LEXINGTON, Va. (Oct. 7, 2022) – The ETSU football team heads to Lexington, Va. to take on VMI Saturday afternoon inside Foster Stadium.
Date: Saturday, Oct. 8
Location: Lexington, Va. | Foster Stadium
Teams: ETSU (2-3, 0-3) at VMI (1-3, 0-1)
Weather: 63°; Sunny
Live Stats: VMIKeydets.com (StatBroadcast)
Live Video: ESPN+
TV Crew: Pete Yanity (play-by-play); Jared Singleton (analyst)
Live Audio: WXSM-AM 640 |104.9 NASH ICON
Radio Personnel: Jay “Voice of the Bucs” Sandos, Mark Hutsell (analyst), Robert Harper (sideline), Don Helman (stats)
Game Sponsor: First Horizon
ABOUT THE BUCS
- ETSU is coming off a heartbreaking 24-16 loss to then-No. 10 Chattanooga last Saturday in the Rail Rivalry inside Greene Stadium.
- The Bucs enter Saturday’s game with an overall record of 2-3 and a SoCon mark of 0-3.
- This Saturday marks ETSU’s 50th SoCon game played since rejoining the league in 2016 with the Bucs record being 22-27 in those contests … Thirty-four of those games have been decided by one possession (8 points or less) with 13 being decided by three points or less … ETSU is being outscored 1,281 to 1,139 in those previous 49 games, breaking down to 26.1 points to 23.2 points per contest (differential of 2.9 points) … Furthermore, since 2018, ETSU is 18-15 in league play with 27 of those 33 games being decided by one possession (8 points or less) and 10 by three points or less … The Bucs are outscoring their opponents 843-814 (29-point difference) during this stretch, breaking down to 25.5 points to 24.7 points … In addition, four of those last 33 SoCon games have gone to overtime … To go even further, when looking at ETSU’s spring 2021 and fall 2021 games, the Bucs went 11-3 overall with 13 of those 14 games being decided by one possession (8 points or less) … The Bucs won the SoCon title in the 2018 and 2021.
- Running back Jacob Saylors, who eclipsed 5,000 career all-purpose yards last week, ranks fourth nationally in rushing yards (570), ninth in rushing touchdowns (6), 11th in total touchdowns (7) and 13th in all-purpose yards per game (136.0).
- Junior kicker Tyler Keltner earned Southern Conference Special Teams Player of the Week honors on Monday as he tied a career high with three made field goals last week versus Chattanooga … Keltner also had five kickoffs for 325 yards and four touchbacks … Keltner moved into fourth all-time among ETSU career scoring leaders with 244 points, while he remained a perfect 109-for-109 in extra-points.
- ETSU redshirt freshman linebacker Chandler Martin has been a tackling machine … On Sept. 10, at The Citadel, Martin set a new single-game program record with 23 hits (three solo, 20 assisted), including one tackle for loss … The next week vs. Furman, Martin tied for the team lead with 12 tackles and two tackles for loss … Martin, who broke Nakia Thomas’ mark of 22 (set against Appalachian State in1993), was named Southern Conference Defensive Player of the Week on Monday, Sept. 12 and then SoCon Student-Athlete of the Week on Wednesday, Sept. 14 … The marketing & analytics major has a 3.32 GPA and was named to the SoCon Honor Roll last season … Martin’s 23 tackles are the most by a SoCon player since Western Carolina’s Rock Williams totaled 24 at The Citadel back on Oct. 13, 2012 … The 23 tackles are also tied for the most by any FCS and FBS player this season … Chandler, who leads the club with 57 tackles, ranks fifth nationally in tackles per game (11.0).
- ETSU defensive back Alijah Huzzie does it all for the Blue and Gold … Huzzie leads all FCS players in pass breakups with 2.4 per game, while he’s 12th in interceptions per game (0.6), 24th in solo tackles (5.4) and is averaging 14 yards per punt return this season … In the season opener vs. Mars Hill, Huzzie had three punt returns for 68 yards, including a career-long 62-yard return in the first quarter which later set up a 1-yard touchdown run by Jacob Saylors … The 62-yard return was the longest punt return by a Buccaneer since Quan Harrison scored on a 68-yarder in the win at VMI back on Sept. 14, 2018 … Huzzie also had a 38-yard interception return for a touchdown in the Mars Hill game, marking the Bucs’ first pick-6 since Titus Tucker scored on a 60-yard return in the 2018 FCS Playoff game at Jacksonville State.
- VMI has lost three of its first four games to open the season and the Keydets dropped their SoCon opener at Western Carolina on Saturday, 38-17 … VMI’s lone win on the season is a 24-14 victory over Bucknell on Sept. 10 in Lexington
- As a team, VMI is averaging 18.3 points and 293.5 yards per game (209.8 passing/83.8 rushing), while the Keydets are allowing 31.0 points and 369 yards per contest (227.5 passing/141.5 rushing)
- The Keydets have turned the ball over 11 times through their first four games – six fumbles lost/five interceptions – while VMI’s defense has registered five takeaways (five interceptions) … VMI is being outscored 29-0 in points off turnovers
- VMI is converting only 29% of the time on third down (17/59), while opponents are connecting on 43% on their third down chances (30/69)
- VMI quarterbacks have been sacked 18 times for a loss of 113 yards, while the Keydet defense has totaled seven sacks for a loss of 39 yards
- The Keydets are 8-of-10 in the red zone with seven touchdowns … Their opponents have scored on 13 of their 17 trips inside the red zone (nine touchdowns)
- At quarterback, Collin Ironside is 38-for-60 for 487 yards passing with three touchdowns and three interceptions in four games … Seth Morgan is 38-of-76 for 352 yards and one touchdown (two interceptions) in four games
- Thirteen Keydets have hauled in at least one reception with junior wide receiver Chance Knox and senior wide receiver Leroy Thomas being the key targets … Knox leads the team in receptions (27) and receiving yards (264), while Thomas has 17 catches for 153 yards … Knox ranks second in the SoCon in receptions per game (6.8) and seventh in receiving yards per game (66.0)
- Sophomore running back Hunter Rice is pacing the VMI run game with 33 carries for 139 yards and two touchdowns
- Defensively, senior All-American linebacker Stone Snyder has a team-best 46 tackles and Christian Dunn (three sacks) and Eric Rankin (two sacks) have accounted for five of VMI’s seven sacks … Snyder leads all SoCon players in tackles per game (11.8), while Evan Eller is third (10.5) and Alex Oliver is sixth (7.0)
- Josh Knapp and Austin White each have two interceptions, which puts them tied for second among SoCon leaders
- VMI is 8-3 at home since the start of the 2020 season
- The Keydets were picked to finish seventh by the SoCon coaches and sixth by the media … Ten Keydets earned preseason SoCon honors, including Snyder, kicker Jerry Rice, punter Jack Culbreath and long snapper Robert Soderholm landing first team spots … Seth Morgan was a second team selection at quarterback
ETSU leads the all-time series against VMI, 17-10, while the Bucs have won the last two meetings, four of the last five and 11 of the last 13 … Saturday marks the 15th game played in Lexington with the teams splitting the previous 14 matchups … ETSU won seven straight in the series from 1996-02 and celebrated its largest win against the Keydets in 1996, 38-0 … Last season, ETSU won 27-20 against the 18th-ranked Keydets where the Bucs jumped out to a 21-3 lead at halftime … In a game where VMI out-gained the Bucs, by two yards (374-372), ETSU rushed for 242 yards and threw for 130, while the Keydets passed for 270 and rushed for 104 yards … ETSU forced three turnovers and scored 14 points off those miscues … Quay Holmes rushed for 161 yards and two scores, while Jacob Saylors tallied 85 yards on 11 carries … Tyler Riddell completed nine passes for 130 yards and connected on a 2-yard touchdown pass to Jawan Martin … Donovan Manuel led the way with 16 tackles, while Zach West tallied eight hits and Jared Folks and Zion Alexander each had interceptions.
The Buccaneer Sports Network (BSN) will provide ETSU fans with complete pregame, in-game and postgame coverage on the Bucs’ flagship station WXSM-AM 640 and affiliate station 104.9 FM NASH ICON.
BSN begins its pregame programing one hour and 30 minutes prior to kickoff with the 30-minute Tennessee Lottery Tailgate Show, followed by the George Quarles Pregame Show presented by Tommie’s Plumbing which will lead up to 30 minutes prior to kickoff. The Appalachian Orthopedic Countdown to Kickoff will then lead into the final moments before kickoff.
The broadcast team of “Voice of the Bucs” Jay Sandos, color analyst Mark Hutsell, sideline reporter Robert Harper and stat-man Don Helman will provide ETSU fans all the information they need to complement their game-day activities.
At halftime, the crew will have the Mr. Electric Halftime Show, while fans can tune into the Mullican Flooring Post Game Show for a full wrap up, with game statistics, players and coach interviews and other post-game information.
Saturday’s game will also be broadcast on Nexstar and ESPN+ with the team of Pete Yanity (play-by-play) and Jared Singleton (analyst) on the call.
For more information on Buccaneer football, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the football page.