Home VMI Football: Keydets host Furman, still looking for first SoCon win in 2022

VMI Football: Keydets host Furman, still looking for first SoCon win in 2022

Chris Graham
Logo: VMI Athletics

VMI Football will host Furman on Saturday with kickoff scheduled for 1:30 p.m. at Foster Stadium.

The Keydets (1-5, 0-3 SoCon) fell at ninth-ranked Chattanooga on Saturday, 41-13. Chattanooga, who was also coming off its bye week, held the Keydets to negative yards rushing in the first, getting a pair of big plays to jump in front 31-7 at the half, tacking on 10 points in the second.

VMI’s two-scoring plays came on a 98-yard kickoff return from rookie Jahleel Porter and a five-yard rush from rat quarterback Collin Shannon.

On Monday, the Mocs were bumped up to No. 8 in the FCS Coaches Poll.

VMI Notes

  • With injuries sidelining both Seth Morgan and Collin Ironside, true freshman Collin Shannon got the nod at Chattanooga for his first career start. The Sevierville, Tennessee native was the first rat quarterback to start a game for VMI since Reece Udinski in 2017 (11/11 vs. Wofford). Shannon had some good moments, going 15-of-20 for 157 yards with one interception and a rushing touchdown (his first score at the collegiate level).
  • Porter has been a difference maker since game one, totaling seven tackles and two break ups in his debut at Wake Forest. Posting a team-high five break ups on the season, Porter etched himself into the VMI history books with a 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown against Chattanooga. The return was the first VMI kickoff return for a touchdown since 2015 (Greg Sanders).
  • Freshman Tyler Swann has seen his role grow on the defensive line, collecting 8.0 tackles on the season while linemate Geoffrey Speight has 9.0 tackles including 1.5 tackles for loss.
  • Offensively, Isaiah Lemmond has proven to be a consistent target for Keydet quarterbacks, ranking third on the team in receiving yards (166) and fourth with 10 catches.

Furman Notes

  • Picked to finish fourth in the preseason SoCon poll, Furman (5-2, 3-1 SoCon) has put together a strong season, with its lone FCS loss coming to No. 16 Samford.
  • In both the FCS Coaches Poll and Stats Perform FCS Poll, Furman is just two spots out of the Top 25. The Paladins – who did receive a first-place vote in the preseason poll – have a win over then No. 18 ETSU and are most recently coming off a 47-40 victory over Western Carolina.
  • In SoCon play, the Paladins – behind a strong offensive line – boast the top rushing offense (228.8 yards per game) led by Dominic Roberto who is averaging 129.5 yards per game on the ground to go with five touchdowns in four league games. Roberto had a massive game against Western Carolina, rushing for 252 yards and scoring three touchdowns en route to FCS Ground National Offensive Player of the Week honors.
  • Defensively, Matt Sochovka played a key role in the victory, blocking a field goal, an extra point and registering two tackles to win SoCon Defensive Player of the Week honors.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].