Quarterback Jimmy Walker threw three touchdown passes to spark Robert Morris to a 23-0 win over VMI Saturday afternoon at Joe Walton Stadium.
The VMI defense helped the Keydets stay close at halftime as the visitors trailed just 14-0 at the half, but the VMI offense was limited to 182 yards on offense including just three total yards in the fourth quarter to stymie any rally.
VMI was also hampered by two fumbles that halted drives in the first half and committed three turnovers on the day.
The Colonials came out throwing on their first drive connecting on a 39-yard pass play to Warren Robinson and two plays later Walker tossed a floater that was tracked down by wideout Brandon Magee in the left corner of the end zone for the opening score.
Robert Morris doubled the margin to 14-0 at the 1:50 mark of the first quarter when Walker found tight end Reggie Green over the middle for a five-yard TD pass. The drive started after VMI had fumbled the ball away at its own 48, and was prolonged after the
Keydets were called by a roughing the punter penalty which kept the RMU drive alive and allowed the Colonials to amass a 12-play, 48 yard drive that consumed 5:47 off the clock.
VMI opened the second half with the ball but went three and out and a 38-yard punt return by Warren Robinson to the VMI 26 set up a Walker touchdown pass of 15 yards to Harrison Dreher, but the extra point was missed to make it 20-0 at the 10:56 mark of the third quarter.
Colonial field goal kicker Nick Bisceglia, who hit three uprights to spoil field goal attempts on the day, closed out the scoring with a 32-yard field goal try as RMU compiled a 13-play, 65 yard drive and chewed up 7:06 of the fourth quarter clock to keep the VMI offense on the sideline.
The Keydets best scoring opportunity came early in the fourth quarter after a face mask penalty moved the ball to the RMU 12 with a first down, but a two-yard rush, an incomplete pass, and a 12-yard sack on VMI quarterback Austin Coulling made the Keydets settle for a 36-yard field goal try by Grant Clemmons which was wide left.
RMU controlled the ball 33:18 and was two of three in fourth down conversions to help extend drives. The Keydets (0-3) were 4 of 14 in third down situations and were 26:42 in possession time.
VMI’s defense generated nine tackles-for-loss for 48 yards including three by outside linebacker Tony Richardson for 13 yards. Pittsburgh native Allan Cratsenberg led the defensive charts with nine stops.
VMI returns home next week to open SoCon play against Chattanooga at Foster Stadium. Kickoff will be 1:30 and the Parents Weekend game will be carried on Stadium.