Take a second to think about these stats: 1,035 yards, 12 touchdowns, 76 completions, and 101 attempts. No, these are not video game numbers. That is what senior quarterback Devlin Hodges has contributed to the Samford offense over the past two games, leading the Bulldogs to victories over Western Carolina on Oct. 6 and VMI this past Saturday at Seibert Stadium. Hodges and the Bulldogs offense have been absolutely on fire the past two weeks, putting up a total of 139 points against the Catamounts and Keydets.
Against Western Carolina, the Samford offense was about to gain 736 yards of total offense and win the game by a final score of 66-28. Hodges had 562 yards through the air, setting the all-time SoCon record for most passing yards in a game. His 44 completions set a school record, and his seven touchdowns also set a new school record. Senior receiver Kelvin McKnight caught eight passes for 138 yards, while sophomore receiver Ja’Rius Creamer added nine catches for 101 yards and a touchdown. Junior receiver Robert Adams and freshman Torrence Pollard were both on the receiving end of their first touchdown. As a team, Samford set a school record for points scored in a SoCon game with 66.
This past weekend, the Bulldogs picked up right where they left off, as they were able to beat VMI by a score of 73-22. This time, the Samford offense was able to amass an impressive 773 yards of offense, outdoing their total from just a week prior. Hodges completed 32 of his 41 pass attempts for 473 and six touchdown throws. The ground game also played a large role in the offensive success, as freshman running back DeMarcus Ware had a career high 128 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries. Senior
Roland Adams added 90 yards on ten carries. Ware became the first Samford player to rush for over 100 yards in a game since 2016. In the receiving game, junior Chris Shelling caught 10 passes for 104 yards and three touchdowns. McKnight caught nine passes for 152 yards and two scores.
McKnight is approaching a few school records of his own, as he is now only four receptions away from breaking the school record for receptions in a career, currently held by Karel Hamilton (2013-2016) with 279. McKnight is also 233 yards away from becoming the school’s all-time leading receiver, a position also held by Hamilton.
After witnessing the high levels of production that his offense has been able to produce over the past two weeks, coach Chris Hatcher really likes what he has seen from his offense and his veteran signal-caller.
“Right now, we feel like we’ve got a lot of playmakers on the offensive side of the ball. Those guys are doing a really good job of making the most out of their time while they are in there,” Hatcher said. “We’ve been running the ball extremely well. We’ve been able to mix the run and pass together for some big gains.”
Hatcher also feels that the Bulldog’s defense has stepped up and provided some great opportunities for the offense to be put in a good position.
“It makes it a lot easier on offense when we are getting the ball like our defense has been doing,” Hatcher said. “I think we’ve complemented each other for two weeks in a row, and the goal is to keep on doing it that way.”
Samford will be back on the gridiron this Saturday as they travel to Greenville, South Carolina, to take on the Furman Paladins in a SoCon rivalry. Kickoff is set for 2p.m. (EST) The Bulldogs will return home on Nov. 3 when they will play the Wofford Terriers. That game is set for a 2p.m (CST) kickoff.
[Photo courtesy of Chase Cochran]