WVSU On Demand
November 11, 2009
Bulldogs Serve Up Big Homecoming Victory
Samford's football team earned a 31-10 Homecoming win over Southern Conference rival Georgia Southern Saturday afternoon at Seibert Stadium.
The win snaps a three-game losing streak for Samford. The Bulldogs improve to 4-5 overall and 2-4 in SoCon play. Georgia Southern drops to 4-5 overall and 3-3 in league play.
"This was a big win for us," Samford head coach Pat Sullivan said. "I couldn't be more excited for our players, our coaches and our fans. We had a wonderful crowd we had today. Our guys have been playing hard, we've just been a play or two short here or there, and today we were able to make those plays."
The Samford defense, which came in ranked as one of the top defenses in all of Division I-FCS football, tallied eight sacks in the game, tying a season high. The unit was led by Bryce Smith, named SoCon Defensive Player of the Week for his 12 tackles and two interceptions. Corey White also had an interception for the Bulldogs.
Offensively, Riley Hawkins had five catches for 101 yards and a touchdown. Dustin Taliaferro completed 11-of-20 passes for 151 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Richie Fordham had an eight yard touchdown reception, and he passed for a 57-yard score.
Chris Evans rushed 26 times for 96 yards. Evans now has 3.113 career rushing yards, just nine yards behind the school's career leader, Jerome Russell with 3,122 yards from 1996 to 1999. On special teams, Bob Hooper punted seven times for an average of 43.1 yards per kick.
For Georgia Southern, Lee Chapple completed 29-of-43 passes for 212 yards and three interceptions. Adam Urbano had nine catches for 55 yards.
Georgia Southern jumped on top first when Adrian Mora connected on a 39-yard field goal with 11:58 to go in the first quarter, giving the Eagles a 3-0 lead. The drive was set up by a 54-yard kickoff return by GSU's Ronnie Wiggins, giving the Eagles the ball at the Samford 33-yard line.
Samford answered when Cameron Yaw kicked a 25-yard field goal with 3:34 to go in the first quarter to tie the game at 3-3. The score capped a 14-play, 66-yard drive that took 5:02 off the clock.
Samford took the lead when Taliaferro hit Fordham for an eight-yard touchdown pass with 13:16 to go in the second quarter. Yaw's extra point gave Samford a 10-3 lead. The drive was set up when Smith intercepted a GSU pass, giving Samford the ball at the Eagles' 20-yard line.
Georgia Southern's Josh Barker recovered a fumbled punt by DeMarcus Covington at the Samford 26-yard line early in the second quarter. On the next play, GSU's Brandon Nolley scored on a 26-yard run. Mora added the extra point to tie the score at 10-10 with 10:26 to go in the second quarter.
Samford took the lead for good when Taliaferro hit Hawkins for a 69-yard touchdown. Yaw added the extra point to give Samford a 17-10 lead with 2:44 to go in the second quarter.
Taliaferro scored on a three-yard run on a fourth-and-one play with 9:20 left in the third quarter. Yaw added the extra point to make the score 24-10 after Samford's first drive of the second half.
Samford put the final points on the scoreboard when Fordham hit Alex Barnett for a 57-yard touchdown with 11:24 to go in the game. Yaw added the extra point to make the final score 31-10.
The 31 points for Samford is tied for the most in a game this season, with Samford defeating Miles College, 31-12 on Sept. 19. The point total is also the most points Samford has scored in a Southern Conference game in the Bulldogs' two seasons in the league. The previous high was 30 in a 30-7 win at Chattanooga last season.
The Samford offense rolled up 341 yards of total offense, while Georgia Southern finished with 291 total yards.
Samford will return to action on Saturday, Nov. 14, when the Bulldogs travel to Spartanburg, S.C., to take on the Wofford Terriers. Kickoff is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. (CT) from Gibbs Stadium.