(Wofford SID) – LEXINGTON, Va. – The Wofford College football team took advantage of three turnovers in a 41-20 win over VMI on Saturday afternoon at Foster Stadium. The Terriers defense recovered two fumbles, picked off a pass, and had four sacks in the game, while the offense ran for 405 yards and six touchdowns.
The Terriers are 4-5 on the season and 2-3 in Southern Conference play, while the Keydets are 2-7 and 1-4 in the league. Wofford was led by Evan Jacks with 109 rushing yards and two touchdowns, while Nick Colvin added 96 rushing yards and a touchdown. The Keydets were led by Al Cobb with 370 passing yards (35-of-52) and he added a rushing touchdown.
“I really think our defensive staff did a great job of making VMI one dimensional,” said head coach Mike Ayers. “They were very good at throwing the football and they have some quality receivers. We were bend-don’t break a few times. Offensively we had a good day and we had some big plays. We knew coming in that VMI would play very hard and they are a well-coached team. We did a great job in special teams. Anytime that you are struggling like we have been this season, it is great to get a win.”
The Keydets had the ball first and on the opening kickoff Greg Sanders went 99 yards for a touchdown and an early 7-0 lead. Wofford gained a first down before having to punt. VMI used three passing first downs to move into the red zone, but a 38-yard field goal attempt was wide right. Wofford took over at the 21-yard line and ran eleven times to cover the 79 yards on the drive, which was capped by a nine-yard touchdown run by Lorenzo Long. The game was tied at 7-7 with 2:56 left in the first quarter.
On the next drive by the Keydets, they went three-and-out and punted. With the all back, Wofford had a 45-yard run by Evan Jacks to move inside the 10-yard line. Chase Nelson took the ball in from the one to give the Terriers a 14-7 lead with 12:41 on the clock in the second quarter. The Keydets had one first down before Al Cobb was intercepted by Michael Roach at the 12-yard line and he returned it to the 28. A 29-yard run down the sideline by Nick Colvin moved the ball across midfield, but the Terriers had to punt.
With the ball at the 10-yard line, the Keydets had a 47-yard completion before having to punt. Wofford was only able to gain one first down before punting. The Keydets took over with 1:57 left in the first half and had five passing first downs but had to settle for a 20-yard field goal as time expired. The Terriers had a 14-10 lead at the break.
To begin the second half, the Keydets attempted an on-side kick. It appeared VMI recovered, but Jesse Williams came out of the pile with the ball for the Terriers at midfield. Hunter Windham capped the drive with a 19-yard touchdown run for a 21-10 lead at the 14:17 mark. On the next drive by VMI, they had four first downs and then converted a fourth-and-seven. Al Cobb ran the final 11-yards for a touchdown and the Wofford lead was 21-17 with 9:42 remaining in the third quarter.
Wofford went three-and-out and punted. The return by VMI was muffed and Dominique Lemon recovered at the 33-yard line. Nick Colvin scored on a 21-yard run up the middle to give Wofford a 28-17 lead at the 6:06 mark of the third quarter. The Keydets gained a first down, but then Lincoln Stewart forced a fumble that was recovered by Tyler Vaughn at the 46-yard line. The Terriers converted the turnover into a touchdown when Evan Jacks scored from 11-yards out. Wofford had a 35-17 lead with 32 seconds left in the third quarter.
The Keydets converted a fourth-and-one on their next drive, but had to settle for a 32-yard field goal with 11:41 on the clock in the fourth quarter to make it a 35-20 game. An onside kick attempt was recovered by Nick Colvin at the 46-yard line. The Terriers went three-and-out and punted. On the next drive by VMI, they faced a fourth-and-two and converted with a 25-yard reception. With a fourth-and-ten, the pass was incomplete and Wofford took over on downs near midfield.
The Terriers were pushed back by a penalty and a tackle for loss and had to punt. The Keydets had a fourth-and-eight, but the pass was incomplete and Wofford took over at the 18-yard line. Despite the short field, the Terriers were unable to convert a fourth-and-four and turned the ball over on downs. The Keydets returned the ball after failing to convert a fourth-and-three. Wofford began the drive on the 21-yard line and scored on an eight-yard run by Evan Jacks. The PAT was missed and Wofford led 41-20 with 38 seconds remaining. The Keydets ran two plays before time expired in the contest.
Wofford had 419 total yards, with 405 rushing. VMI had 421 total yards, 375 of which were passing. VMI had a 22 to 21 advantage in first downs. Wofford was 7-of-14 on third downs and 0-of-1 on fourth down. VMI was 1-of-12 on third down and 3-of-6 on fourth down. Wofford was called for five penalties to VMI’s four. Wofford had a 33:40 to 26:20 time of possession advantage.
Wofford vs. VMI Post-Game Notes
It was the first trip to VMI since 2004. The Keydets lead the series 10-9, with Wofford winning the last four games.
Wofford used only one quarterback (Evan Jacks) for the second time this season. Jacks ran for 109 yards, his third career 100+ rushing game and second this season.
The interception by Michael Roach was the first of his career.
The four sacks in a game tied a season high with the four at Idaho.
There were no significant injuries in the contest. QB Brad Butler and RB Ray Smith missed the game due to injuries.
The kickoff return for a touchdown to open the game by VMI was the first for an opponent since October 11, 2014 when Detrez Newsome (WCU) went 100 yards.
Game captains were Jim Dolinak, Brion Anderson, and Evan Jacks.
Attendance was at 4,437 Foster Stadium.
After an open date, Wofford will return home on Saturday, November 14 to host Samford at 1:30 p.m. The regular season will end on November 24 when Furman visits Gibbs Stadium at 3:30 p.m.