Samford has been the same team for the last half decade. High octane on offense, low octane on defense. What this has meant is a lot of stats on offense, a lot of high scoring games and records hovering around .500. The Bulldogs also play a lot of overtime games. That continued in the spring with a 4-3 mark where they scored at least 37 in all but one game and allowed at least 20 in all but one game.
The quarterback battle for Samford was simplified over the summer when Chris Oladokun transferred to South Dakota State. That meant the job was guaranteed to Liam Welch, not that it already wasn’t. Welch has played well since gaining the starting job. It will be up to the defense to help out the offense for the Bulldogs to compete in the Southern Conference.
QB Liam Welch was the spring SoCon offensive player of the year. Welch threw for 2242 yards and 12 touchdowns in just six spring games as well as 4 rushing touchdowns and 303 yards on the ground. 4500 yards passing in the fall could be within reach.
RB Jay Stanton is a good feature back in the Samford offense. He is capable in the run game but also is adequate in the pass game. He adds 69 yards per game and another 15 in the pass game. Stanton has 16 touchdowns in 19 career games.
WR Ty King emerged as the top receiver for Samford. After not receiving much playing time his first two years, he had 33 catches for 609 yards and three touchdowns in the Spring. He will lead a young receiving corps this fall.
Key Game: September 25 vs. East Tennessee State
Worst Case: The team does what it always does, and plays a bunch of shootout games leading to a 6-5 record.
Best Case: They win a couple extra games either with better defense or more luck in the shootouts and compete for the conference title.
Jamie is a proud 2002 graduate of James Madison University. He’s witnessed the growth of the program from no one in the stands in 1998, to the hiring of Mickey Matthews, to the 2004 National Championship, to the 2008 team, to the struggles in the early 2010s, and finally the rebuild under Mike Houston. He also allegedly really enjoys Washington, DC-based Stanley Cup winners.
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