SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Wofford College football team finished the regular season with a 17-0 win over VMI on Saturday afternoon at Gibbs Stadium. The Terriers had a 3-0 lead at halftime and scored a pair of touchdowns in the final six minutes of the game to earn the victory and put the team in position for a possible FCS Playoff berth.
Wofford moves to 8-3 on the season and 6-2 in the Southern Conference. VMI ends the season at 3-8 overall and 1-7 in the league. Lorenzo Long led the Terriers with 111 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries. The Keydets were led by Al Cobb who was 18-of-31 passing for 184 yards.
“It is amazing that you have two big games that you win and when I get into the locker room I can’t even hear,” said head coach Mike Ayers. “The guys came in today a little reserved because they know they are a better football team than they showed. We had to do some things better and we got better in the second half. Defensively we played shutout ball but we did not play our best ball, I promise you that. We are a football team that is still growing and sometimes there are glitches. As far as effort and want to and preparation, the guys are getting after it. We have been in playoff mode for a month and if we get in we are going to prepare and work hard to be the best football team we can be.”
The Keydets had the ball first and went three-and-out and punted. Wofford was able to gain three first downs, but had to settle for a 30-yyrd field goal by David Marvin at 7:34 in the first quarter. On the next drive by VMI, they picked up a first down before punting. With the ball back, the Terriers had four first downs and drove to the one-yard line, but were stopped on fourth down.
Starting at the one, the Keydets had five first downs and were faced with a fourth-and-one inside the 15 yard line. VMI came up inches short and Wofford took over on downs at the 13 yard line with 3:37 left in the second quarter. Wofford had one first down, but a loss of 13 on a run forced fourth down and the Terriers punted. The Keydets had one first down and punted back to the Terriers. Wofford ran one play before the first half ended.
To begin the second half, VMI attempted an onside kick that was recovered by Mason Alstatt at the 44 yard line. The Terriers went three-and-out and punted. The Keydets had a first down before punting. On the first play for the Terriers, Lorenzo Long fumbled and VMI recovered. The Keydets had two big pass plays, but then Jaleel Green ripped the ball out of the hands of a receiver for an interception. Blake Morgan had a 32 yard run down the near sideline and Lorenzo Long had a pair of first downs to move to the 13-yard line. On third down, a pass by Brandon Goodson was intercepted in the end zone by Greg Sanders.
On the next drive by the Keydets, they had three first downs and then converted a fourth-and-five with a pass. After another first down, they tried a 26-yard field goal but it hit the left upright and was no good. Wofford took over at the 20-yard line with 12:08 left in the fourth quarter. Blake Morgan had a couple first downs and a run by Will Gay moved the ball to the 24-yard line. A holding penalty backed the Terriers up, but Lorenzo Long picked up the first down. A six yard touchdown run by Lorenzo Long gave the Terriers a 10-0 lead with 5:53 left in the fourth quarter. On the next drive by the Keydets, Terrance Morris intercepted Al Cobb and returned it to the 13-yard line.
Wofford’s Nick Colvin caught a pass at the one-yard line, but fumbled and the ball was picked up by Cole Cleary and taken into the end zone for a touchdown. Wofford had a 17-0 lead with 3:35 on the clock in the fourth quarter. The Keydets failed to convert a fourth-and-two and Wofford took over at the 33-yard line. A 31-yard run by Joseph Newman gave the Terriers a first down and the clock ran out on the win.
Wofford had 371 total yards, with 325 rushing. VMI had 246 total yards, 184 of which were passing. Wofford had 18 first downs to 15 for VMI. Wofford was 6-of-11 on third downs and 0-of-1 on fourth downs. VMI was 5-of-13 on third down and 1-of-3 on fourth down attempts. Wofford was called for eight penalties, while VMI was whistled three times. VMI had a 30:40 to 29:20 time of possession advantage.
Wofford vs. VMI Post-Game Notes
The Terrier defense has not allowed a 100-yard rusher in a game this season. They allowed only 62 rushing yards to the Keydets. It was the third shutout of the season for the defense.
The Terriers have eight wins on the season, topping the total from last year (5-6). The eight regular season wins are the most since the 2011 season. It was the fifth win in a row over VMI and the all-time series is now tied at 10 games each.
Lorenzo Long had 111 rushing yards, his 8th 100-yard game of the season and 16th of his career. He now has 3,249career rushing yards to rank 6th in school history, passing Clifford Boyd (3,201 yards from 1968-1971)
The interception by Jaleel Green was his fifth this season and eighth of his career. The interception Terrance Morris was the first of his career.
Game captains were Will Gay, Jaleel Green, Terrance Morris, and Anton Wahrby.
Attendance was 8,102 at Gibbs Stadium.
The game marked the final home contest for 28 Wofford seniors. The group includes: Toney Benson, Jordan Bolds-Lockwood, Chris Boudreaux, Boston Bryant, Brad Butler, Luke Childress, Nick Colvin, Steven Cornellier, Jaleel Green, Will Gay, Cole Higbie, David Howerton, Evan Jacks, Mike Jones, Lorenzo Long, Justin Lott, Chris Martin, Dequan Miller, Alex Nolan, T.J. Novotny, Brian Sanders, Lincoln Stewart, Anton Wahrby, Nick Ward, Bradley Way, Jamario Williams, Hunter Windham and Dylan Young.
Wofford will learn their playoff fate on Sunday morning at 11:00 a.m. during the NCAA FCS Playoff Selection Show on ESPNU.