Could this be the year? VMI dominates Western Carolina, 30-7, to improve to 2-0 in spring season
VMI dominated Western Carolina in a 30-7 road win on Saturday, snapping a 17-game losing streak to the Catamounts dating back to 1991, to improve to 2-0 in league play for the first time since 2005.
“It’s the first time we’ve ever won in Cullowhee. It’s the first time we’ve beaten a Western Carolina team since 1991. I thought the players stepped up and played really well,” VMI coach Scott Wachenheim said.
“Our defense was outstanding and shut them down in the first half. We were able to run the ball on offense, which we needed to do this week. I’m very happy with the way we played.
Keydets senior quarterback Reece Udinski finished the game completing 30 of his 41 passes for 239 yards, marking his 20th career game throwing for more than 200 yards. VMI ran the ball for 199 yards, led by Korey Bridy’s 91 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries.
The Keydets built a 13-0 lead by halftime following a 6-yard rushing touchdown by Bridy in the first quarter and two Jerry Rice field goals in the second.
VMI struck early in the third quarter as Udinski connected with Jakob Herres on a 17-yard touchdown pass to put VMI up 20-0 at the 12:01 mark of the third stanza. The Keydets went on another scoring drive late in the third quarter that set Bridy up for a 1-yard run to put the game out of reach at 27-0.
VMI earned 33 first downs to Western Carolina’s 11 and finished with 492 yards of total offense to 256 for WCU. The Keydets also dominated the time of possession battle with 36:01 to Western’s 23:59.
The offense was successful on 7-of-16 third-down conversions, a perfect 3-of-3 on fourth down attempts, and scored on 6-of-7 red-zone trips.
Defensively, the Keydets were led by Connor Riddle in tackles for a second straight week, as he finished with eight.
A.J. Smith and Abdul Jawara both finished with five takedowns while Ethan Caselberry had three tackles, one interception and a pass breakup.
The Keydets return to Southern Conference action next Saturday at home as they play host to the Mercer Bears.
Kickoff is slated for a 1:30 p.m. start at Foster Stadium.