Dowling in the regular season had 67 tackles, three interceptions, and forced six fumbles. Against UK Dowling had eight tackles along with one fumble recovery. Week two against Tennessee Dowling finished with six tackles. Against South Alabama he had a season-high nine tackles and one forced fumble. The following week Dowling had four tackles. Week five against Navy Dowling finished with four tackles, one of which for a loss, and two interceptions returned for 21 yards. Against ULM Dowling had six tackles and one forced fumble. Against UL Dowling had eight tackles in the game. The following week against Troy he had three tackles. Week nine at Georgia State he had four tackles. The following week at Army he had seven tackles in the game. Aganist Texas State he recorded six total tackles in the game. In the last game of the regular season aganist Arkansas State he had one tackle, one forced fumble and one interception.
Dowling emerged as one of WKU's top playmakers during his first season on the Hill, racking up a team-high six interceptions and recording 68 tackles on his way to being named a First-Team All-Sun Belt Conference defensive back. He intercepted six passes during the 2012 campaign, a mark that ranked fifth nationally. He started 11 games, tallying five or more tackles in 7-of-12 games played, including a career-high 10 on an ESPNU game versus Middle Tennessee on Nov. 1. Dowling made his Hilltopper debut against Austin Peay on Sept. 1, where he totaled seven tackles and recorded his first career interception. The next week against top-ranked Alabama, Dowling notched five stops in Tuscaloosa on Sept. 8. He intercepted Kentucky quarterback Max Smith three times in a 32-31 road win on Sept. 15. His three interceptions were the most by a Hilltopper in a single game since 1978 and tied the national single-game high in 2012. Dowling racked up nine tackles in a nationally-televised win at Troy on Oct. 11. He showed off his versatility against ULM, hauling in a 37-yard pass on WKU's first offensive play and intercepting ULM QB Kolton Browning on ULM's first play of the Oct. 20 game. Dowling totaled six tackles and forced his second fumble of the season at Louisiana-Lafayette on Nov. 17. He sparked WKU's fourth-quarter comeback against North Texas on Nov. 24 in the regular-season finale, intercepting a pass and returning it 39 yards for a touchdown. WKU went on to win 25-24 after trailing by 14 before Dowling's interception. At the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl against Central Michigan on Dec. 26, Dowling led WKU in tackles with eight, including a tackle for eight yards lost.
Dowling sat out the 2011 season after transferring from Florida.
Dowling transferred to WKU from the University of Florida after seeing action in two games during his freshman year with the Gators. He played on special teams against Miami (Ohio) and in the defensive secondary against Kentucky.
Dowling was rated a four-star prospect by both Scout.com and Rivals.com out of Southeast High School while also ranked as the No. 5 safety in the country by Scout.com. He participated in the 2010 Under Armour All-American Game and was named to the Top 150 Dream Team by PrepStar Magazine. Dowling recorded 58 tackles, 14 interceptions, two returns for touchdowns and three blocked punts during his senior season. The versatile Dowling also had 241 yards receiving and five touchdowns as a senior. During his junior campaign, Dowling had 48 tackles, eight pass deflections and 14 interceptions on his way to being named 4A FSWA All-State selection in 2008. He was also a member of the track team at Southeast High School.