SPARTANBURG, S.C. - With a balanced offensive attack that piled up nearly 700 yards of total offense, Wofford knocked off VMI, 59-14, Saturday night in Spartanburg, South Carolina, in the Southern Conference football opener for both teams.
The Terriers, the defending SoCon champions and among the nation’s leaders in rushing offense, again turned in a stellar performance with its option offense, grinding out 450 yards on the ground. In all, 14 different players carried the ball for Wofford, and five of them ran for touchdowns. Leading the way was Nathan Walker, who netted 92 yards and a touchdown on just nine rushing attempts.
However, it was through the air that the Terriers struck first. Wofford quarterback Joe Newman tossed a 25-yard scoring pass to Jason Hill with 7:25 remaining in the first quarter to get Wofford on the board for the first time, and he later connected with Landon Parker for a 21-yard touchdown pass to push the Terrier lead to 28-0 early in the second period.
Newman completed eight of his nine pass attempts for 129 yards and the two touchdowns. As a team, the Terriers were 15-for-17 through the air for 221 yards and the two scores.
The Wofford lead grew to 35-0 before VMI scored its first touchdown of the 2018 season. The Keydets, who opened the game with a 12-play drive that resulted in a missed field goal, needed just 2:33 to march 75 yards late in the first half, and sophomore quarterback Reece Udinski finished off the 11-play drive with a 4-yard TD pass to freshman Jakob Herress. Junior Reed King added the PAT kick, and VMI cut the deficit to 35-7.
Udinski was not the only VMI quarterback to toss a TD pass Saturday night. With 4:00 to play in the game, redshirt junior Austin Coulling came off the bench to lead an 11-play, 73-yard drive, finishing it with a 12-yard scoring toss to redshirt sophomore Matt Blaser.
Udinski completed 21 of his 35 pass attempts in the game for 162 yards and the touchdown. Colling was 7-for-11 through the air for the Keydets, finishing the game with 54 yards, the touchdown and an interception.
Junior Javeon Lara was the beneficiary of most of those aerials, hauling in seven passes for 76 yards. Sophomore Devone Humphrey had four receptions.
Defensively, the Keydets were led by redshirt sophomore linebacker Devin Carper, who was in on 10 tackles for VMI. Freshman linebacker Ethan Caselberry recorded nine stops.
VMI, 0-2 overall and 0-1 in the SoCon, continues league play Saturday, Sept. 15, with its home opener against East Tennessee State. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.