Game Preview: VMI looks for upset of #5 The Citadel

vmi-footballVMI football endured another heartbreaking loss last weekend at Western Carolina, dropping a 32-29 final in a game the Keydets seemed to have in the bag in the final two minutes.

The loss dropped the Keydets to 3-6 on the season, and left observers to lament over what could have been.

It was the second late loss of the season. Mercer topped VMI, 33-30, last month in Lexington, in a game the Keydets led in the late seconds before a questionable late-hit penalty set up a game-tying field goal that sent the game to overtime.

Wins in both of those games would have VMI (3-6, 1-5 Big South) on the verge of the program’s first winning season in 35 years this weekend against rival The Citadel (9-0, 7-0 Big South, #5 national ranking).

Again, what could have been.


Game Notes: VMI vs. The Citadel

  • Austin Coulling gets the start at quarterback in place of Al Cobb, who was injured late in the first half of the 24-10 loss to Furman two weeks ago. Coulling threw for 261 yards and a touchdown at Western Carolina, and completed 18 of his 25 pass attempts on the game, but was also intercepted three times last week.
  • Get ready for the triple-threat option. The Citadel runs for 374 yards per game, with roughly 85 percent of the snaps on offense being on the ground. Tyler Renew is the workhorse (188 carries, 896 yards, 4.8 yards per carry). Also watch out for Cam Jackson (657 yards, 7,3 yards per carry), Reggie Williams (570 yards, 7.0 yards per carry) and QB Dominique Allen (445 yards, 4.4 yards per carry).
  • The Citadel defense gives up 18.7 points and 308.2 yards per game. Opponents average a decent 5.3 yards per play, but find it hard to get their hands on the ball with the ball-control offense run by the Bulldogs (who average 34:37 in possession time).

Game Preview by Chris Graham

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Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25.

The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.
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