Georgia vs. Samford Preview

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Georgia vs. Samford Preview

It’s a battle of Bulldogs Saturday afternoon between the hedges, as third-ranked Georgia hosts Samford with kickoff scheduled for 4 p.m. This is the home opener for Kirby Smart’s Bulldogs, the first game at Sanford Stadium since Georgia captured the 2021 national championship.

Both teams check in at 1-0.





Kirby Smart’s reigning national champions were extremely impressive, precise and overwhelming, in a 49-3 victory over No. 11 Oregon this past Saturday in the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Classic in Atlanta. Behind stellar offensive line play, senior quarterback Stetson Bennett piloted a precise attack, completing 25 of 31 passes for 368 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions, while running for another score. Georgia scored on its first seven possessions and converted its first nine third down conversions. The Bulldogs kept Oregon out of the end zone, the first time the Ducks haven’t scored a touchdown since November of 2017 against Washington.

Samford had a couple of extra days to get ready for the defending national champions. Hatcher’s Bulldogs beat Kennesaw State 27-17 in Birmingham last Thursday night. Quarterback Michael Hiers, a junior college transfer, had a sparkling debut. He threw for four touchdowns, with no interceptions, while completing 18 of 24 passes and tallying 289 yards. His first two scoring passes went to Kendall Watson in the second quarter, tying the game and then giving Samford a 14-7 halftime lead. In the fourth quarter, with Samford down 17-14, Hiers threw a pair of touchdowns to Chandler Smith.

Last season, Samford grabbed a lot of attention by scoring 42 first half points at Florida. The Gators would eventually win 70-52, but Samford certainly threw Florida a scare. You can count on that this has been mentioned by Smart to his team all week.





Across the field from Smart, on the Samford sidelines, will be Chris Hatcher, head coach for the Bulldogs from Birmingham since 2015. One of the most decorated high school and college football players in the history of the state of Georgia, Hatcher had a record setting career at Mount De Sales High School in Macon and then Valdosta State. When Hatcher was just 27 years old, he was named head coach at Valdosta State in 2000. Amongst his assistant coaches – Smart and current Georgia co defensive coordinator Will Muschamp. Hatcher led Valdosta State to the 2004 Division II National Championship, the highlight of a highly successful 22-year head coaching career.

Last week it was Dan Lanning, this week it’s Hatcher. There is a great deal of familiarity between these coaching staffs.





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