LEXINGTON, Va. - Despite a career-high rushing effort by redshirt junior Alex Ramsey, the VMI football team dropped a 51-36 contest to visiting Wofford College in a five hour lightning-delayed game Saturday afternoon at Foster Stadium.
Ramsey rushed for a career-high 207 net yards during the game, marking the first time since the 2008 season that VMI fielded a 200-yard rusher. The last to accomplish the feat was former Keydet great Tim Maypray, who ran for 235 yards against Presbyterian College on November 22, 2008. He also became just the eighth Keydet in program history to eclipse the 200-yard rushing mark.
The Salem, Virginia, native also earned career highs in rushing attempts with 28 and touchdowns in a single game with three on the day. His 232 all-purpose yards also marks a career-best effort.
VMI (2-3, 1-1) junior quarterback Reece Udinski finished the game throwing for 315 yards by completing 25 of 38 passes with zero interceptions. He has now thrown 217 passes this season without an interception, breaking a Southern Conference record formerly held by Furman's Braniff Bonaventure, who threw 203 straight passes with a pick during the 1996 season.
With his 25 completions on the day, Udinski now has 483 career completions, moving to No. 3 on the all-time VMI list just past Joey Gibson (1999-2002). With two touchdown passes on the day he also ties for the No. 3 spot on the all-time VMI list for career touchdown passes with 32, matching Eric Kordenbrock's amount from the 2010-13 seasons.
“I’d like to give credit to Coach Conklin and the Wofford Terriers," said VMI head coach Scott Wachenheim. "They are the back-to-back SoCon champions and you saw that today. We knew it was going to be a physical game - they definitely won the physical battle in the trenches, but we can learn a great lesson from today’s game.
"Their offense is tough to guard, and now they have a quarterback in Joe Newman that can not only run, but can also put the ball on the money. They have good players executing a very good system. You’ve got to load up to stop the run because if you don’t not only will they run all game long, but also they can hurt you in the passing game.”
"Our running game is much improved. Alex (Ramsey) is running extremely hard, our offensive line is blocking well and what an honor it is for Alex to run for a total that hasn’t been reached for the program since Tim Maypray in 2008."
The Keydets opened the game on a strong note with eight-play, 68-yard drive that culminated in a one-yard Ramsey touchdown run to put VMI up 7-0 early. The Terriers (2-2, 1-1) responded quickly by matching the score on a 37-yard rushing touchdown by Ryan Lovelace.
The lightning delay interrupted play at 1:54 p.m. following the Wofford score and the teams, fans, and officials headed for shelter for two hours before play resumed at roughly 4 p.m.
After VMI's Grant Clemons converted a 37-yard field goal to put VMI up, 10-7, the Terriers would go on to score twice before the end of the period to earn an important 21-10 advantage with three quarters to play.
Both teams would score a pair of touchdowns in the second quarter to go into a shortened halftime break up 35-24. Ramsey scored on short runs in two late VMI possessions before the half to keep VMI in the game. Wofford held VMI scoreless in the third quarter while converting two field goals to make the score 41-24 with one period left to play.
VMI would hold the Terriers to 10 points in the final quarter and scored two touchdowns with under two minutes left in regulation, but Wofford had done enough damage throughout the contest to withhold the Keydet rally.
VMI returns to action next Saturday on the road against rival The Citadel in a battle for the Silver Shako billed as The Military Classic of the South at 2 p.m. in Charleston, South Carolina.