Thursday, July 21, 2016

2016 Football Preseason Preview: Samford

Throughout this preseason, Purple & Gold will preview all of Western's 2016 football opponents. Today we look at the Samford Bulldogs.

For their seventh game of the season, the Catamounts travel to Birmingham, AL to meet the Bulldogs in Seibert Stadium. This will be the Cats second straight road trip and fifth conference game of the year.

Since Samford joined the Southern Conference in 2008, Western is 1-7 against the Bulldogs.


When: Saturday, October 22nd - Time  7:00 pm  ET

Where: Seibert Stadium, Birmingham, AL

Radio: Catamount Sports Network

TV / video:  ESPN3

The Series: The Cats are 2-11 overall against the Bulldogs since winning the first outing back in 1969. Samford owned an eleven game winning streak against Western until last year when the Cats broke that winning streak in Cullowhee with a 56-36 win over the Dogs.   

Head Coach:  Chris Hatcher.    Hatcher was named Samford’s 36th head football coach on Dec. 11, 2014. His career record is 121-57 in 15 years as a college head coach at Murray State, Georgia Southern and Valdosta State. Hatcher served as the head coach at Murray State since 2010.and had five seasons with the Racers, Hatcher’s teams employ the high-powered “Hatch Attack”. 

Last Season's Game vs. Samford:     October 24, 2015
Catamounts Claim Homecoming Game over Samford, 56-36   -    Corey Holloway rushed for two touchdowns and Karnorris Benson tallied a pair of receiving scores as Western Carolina powered past the Samford Bulldogs, 56-36, on Saturday afternoon in Southern Conference play at E.J. Whitmire Stadium / Bob Waters Field. The Catamounts claimed their fourth-straight seasonal victory, winning their third-consecutive Homecoming game. WCU (5-2, 3-1 SoCon), which never trailed on Saturday, scored on five of its seven second half possessions including three-consecutive touchdowns to grab a 26-point lead early in the fourth quarter. Spearman Robinson capped scoring with a 49-yard kickoff return for a touchdown on an on-side kick attempt to provide the final tally.

Last Season's Record (Samford):  6-5 overall,  3-3 home, 3-2 away  (3-4 SoCon)

Offensive starters - Returning/Lost: 8 / 3

Defensive starters - Returning/Lost: 8 / 3

Specialist - Returning/Lost: 4 / 3

Offensive Formation: Multiple

Defensive Formation:  4-3

2015 Samford Statistics
Rushing Offense: 1615 yards
Yards per game: 147
Yards per rush: 4.2 yards
TDs rushing: 20
Passing Offense: 3662 yards or 333 yards per game
Passing Comp-Att-Int: 324-465-11
Total Offense: 5277 yards or 480 yards per game
Passing 1st downs: 87
Rushing 1st downs: 162
Fumbles-Lost: 14 - 7
3d Down Conversions: 60 of 165
4th Down Conversions: 14 of 21

Devlin Hodges returns as the starting QB and looks to be one of the better QBs in the league. The Bulldogs return a solid and deep group at RB, with Denzell Williams leading the way after running up 518 yards last season. The receiving corps is solid as well, as the top five receivers return from last season. Karel Hamilton leds the receivers with 75 receptions, followed by Emmanuel Obajimi (54-826) and McKnight (57-616).  While the offense stacks up well, there may be problems with the defense that gave up over 220 years per game last season.

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