On Tuesday, Sept. 20, the SEC announced the 2023 football schedules for its teams. One of the schedule games is a bout between Samford and Auburn, as the Bulldogs will face the Tigers on Sept. 16, 2023.
Samford has played Auburn 29 times, with the first time being on Oct. 17, 1903. In their first game against the Tigers, Samford (then known as Howard College) got trounced 58-0.
In the 28 matchups since, Samford has not registered a single win against Auburn. However, the two teams did tie 9-9 in 1927.
The last time these two teams faced each other was Nov. 11, 2019 in a 52-0 loss for the Bulldogs. Liam Welch was the starting quarterback, and he threw for a meager 66 yards compared to Auburn’s 251 total passing yards. The Tigers had 544 total yards compared to Samford’s 114, as well.
Even though Auburn has dominated the series, Samford’s performance so far this year leaves cause for optimism. Michael Hiers has emerged as a star at the quarterback position, and defensive stars Noah Martin and Wade White will look to return next season hungry for a massive upset against the Tigers.
Games of this magnitude would not happen without the direction of Samford’s AD, Martin Newton. Along with the coaches on the football team, Newton works with FBS teams to schedule these annual games.
These games are usually scheduled 3-5 years in advance and are kept secret until conferences announce schedules for the upcoming seasons.
However, playing these large programs and teams means nothing without the fans. Newton believes that “without students, sporting events are kinda bland” and that one of the reasons for athletics, in general, is “creating school spirit and connecting students.” He is “excited for next year”, and hopes that many students “will travel to the game and support the Bulldogs.”
As for the current season, Samford will look to improve on their 3-1 record at Furman Oct. 1.