Football to Open Fall 2021 Campaign on the Road Against No. 17 VMI
DAVIDSON, N.C. – The Wildcats are set to open their 2021 fall season on the road Saturday at VMI. Kickoff is slated for 1:30 p.m. at Alumni Memorial Field inside Foster Stadium in Lexington, Va.
WEEK 1 – DAVIDSON at No. 17 VMI
|Date||Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021|
|Stadium||Alumni Memorial Field at Foster Stadium|
|Game Notes||Davidson | PFL | VMI|
|The Coach’s Corner||Episode 1|
|Social Media||Twitter | Instagram | Facebook|
VMI currently holds a 39-17-3 advantage over Davidson in a series that dates back to 1904. Head coach Scott Abell and crew will seek to snap VMI’s 10-game winning streak as Saturday’s game is the first matchup between the two since 2014.
SCOUTING THE WILDCATS
Davidson heads into this season fresh off its first-ever PFL Championship from the non-conventional 2021 spring football season. The title marked the first conference championship for Davidson in 52 years and first under Abell, the 2021 PFL Coach of the Year. The fourth-year head coach sits ninth in program history in all-time wins and was also named a finalist for the prestigious 34th Eddie Robinson Award.
The Wildcats were selected to finish atop the conference in the PFL preseason coaches poll for the first time. Davidson earned 97 of 100 available points, including eight first place votes. Last season’s 4-1 conference record saw Davidson snap San Diego’s 39-game conference win streak.
In looking ahead to 2021, Davidson running backs Dylan Sparks and Coy Williams, offensive lineman Khalil Miller, linebacker Jake Alexander and PFL Defensive Freshman of the Year Jonathan Hammond were tabbed to the preseason All-PFL team. Additionally, a record 12 Wildcats were named to Phil Steele’s Preseason All-PFL team.
Sparks and Williams combined for 11 touchdowns in the backfield while Miller was a mainstay on the offensive line. Defensively, Hammond forced three turnovers, recovered two of them and ran one back for six. Alexander recorded 40 tackles, 4.0 for loss, a sack and a forced fumble. The Wildcats are returning nine of their program-best 11 All-PFL performers and six of nine honorable mention honorees from last season’s championship squad.
SCOUTING THE KEYDETS
The Keydets finished their 2021 spring season in a similar fashion to the Wildcats. They won the SoCon title for the first time since 1977, finished 6-2, and closed out the abbreviated season in the first round of the FCS playoffs, falling to No. 1 James Madison, 31-24.
VMI returns junior linebacker Stone Snyder who was named the 2021 SoCon Preseason Defensive Player of the Year and made the Stats Perform, Athlon and Hero Sports first teams. Snyder led the league in tackles per game, recorded 9.5 tackles for loss, to go along with eight sacks and four QB hurries. An additional six members of the spring squad were tabbed to the league’s preseason all-conference team.
The Keydets also had a handful of players named to the All-SoCon preseason first team, including wide reciever Jakob Herres, offensive lineman Marshall Gill, defensive back Ethan Caselberry and Snyder. Two members of the squad were named to the second team.
Under the leadership of Scott Wachenheim, the Keydets obtained their first national ranking in the 2021 spring season, one that featured the first winning campaign for VMI since 1981. Wachenheim is entering his seventh season at the helm of the Keydets program after being named FCS national coach of the year by Stats Perform and the American Football Coaches Association.
Fans can connect directly with Davidson Football on Facebook (www.facebook.com/Davidson-Football), Twitter (@DavidsonFB) and Instagram (@DavidsonFootball). Head coach Scott Abell is on Twitter and can be found at @Scott_AbellFB.
THE COACH’S CORNER
Be sure to check out The Coach’s Corner with Scott Abell every Monday, powered by Atrium Health. Coach Abell will discuss the previous week and look ahead to the upcoming opponent, giving fans an inside look into the Wildcat football program.
The Wildcats host Shaw in their first home game of the 2021 season on Saturday, Sept 11. Kickoff is slated for 7:00 p.m. at Richardson Stadium. Saturday’s game marks Hometown Heroes Day. Any active or retired Military, Law Enforcement, First Responders, or Healthcare workers are eligible to receive up to four tickets with an ID.