Game Preview: Can VMI football build on Mercer win today at home vs. Wofford?

vmi footballThe VMI Keydets got a huge win last week at Mercer, breaking a 30-game road losing streak dating back to 2010. A win today at home against Wofford (3-5, 1-3 Southern Conference) would give VMI (2-6, 1-3 SoCon) its first back-to-back conference wins since 2005.

It would also, in a bit of an odd note, be the first win for a VMI football team on the date of Oct. 31.

 

VMI offense vs. Wofford defense The Terriers give up 363.1 yards per game in total defense, fourth in SoCon, and are third in the conference in rush defense (165.6 yards per game). The Wofford D is coming off perhaps its best effort of the season in a 20-17 loss to #4 Chattanooga last week, limiting the Mocs to 265 yards and forcing two turnovers. Brion Anderson has a team-high three interceptions to anchor the secondary. The VMI offense is fifth in SoCon with 403.1 yards per game total offense, and second in the conference in passing (280.6 yards per game). Quarterback Al Cobb has completed 59.7 percent of his passes for 2,135 yards, 14 touchdowns, 17 interceptions and a 122.5 passer rating. Derrick Ziglar (331 yards, 4.6 yards per carry, seven TDs) and Brice Tucker (312 yards, 4.3 yards per carry, three TDs) split the carries in the backfield. Wideout Aaron Sanders is the reigning SoCon Offensive Player of the Week after setting a school record with 16 catches and accounting for 218 receiving yards in last week’s 28-21 win at Mercer.

Wofford offense vs. VMI defense Wofford is seventh in the conference with 340.9 yards per game total offense. The bulk of that damage comes on the ground, where the Terriers are second in SoCon with 258.3 yards per game. Lorenzo Long has run for 666 yards (5.5 yards per carry) and six TDs. Also look out for quarterback Evan Jacks, second on the team in rushing (331 yards, 4.6 yards per carry, two TDs). Jacks doesn’t throw much (47 attempts in eight games), but he is pretty efficient (137.6 passer rating) when he does put it in the air. The Keydets D is seventh in SoCon in total defense (437.6 yards per game), with the most damage done through the air (271.5 yards per game, eighth in SoCon).

Special Teams VMI punter Hayden Alford averages 39.4 yards per kick, with six of his 38 punts downed inside the 20. Placekicker Dillon Christopher is 7-for-8 on field goals, with a long of 40. Dane Forlines is a double-threat on returns, averaging 14.6 yards on 12 punt returns and 20.6 yards on 16 kickoff returns. Wofford punter Brian Sanders averages 33.6 yards per kick and has had 10 of his 33 punts downed inside the 20. Placekicker David Marvin is 9-of-12 on field goals with a long of 50. Kick returner Nick Colvin averages 31.8 yards per return and has a return TD this season.

– Preview by Chris Graham

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