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Akron rolls over VMI 47-24 after shaky start

JoJo Natson, Thomas Woodson impress in a closer-than-the-scoreboard game.

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl - Akron v Utah State Photo by Loren Orr/Getty Images

Thomas Woodson was responsible for 36 of Akron’s 47 points as the Akron Zips snuck past the VMI Keydets by a final score of 47-24 at InfoCision Stadium.

Woodson finished with career-high numbers on the day, going 23-for-32 for 403 yards and six touchdowns on the day, with three touchdowns going to former Utah State Aggie WR JoJo Natson and two touchdowns falling into the hands of WR Jerome Lane.

Warren Ball, the Ohio State graduate transfer, added one touchdown for the Zips after an 18 rush, 110 yard debut and Austin Wolf also hauled in a touchdown to help Akron past the Keydets, who proved to be a much more meddlesome opponent than expected.

Al Cobb, the VMI quarterback, went 25-for-32 for 258 yards and two touchdowns on the day, with Ryan Swingle grabbing both Keydet touchdowns on his only two receptions on the night.

Quan Myers would lead VMI with 123 receiving yards on eight receptions while Aaron Sanders led the Keydets with nine receptions. Myers was also the leading rusher with 21 carries for 62 yards and a score.

Akron fell behind early in the first quarter after a Natson fumble and a VMI rushing touchdown. Akron would follow that up with a Woodson to Natson connection, but the PAT by Tom O’Leary was blocked, allowing VMI to retain a 7-6 lead.

Akron would go on to score again with a Woodson to Lane connection, but O’Leary missed the extra point wide right and Lane grabbed a 15-yard excessive celebration penalty to place VMI in prime position for a drive down only 12-7.

Akron extended its lead on a second Woodson to Lane connection, but gave up a field goal to VMI on the ensuing drive to end the half. Later in the third quarter, VMI managed to string together an impressive 99-yard drive lasting five minutes and seventeen seconds, culminating in a Cobb to Swingle touchdown connection to bring the game to 19-17.

Akron and VMI exchanged passing touchdowns on the next two drives and then Akron broke down the Keydet defense to score 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter.

Akron now sets their sights on Wisconsin for a Sept. 10 matchup with the Badgers at Camp Randall, who just might fall into trap game mode after a huge upset win over No. 5 LSU in Green Bay.

That game will be available on the Big Ten Network and kicks off at 2:30 p.m. EST.