In a contest that marked their second consecutive year facing an ACC opponent, the VMI Keydets went on the road to challenge the NC State Wolfpack (also known as North Carolina State) at the iconic Carter-Finley Stadium. The matchup was a test of grit and determination for the Keydets, who had faced Wake Forest in a similar clash last year. Hungry to prove their mettle on the national stage, VMI was well aware of the challenges that awaited them.
However, it wasn't an ideal scenario for VMI. Their regular starting quarterback, Collin Ironside, was sidelined due to a nagging injury sustained during last week's Bucknell game. Collin Shannon found himself in the spotlight, entrusted with the mission of guiding his team toward an unlikely victory in the VMI vs NC State matchup.
The game kicked off with VMI receiving the ball but struggling to find their footing. The Wolfpack's defense was relentless, immediately making their presence felt and forcing a quick three-and-out for the Keydets. NC State, on the other hand, made the most of their early possession, efficiently marching down the field to claim a 7-0 lead in the first quarter. The Wolfpack would take advantage of a tipped ball to take a 14-0 lead in the VMI vs North Carolina State matchup.
While VMI fought valiantly, the first half proved to be an uphill battle. Shannon and his offensive unit faced a resolute NC State defense. The second quarter witnessed a glimmer of hope for the Keydets as Shannon connected with true freshman wide receiver Egypt Nelson on a spectacular 44-yard reception. It was a moment that showcased the potential of the VMI offense in the VMI vs NC State clash. However, the Wolfpack's defense remained unyielding, regaining possession and adding two more touchdowns along with a field goal before halftime.
The second half brought its share of challenges as well. Collin Shannon, who had shown promise, went down with an injury and was unable to return to the game. This added another layer of adversity for the Keydets, who were forced to turn to their backup option, true freshman Chandler Wilson.
Amid the setbacks, there were moments of brilliance for VMI in the VMI vs NC State game. Shannon and the talented true freshman, Egypt Nelson, managed to spark some offensive momentum in the third quarter. Nelson's spectacular 41-yard reception not only displayed his skills but also drew a pass interference penalty, positioning the Keydets favorably. Shortly after, Nelson scored his first career touchdown, injecting a much-needed dose of excitement for VMI and putting them on the scoreboard in the third.
However, the resilient NC State squad had an answer for every VMI effort in the VMI vs North Carolina State contest. They returned the ensuing kickoff an astonishing 82 yards for a touchdown, swiftly extinguishing any hopes of a VMI comeback. Adding one more score midway through the fourth quarter, the Wolfpack sealed a convincing 45-7 victory in the VMI vs NC State showdown.
Despite the challenging circumstances and a formidable opponent in NC State in the VMI vs North Carolina State matchup, Collin Shannon's performance, coupled with the absence of Collin Ironside, and true freshman Chandler Wilson's efforts in relief, along with true freshman Egypt Nelson's standout moments provided VMI with reasons for optimism moving forward. As the season progresses, the Keydets will look to build on these glimpses of success and continue their pursuit of victory in the fiercely competitive world of college football.
VMI may have faced a daunting task in Raleigh in the VMI vs North Carolina State game, but their resilience and determination to compete at the highest level are qualities that will undoubtedly define their journey in the 2023 season.