VMI head coach Scott Wachenheim talks after the Keydets’ 63-7 loss to Chattanooga on Saturday.
“We’re a young team that’s going to continue to improve as the season goes on. I’m very thankful to be the head coach of this team. I love my players. I know we’re going to get better.”
On early long passes
“Chattanooga is a very aggressively coached team. We watched film of their game against LSU and how physical their secondary plays. We wanted to loosen them up a little bit and we hit that first pass to Rohan Martin. We got down early, and it’s a tough hill to climb when you get down against good opponents. Chattanooga is the four-time defending SoCon champions and a very worthy opponent. You don’t want to spot them 14 points like we did.”
On the early miscues and effect on gameplan
“You have to learn how to handle adversity. You have to do it on the field and you have to do it in life. We planned for that to happen, not as early as it did, but we talk about it as a team. Andre Thornton came and spoke to the team Friday night and spoke about overcoming adversity. It was a very productive meeting. I felt good about that coming in. It’s not so much the turnovers that affect your gameplan. It’s getting down by 2-3 scores and then struggling offensively to find any kind of rhythm and consistency. Today on defense we had trouble stopping them. They were very efficient on third downs going 12-for-15 during the game. We were 1-10 on third downs let alone the turnovers. Chattanooga was able to stay on the field and we couldn’t keep our drives going, which is why they dominated the time of possession.”
On giving Chattanooga great field position to start their drives
“Field position is a critical factor in a game. Our kickoff return unit was second in the SoCon last year and very effective and so far this year it has not been effective. We’re coaching it the same way, teaching it the same way and scheming it the same way but for some reason it hasn’t been as effective. Each week it’s been a different one or two guys so we’ve got to look at that again and try to get better. We’re playing solid defense but we’re not getting a lot of takeaways so we need to do a better job of trying to get the ball turned over to us. The lose the turnover battle by three or four makes for a difficult time to compete.”