An introduction to…the newest member of the Southern Conference – the Samford Bulldogs. Samford University is a private, Baptist-affiliated school located in a suburb of Birmingham, Alabama. Bobby Bowden and his son Terry Bowden have both been head coaches at the school. Their highest-ever attendance at a home football game is 11,189. (That record might fall this weekend). Educational-related fact: In 2006, the school was listed in the top 10 in the South for master’s degree institutions. Samford also has a $301 million endowment.
The Season so far: Samford started the sesaon with two comfortable wins over West Georgia and Faulkner – not quite powerhouse opponents. The Bulldogs predictably lost to Ole Miss 34-10. I think a lot of people expected Samford to struggle simply because they were new to the conference and were an unfamiliar foe. However, the Bulldogs’ next loss really opened my eyes. On the road at No. 8 Elon, Samford battled the talented Phoenix to the end before falling 23-17. The Bulldogs had tied the score 17-17 with 11 minutes remaining in the third quarter. Elon took the lead for good on a field goal with two minutes left in the third quarter.
Last Week: The Bulldogs picked up their first-ever Southern Conference win against Western Carolina, defeating the Catamounts 21-6. Samford rode the legs of back Chris Evans as he carried the ball 34 times for 166 yards rushing. True freshman quarterback Dustin Talliaferro was 14-of-16 for 154 yards and two touchdown passes. Speaking of Western Carolina, how bad has it gotten for them? I’m sure they picked the Samford game for homecoming because they thought they’d walk all over the new boys on the block and end up getting spanked. Is it possible that we’ll beat them even worse than we did last year?
Stat Leaders: Passing – Dustin Talliaferro 62-of-93, 640 yards, 5 touchdowns, 3 interceptions, 135.8 QB rating. Rushing – Chris Evans 109 carries for 579 yards, 6 touchdowns. Receiving – Jonathan Lowery 15 receptions for 197 yards, 3 touchdowns; Riley Hawkins 8 receptions for 147 yards, 1 touchdown.
Team Offense: 26.2 points per game, 203.8 rushing yards per game, 158.8 passing yards per game.
Team Defense: 16.4 points per game, 83.2 rushing yards per game, 223.2 passing yards per game.
Record: 3-2 overall, 1-1 Southern Conference.