reached the 5,000 mark. His six-year career at the school — it took him three to become the starter — ended with these numbers: 1,026 completions, 12,855 yards and 111 touchdowns.
"It's been a heck of a run," Doughty said. "That's why you love this game."
He was probably even better than Willie Taggart thought he would be when he signed him in 2010. Taggart was Doughty's coach for his first game and the opposing coach for his last, and his Bulls (8-5) nearly stole the show from Doughty with a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns that got them to 38-35.
But Anthony Wales' second touchdown of the day, a 42-yard scamper with 5:05 left, helped seal it for the Hilltoppers.
•Earlier Monday, Taggart signed a three-year extension that puts him in line to stay with the Bulls through 2020.
Swinney is coach of year
Clemson's Dabo Swinney is the Associated Press coach of the year after leading the Tigers to an unbeaten regular season and the longest run as the No. 1 team in the country in school history. Swinney received 35 of 60 votes from the AP panel. Iowa's Kirk Ferentz was second with 10. Michigan State's Mark Dantonio and Houston's Tom Herman each received five votes.
•Michigan hired Boston College defensive coordinator Don Brown for the same position with the Wolverines. He replaces DJ Durkin, who left to become Maryland's head coach.
•Austin Peay hired Chattanooga assistant Will Healy as its head coach. Healy, 30, replaces Kirby Cannon, who was fired after going 1-34 in a three-year tenure that included an 0-11 mark this season.
•Florida coach Jim McElwain said running back Kelvin Taylor, receiver Demarcus Robinson and defensive end Alex McCalister have decided to forgo their senior seasons and enter the NFL draft.
•Arizona fired cornerbacks coach David Lockwood, who was a Gophers assistant from 2002 to '06.
•Linebacker Tim Kimbrough, Georgia's third-leading tackler, will miss the TaxSlayer Bowl against Penn State due to a suspension for undisclosed reasons. … Former Georgia mascot Uga IX, the white English bulldog known as Russ, died Monday, only one month after giving up his title.