Big day for Bridy powers #22 VMI to 31-23 win over Wofford
Senior running back Korey Bridy rushed for a career-high 171 yards and scored two touchdowns Saturday to power the 22nd-ranked VMI football team to a 31-23 victory over visiting Wofford College in the first Southern Conference game of the season for both teams.
The Keydets opened a 28-17 lead late in the third quarter on Bridy’s second touchdown of the day from 34 yards out. Wofford countered with an 11-play, 75 yard drive, capped by quarterback Jimmy Weirick’s one-yard run on fourth down. The ensuing two-point conversion try failed, and VMI’s Jerry Rice drilled a 42-yard field goal to make the score 31-23 with 8:42 remaining.
The Keydet defense came up big after Rice’s field goal. Following a VMI turnover deep in its own end with 5:09 left, sophomore Austin White picked off Weirick at the VMI 15 to end the threat. The Terriers got the ball back with a last chance to tie with 1:23 on the game clock from their own 46, but couldn’t convert on fourth and eight when Evan Eller brought the receiver down well short of the first-down marker.
Bridy contributed 263 all-purpose yards, including 90 kickoff return yards. Red-shirt freshman quarterback Collin Ironside had a big game for VMI in his first-career start, completing 18-of-22 passes for 183 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. Leroy Thomas made three grabs for 61 yards and a touchdown, while Chance Knox had a team-best five catches for 37 yards and a score. Jakob Herres hauled in four passes for 62 yards.
Stone Snyder made 19 tackles, just two short of his career high. Josh Knapp made 10 stops and Austin White, Eller and Aladdin Elroumy each had eight tackles and Dunn had a fumble recovery.
The VMI defense made an important stand just before halftime. With the game tied at 14 and 41 seconds left before intermission, Wofford went for it on fourth and two from the VMI five. Snyder and Knapp stood up the ball carrier at the line of scrimmage and the Keydets gained possession on downs.
Wofford (1-2/ 0-1 SoCon) had four players with double-digit carries, led by Irvin Mulligan’s 20 rushes for 134 yards and a touchdown. Weirick had 11 carries for 52 yards and two scores, and completed 11-of-19 passes. Jamari Broussard and Nathan Walker combined for 74 yards on 22 rushes.
VMI (3-1/1-0) travels to The Citadel next Saturday for another SoCon matchup at 2 p.m.
Postgame: VMI coach Scott Wachenheim
“It was great to beat a very talented football team like Wofford. They had won the conference three out of the last four years. We made some adjustments at the half and one key to the game was that defensive stop right before the half. We made a stop on their first drive of the second half then went down and scored a touchdown. That was a key difference in the game to give us some momentum.
“I can’t say enough about Korey Bridy. He had a great day running the football. Coming back and scoring a touchdown after his fumble showed tremendous grit and I’m very proud of the way he fought through adversity. Jakob Herres’ catch on that third down was huge. He skyrocketed and made the catch to keep us on the field.
“We made a lot of big plays. Obviously, there are things we need to improve on but we’re going to enjoy the victory against a very worthy foe then on Monday we get back to work.”