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VMI Wins SoCon, Makes Playoffs

By BJ Bennett
SouthernPigskin.com
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This weekend was one more memorable effort in a historic season for this program clearly on the rise.

For the first time since 1977, VMI is Southern Conference Champions.

A record-setting 6-1 spring schedule, for the Keydets, just finished with a 31-17 triumph over rival The Citadel in the famed Military Classic of the South. What a grand finale it was, at least for the regular season as more opportunities are now on the horizon. It proved to be a testament to a title-winning VMI team. Saturday's success, combined with a victory in the most recent game played in 2019, gives the Keydets their first winning streak in the series in 25 years. VMI jumped out to a 14-0 lead over the Bulldogs and scored the final ten points of the game in another signature showing.

This weekend was one more memorable effort in a historic season for this program, now a national one, clearly on the rise. This remarkable story still isn't done as the Keydets have earned the SoCon's automatic bid into the FCS playoffs; it will officially be VMI's debut. Fresh off a league title, the Keydets will next compete for a national championship. Simply put, they have played their way into contention. VMI will soon slot right alongside the other best teams in the country.   

Week to week, this is a team that has fought and found ways to win. The nationals polled have chronicled that rise. Another chapter awaits.

On a march to the college football postseason, VMI never lost focus. They Keydets won a one-point game with a late defensive turnover against Furman, topped Samford in overtime after a late rally in regulation and a game-winning two-point conversion, scored a game-winning touchdown versus Wofford with 35 seconds remaining and promptly defeated their arch rival to clinch the SoCon crown. VMI has made it a point to make history.

Despite modest outside expectations, the Keydets have worked their way to the top of FCS football. 

With one of the best stretches of play at the program ever, VMI has added more pages to the media guide with a conference title, an introduction to the FCS playoffs, the Silver Shako and maybe even more. A season to remember continues. When the Keydets take the field for their historic next game, they will already do so as champions.

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is SouthernPigskin.com's founder and publisher. He is the co-host of "Three & Out" with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the "Southern Pigskin Radio Network". Email: bj@espncoastal.com / Twitter: @BJBennettSports