news game notes vmi football faces another tough test this weekend with 10 samford

Game Notes: VMI Football faces another tough test this weekend with #10 Samford

Logo: VMI Athletics

VMI Football returns to the road on Saturday, with another Top-20 team awaiting, as the Keydets visit No. 10 Samford. Kickoff is scheduled for 3 p.m.

Although VMI got an early return from quarterback Seth Morgan last week, the Keydets fell into a big hole against the 16th-ranked Mercer Bears before ultimately falling 55-14.

VMI showed life in the third quarter, as Korey Bridy punched in two touchdowns to make the score 31-14. Mercer – who moved up to 11th in the FCS Coaches Poll and 12th in the Stats Perform Top 25 on Monday – would respond, scoring 24 straight to take the game and improve to 7-2 and 5-1 in the league.

Despite the result, the VMI defense gave the Keydets a chance, collecting five turnovers on the day including two interceptions by Alex Oliver. The five takeaways were the most since 2019 (Mars Hill) and the most against a Division I opponent since 2013 (Gardner-Webb).

Samford’s resume is as impressive as it gets at the FCS level, with its only loss coming at No. 2 Georgia, leading to a national ranking of 10th in both the FCS Coaches and Stats Perform Top 25.

In addition to a perfect record in the league, Samford opened the season with a 27-17 win against No. 8 Kennesaw State. After winning in a shootout at ETSU, Samford dominated The Citadel 38-3 with quarterback Michael Hiers going 30-for-35 for 260 yards and three scores.

Junior quarterback Michael Hiers has been a star all season, boasting a completion percentage of 76.0 (2nd, FCS) with an average of 27.38 completions per game (3rd, FCS)), 23 touchdowns (5th, FCS) and a passer efficiency rating of 164.0 (9th) en route to three SoCon Offensive Player of the Week awards.

Kendall Watson (6.8) and Chandler Smith (6.6) rank 11th and 13th nationally in receptions per game, while Smith has eight touchdown receptions (8th, FCS) and Watson (five (41st, FCS). In league play,

Samford ranks second in scoring offense (38.0) while pacing the league in passing offense (296.6).

Chris Graham

In addition to being the editor of Augusta Free Press, I've written seven books, including Poverty of Imagination and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, both published in 2019, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For my commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to my YouTube page, Want to reach me? Try [email protected].