news western carolina rolls past vmi 38 17 dropping keydets to 1 3 start
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Western Carolina rolls past VMI, 38-17, dropping Keydets to 1-3 start

VMI AthleticsVMI, after a playoff appearance in the spring of 2021, and a near-miss last fall, may be regressing to the mean.

The Keydets gave up 521 yards to Western Carolina, which was able to overcome two INTs and a blocked punt in posting a 38-17 win on Saturday.

The Catamounts (3-2, 1-1 SoCon) got on the board first midway through the opening period with a Terrence Horne 21-yard touchdown reception from Carlos Davis.

VMI (1-3, 0-1 SoCon) countered on its ensuing drive with a 16-yard Collin Ironside rush to knot the score at 7-7 with 5:32 on the clock. Western Carolina got a 6-yard TJ Jones rushing touchdown with a minute left in the first quarter. After a Jerry Rice field goal, the Catamounts increased their lead to 21-10 with when Davis connected with David White for a 17-yard TD reception.

The schools went back and forth the start the second before Western kicker Richard McCollum converted a short 20-yard field goal to up the WCU lead to 24-10 at the 3:43 mark of the third quarter.

Western then took advantage of a sack fumble by VMI’s Ironside which the Catamounts recovered at the VMI 21-yard line, cashing in for a 21-yard scoring reception to make the score 31-10 just moments later.

VMI trimmed the deficit to 31-17 early in the fourth quarter when Ironside connected with tight end Aidan Twombly for a 7-yard TD reception with 14:55 left in regulation. The Catamounts would ultimately put the game out of reach with 10:38 to play when Davis threw a 69-yard touchdown completion to Raphael Williams for the final tally of 38-17.

Collin Ironside was 14-for-27 for 142 yards, a TD pass and two INTs, and a rushing TD, a 16-yard scamper.

Korey Bridy ran for 70 yards on 12 carries.

Carlos Davis was 30-for-44 passing for 336 yards, four TDs and two INTs for Western Carolina.

VMI returns home next Saturday to continue Southern Conference action against ETSU at 1:30 p.m. at Foster Stadium. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+.

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