Home Game Notes: VMI Football faces nationally-ranked Chattanooga in SoCon matchup

Game Notes: VMI Football faces nationally-ranked Chattanooga in SoCon matchup

Logo: VMI Athletics

VMI Football has another tough test this weekend, visiting nationally-ranked Chattanooga on Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.

VMI Notes

  • Stone Snyder and Evan Eller continue to lead the Keydets (1-4, 0-2 SoCon) defensively, ranking eighth (10.6 tackles per game) and 14th (10.0) among FCS players in tackles per game, respectively.
  • Christian Dunn has gotten after the quarterback all season, averaging nearly a sack per game (0.80 – 24th, FCS).
  • Rookie Jahleel Porter and junior Alex Oliver have been a great tandem in the secondary, averaging a pass defensed a game, tied for fourth among SoCon defensive backs. The Keydet defense is still holding strong, ranking fifth among SoCon teams in total defense, pass defense efficiency and interceptions, while pacing the league in fourth-down defense, holding teams to just 2-of-10 on fourth down opportunities.
  • Chance Knox (3rd) and Leroy Thomas (T-7th) both rank in the top 10 in receptions per game (5.8, 4.0), while Knox is eighth in receiving yards per game with 55.2.
  • Thomas had one of the best games of his career against ETSU last week, scoring both a rushing and receiving TD in the second half. Thomas gave VMI life late, hauling in a 21-yard touchdown before taking an end around in for the score to make the game a two possession contest. With 20 catches on the year, Thomas has at least two catches in every game this season.
  • With Collin Ironside and Seth Morgan out due to injury, freshman quarterback Collin Shannon will make his collegiate debut under center on Saturday. Fellow freshman Wyatt Hagan – who spelled Morgan for a series last week – will serve as backup. Malachi Mills backs up John “Tommy” Inge at right guard while Jahleel Porter will take the field with Korey Bridy on kick returns.
  • Sending the 31st field goal of his career through the uprights at Western Carolina, Jerry Rice is now tied for second place at VMI for career field goals, matching Wade Hawkins’ 31. Rice is now fourth all-time at VMI with 75 PATs, passing Mike Harris, with Jeff Sexton sitting in third place (86).

Chattanooga Notes

  • The preseason favorite to win the SoCon, Chattanooga (4-1, 2-0 SoCon) has lived up to the billing thus far, posting a 4-1 record with its lone loss coming at FCS Illinois. Because of their strong play at the FCS level, the Mocs are ranked No. 9 in the Coaches Poll and No. 10 in the Stats Perform Top 25. Chattanooga will also be fresh, coming off their bye week.
  • Jay Person is averaging nearly two tackles per loss per game (sixth), with six sacks while preseason Defensive Player of the Year Devonnsha Maxwell has 5,5 tackles for loss, 3-5 sacks and two quarterback hurries.
  • The ground game is the strength of the Chattanooga offense, as back Ailym Ford’s eight total touchdowns rank 9th among FCS players and his rushing yards per game 13th (104.8).
  • Preston Hutchinson does a good job at quarterback, averaging 8 yards per pass attempt (29th), 13.45 passing yards per completion (21st), with four rushing touchdowns on the year.



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