Tuesday, August 8, 2017

2017 Football Preseason Preview: VMI

Throughout this preseason, Purple & Gold will preview all of Western's 2017 football opponents.

For the eighth game of the season, the Cats travel to Lexington, KY to face the VMI Keydets.

The Cats have won all three games against the Keydets since their return to the Southern Conference in 2014, can we make it four in a row?


When: Saturday, October 21 at 1:30 pm

Where: Alumni Memorial Field, Lexington, VA

Radio: Catamount Sports Network

TV / video:  ESPN3

The Series: Western currently leads the series with VMI, by a 19-3 margin. The Cats and Keydets first played on the gridiron in 1978, and the Cats currently own a thirteen game winning streak over the Keydets.

The last game played vs. VMI:  Nov. 5th 2016 - Defense, Special Teams Key Football Senior Day Victory  - Cullowhee, N.C. - Terryon Robinson hauled in a 53-yard scoring strike from Tyrie Adams inside the final minute of regulation on Saturday afternoon as Western Carolina rallied past the VMI Keydets to score a 32-29 victory on Hall of Fame and Senior Day at E.J. Whitmire Stadium / Bob Waters Field. But it was the Catamount defensive unit and special teams that keyed the come-from-behind victory and proved to be the difference makers as WCU snapped a six-game seasonal slide with their 14th-consecutive victory over VMI, remaining perfect in Cullowhee at 12-0 in the all-time series.

Head Coach: Scott Wachenheim - A 1984 graduate of the United States Air Force Academy and veteran coach with over 25 years of experience in the college ranks, Wachenheim came to VMI from the University of Virginia where he had served for five seasons, including being the Cavaliers offensive line coach since 2011. Prior to his tenure in Charlottesville, Wachenheim was the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at Liberty University for three seasons (2006-08).

Last Season's Record (VMI): 2016 - 3-8 overall, 1-3 home, 2-5 away,  1-7 SoCon

Offensive Formation: Spread

Defensive Formation: 3-4

Starters returning/lost:    12   /   12

Offensive starters - Returning/Lost:  4   /  7

Defensive starters - Returning/Lost:   7   /   4

Specialist - Returning/Lost:    1    /    1

Key Personnel Lost  -  QB Al Cobb, WR Aaron Sanders, 3 from offensive line - Roseborough, Lewis, & Hann, LB Alijah Robinson, 2 defensive backs, Jones & Nicholson.

Key Personnel Returning - RB Daz Palmer, WR Rohan Martin and 2 from offensive line - Smith & Douvette. Linebacker Allan Cratsenberg, Cratsenberg was selected to the first team All-conference after leading the SoCon in tackles in 2016 with 126 and his 11.5 per game average, which earned him First Team All-SoCon honors at the conclusion of the season. Linebacker Ryan Francis and defensive back Greg Sanders were on the preseason All-SoCon Second Team.

2016 VMI Statistics
Rushing Offense: 1502 yards
Yards per game: 109
Yards per rush: 3.0 yards
Rushing 1st downs: 59
TDs rushing: 17
Passing Offense: 2613 yards or 238 yards per game
Avg. per pass: 6.8 yards
Passing 1st downs: 116
Passing Comp-Att-Int: 241-383-14
TDs Passing: 13
Total Offense: 3813 yards or 347 yards per game
Fumbles-Lost: 9 - 4
3d Down Conversions: 56 of 170 (33%)
4th Down Conversions: 8 of 25 (32%)
Field goal attempts: 7 - 21
PAT-Attempts: 19 of 24 (79%)
On-side kicks: 0-1
Red Zone Scores: 28 of 38 (74%)
Red Zone Touchdowns: 23 of 38 (79%)
Punts - Yards: 59 - 2276 - Avg per punt: 61


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