The Keydets (2-3, 1-1 SoCon) trailed 21-0 at halftime, and fell victim to big plays – Mercer (3-2, 1-1 SoCon) scored on the first play from scrimmage when Al Wooten II rushed around the corner for a 76-yard TD run, and the Bears got a 73-yard punt return from Devron Harper at the 13:18 mark of the third quarter for a 28-0 lead.
Mercer finished with 401 yards of total offense, with 298 yards on the ground. Keydets quarterback Collin Ironside finished with 176 yards through the air, but was sacked three times and picked off once while the Bears defense held VMI to 42 net rushing yards.
“It was a really disappointing afternoon of football for us,” first-year VMI coach Danny Rocco said. “We got outplayed and outcoached. We got off to a bad start, which we talked about all week long the need to get off to a fast start. We were minus-3 in the turnover margin, and we gave up a punt return for a touchdown. You’re not going to beat anybody playing like that. We played poorly in all three phases.”