Saturday, July 23, 2016

2016 Football Preseason Preview: VMI

Throughout this preseason, Purple & Gold will preview all of Western's 2016 football opponents. Today we look at the VMI Keydets.

For their ninth  game of the season, the Catamounts remain in Cullowhee for the fifth and final home game of the season.

The Cats have won both games against the Keydets since their return to the Southern Conference in 2014.


: Saturday, November 5th - Time 2:00 pm

Where: E. J. Whitmire Stadium, Cullowhee, NC

Radio: Catamount Sports Network

TV / video: SoCon Digital Network

The Series: Western currently leads the series with VMI, by an 18-3 margin. The Cats and Keydets first played on the gridiron in 1978, and the Cats own a thirteen game winning streak over the Keydets.

Head Coach: Scott Wachenheim
Scott Wachenheim was named VMI's newest head football coach on Dec. 14, 2014. A 1984 graduate of the United States Air Force Academy and veteran coach with over 25 years of experience in the college ranks, Wachenheim comes to VMI from the University of Virginia where he has served the past five seasons and as 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 year’s record (VMI):  2-9 overall, 1-5 home, 1-4 away (1-6 SoCon)

Last Season's Game vs. VMI: (November 21, 2015)
Western Carolina Outlasts Keydets in Regular Season Finale, 24-20 - Detrez Newsome accounted for 230 yards of total offense and two touchdowns including a game-winning fourth quarter plunge as Western Carolina survived its first trip to Foster Stadium since 2002, downing the VMI Keydets, 24-20, on Saturday afternoon in Southern Conference action. Newsome capped a four-play, 70-yard drive with a powerful two-yard run to push the Catamounts ahead for what proved to be for good with just over two minutes remaining in Saturday's fourth quarter. But behind the arm of quarterback Al Cobb, the Keydet offense moved back down the field and into the red zone.

Offensive starters - Returning/Lost: 7 / 4

Defensive starters - Returning/Lost: 8 / 3

Specialist - Returning/Lost:  1 / 1

Offensive Formation:  Spread

Defensive Formation:  3-4

2015 VMI Statistics
Rushing Offense: 1286 yards
Yards per game: 117
Yards per rush: 3.3 yards
Rushing 1st downs: 68
Passing Offense: 2976 yards or 271 yards per game
Passing Comp-Att-Int: 258-436-22
Passing 1st downs: 134
Total Offense: 4262 yards or 388 yards per game
Fumbles-Lost: 14 - 9
3d Down Conversions: 71 of 180 (39%)
4th Down Conversions: 15 of 29 (52%)
Punts - Avg:  55 - 39 yards per
Red-Zone Scores: 35-49 (71%)
Red-Zone Touchdowns: 26-49 (53%)
Field-Goal-Attempts: 11-14
On-Side Kicks:  1-5
Kick offs/avg per kick:  45 - 59 yards per

Scott Wachenheim enters his second year as the head coach of one of the most difficult programs in FCS football to pick up wins. While quarterback Al Cobb showed huge flashes at times last season, he has got to learn how not to turn the football over, last season he had a total of 18 picks. He passed for 2736 yards last season, completing 61.2% of his passes. The Keydets lost 4 on offense, OL – Nate Murray, OL-Chad Reed, RB- Derrick Zigler. & WR- Sam Patterson. On defense, they lost DL-Denton Ensminger, DL-Joe Nelson and DB-Caleb Furlow.

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