Almost halfway through the season, and for the fifth game, we'll look at the preseason #1 ranked Samford Bulldogs. The Cats travel to Homewood, AL for the second straight road game.
Since Samford joined the Southern Conference in 2008, Western is 3-12 against the Bulldogs after last season's four-point upset win over the #17 nationally ranked Dogs in Cullowhee.
When: Saturday, October 6 - Time 1:30 pm ET
Where: Seibert Stadium, Homewood, AL
Radio: Catamount Sports Network
- Talent: Play-by-Play: Gary Ayers; Color Analyst: Daniel Hooker; Host / Producer: Jeff Bryson
Game Notes: WCU - Samford (when they become available)
Message Board: Bulldogs Unleashed
The Series: The Cats are 3-12 overall against the Bulldogs since winning the first outing back in 1969. Samford owned an eleven game winning streak against Western until 2015 when the Cats broke that streak in Cullowhee with a 56-36 win over the Dogs. The Cats are 2-5 against the Dogs in Cullowhee, and 1-7 in games played in Birmingham.
Games played by the Dogs this season prior to the WCU contest: 5 games - At 1-4 so far, the Bulldogs do not have a DI win. The Bulldogs opened against Shorter College (home) for their only win, losses to Florida State, Mercer, Chattanooga and Kennesaw State followed.
Last game played vs. Samford: (Sept. 24th, 2017) - Catamount Score Thrilling Upset Win Over #17 Samford - Western Carolina tailback Detrez Newsome rumbled for a go-ahead touchdown, hitting the right pylon to put the Catamounts ahead with 93 seconds remaining in regulation on Saturday night at E.J. Whitmire Stadium / Bob Waters Field. But it wasn't until a last-second pass deflection would allow what remained of 12,018 fans to unleash a post-game celebration that was over a decade in the making. Senior defensive back Keion Crossen batted away a pass attempt in the back of the end zone as time expired on the final play of the game as Western Carolina upset the 17th-ranked Samford Bulldogs, 38-34, in the Southern Conference opener for both squads. The victory was WCU's first over a nationally-ranked NCAA Football Championship Subdivision team since 2006, halting a 27-game slide.
Last Season's Record (Samford): 8-4 overall, 5-1 home, 3-3 away, 6-2 SoCon - conference losses to Western Carolina & Chattanooga - First round loss in NCAA FCS playoffs to #16 Kennesaw State
Offensive starters - Returning/Lost: 10 / 1
Defensive starters - Returning/Lost: 6 / 5
Specialist - Returning/Lost: 4 / 2
Lost from 2-Deep Roster - 13
Offensive Formation: Multiple
Defensive Formation: 4-3
Key losses: DT - Ke’Tyrus Marks, MLB - Deion Pierre, WLB - Shaheed Salmon, CB - Omari Williams, FS - Carter McManes, SS - Sam Pettway, WR - TD Marshall, P/KO - Austin Barnard
Top returnees: Preseason All-American and SoCon Offensive Player of the Year, Devlin Hodges; Preseason All-American and SoCon Defensive Player of the Year, Ahmad Gooden
Three national publications had the Bulldogs ranked in the top 15 nationally preseason, and had Samford as the favorite to win the Southern Conference title. Senior defensive lineman Ahmad Gooden was named to the preseason All-America team by Street & Smith's, Athlon Sports and Lindy's Sports. Senior quarterback Devlin Hodges earned preseason All-America honors from Street & Smith's and Lindy's Sports.
The Bulldogs lost two assistant coaches in the offseason, DL coach, Victor Cabral and running backs coach, Derrick Foster
2018 Samford Statistics (5games):
Rushing Offense: 567 yards
Yards per game: 113,4
Yards per rush: 3,9 yards
Rushing 1st downs: 33
TDs rushing: 5
Passing Offense: 1647 yards or 329.4 yards per game
Passing 1st downs: 83
Passing Comp-Att-Int: 165-242-8
TDs Passing: 13
Total Offense: 2214 yards or 442.8 yards per game
Fumbles-Lost: 7 - 4
3d Down Conversions: 28 of 68
4th Down Conversions: 10 of 15
Field goal attempts: 7 - 9
PAT-Attempts: 17 of 17 - 100%
Red Zone Scores: 21 of 24 - 88%
Red Zone Touchdowns: 15 of 24 - 63%
On-Side Kicks: 0 - 0
Penalties-Yards: 37 - 322 Avg. per gm 64,4
Punts-Yards: 37 - 322 Avg. per gm 64.4
Game prediction: Per the Massey Ratings, the Cats have a 31% probability of winning (28-35) over the Bulldogs.
My prediction: According to Massey, Cats should be 3-2 after this game. I'm going to disagree, the Cats are 4-1 after this game.
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