The Chris Hatcher Show: Sept. 23, 2021

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Each week during the 2021 season, we will release The Chris Hatcher Show. The show, hosted by Kevin Blackwell and featuring head football coach Chris Hatcher, will look back at the previous week’s football game and look forward to the upcoming contest.
 
The Bulldogs are coming off a 42-37 victory at Western Carolina in the Southern Conference opener for both teams last Saturday. Hatcher said he was proud of the way his team found a way to come out with the win in some tough circumstances.
 
“It’s the first game of the conference season, we’re in first place now, 1-0, so we’re excited about that,” Hatcher said. “It was a tremendous find a way game for our football team. We got ahead, then we got behind and we got ahead, and we held on. We went through a two hour-plus lightning delay, so it was a long afternoon for us, but it sure made the bus ride home a lot better, going to Cullowhee and coming back with a big win.”
 
The Samford defense continued to be opportunistic, forcing four turnovers (three interceptions and a fumble). Noah Martin, Wade White and Chris Edmonds had an interception each, and White also had a fumble recovery in the game.
 
“We’ve done a great job defensively forcing a lot of turnovers,” Hatcher said. “Chris’s was in a very clutch situation. It was in the end zone, the game was very tight at that particular juncture, he makes a spectacular, juggling, one-handed catch that made the ESPN Top 10 plays, so kudos to him. But everybody did a great job of covering guys and we got a good pass rush.”
 
Hatcher also praised the play of sophomore Wade White in the secondary.
 
“Wade is a very opportunistic guy too,” Hatcher said. “I was on a conference call with the media earlier and I talked about Wade White and Chris Edmonds, they are kind of like the Honey Badger that used to be at LSU. They just always seem to be around a loose ball, a tipped ball or an errant throw. I think a lot of that has to do with confidence in our scheme and doing your assignment well and being at the right place at the right time.”
 
On the offensive side, senior running back DeMarcus Ware rushed 26 times for 118 yards and three touchdowns. Ware was named the Southern Conference’s Offensive Player of the Week for his performance.
 
“He’s really practiced well, had a really renewed attitude coming into this season,” Hatcher said. “The other day, with the weather, we weren’t playing really well, we weren’t throwing the ball around like we’re capable of, so we really had to rely on the run game, and our offensive line and DeMarcus did a great job. They sprung us for the opening touchdown of the game and throughout the course of the evening, he made big runs after big runs.”
 
Quarterback Liam Welch completed passes to 10 different players in the win. One of the key receivers was tight end Michael Vice, who caught five passes for 60 yards in the game.
 
“As far as catching the ball this weekend, he did an outstanding job,” Hatcher said. “It was wet, it was hard to throw with a lot of zip on it. We had a lot of drops, but it seemed like whenever we got the ball near him, he made a catch. He ran his routes well, he made some tough catches over the middle, and a lot of those were on third-down conversions.”
 
Samford will host 15th-ranked ETSU this Saturday at Seibert Stadium. Hatcher said the team will need to be more consistent to come away with a win against the Bucs Saturday.
 
“For us to have a chance going into this home game versus East Tennessee State this week, we’ve got to have 60 game minutes of consistency by every member of our team in order to be successful,” Hatcher said. “That’s something that we’ve lacked this season. Hopefully we can put four full quarters together this week.”
 
ETSU brings to Samford the SoCon’s leading rusher in Quay Holmes, averaging 122.7 yards per game. The Bucs also have the league’s top defense, giving up just 7.7 points per game.
 
“(Head Coach) Randy Sanders does a great job,” Hatcher said. “They’ve made a big commitment to their program there. They were right in the mix for the conference championship in the spring. They’re always at the top of the league. They’ve got Quay Holmes, who is arguably the best running back in the league. He’s a phenomenal player, very deserving of any accolade he gets. Defensively, they do a great job. They try to create confusion; they have guys that can play man coverage across the board that match up well with every skill guy in the league.
 
“It’s going to be a good game,” Hatcher said. “We’re excited to be back at home. Family Weekend, traditionally, is a large crowd for us. Our goal is to go out there and play the best we can play, and hopefully our best will be better than theirs.”
 
Saturday’s home game against 15th-ranked ETSU is set to start at 2 p.m. at Seibert Stadium. Tickets for the game can be purchased at the following link: TICKETS. The game can be seen live on ESPN+ at the following link: WATCH LIVE. Fans can also follow the game online at the following link: LIVE STATS.
 
FOLLOW THE BULLDOGS:
For the latest news and information on Samford football, visit the official website for Samford Athletics at SamfordSports.com. Fans can also follow the Bulldogs on social media at /SamfordFootball (Facebook), @SamfordFootball (Instagram) and @SamfordFootball (Twitter).

 
 
 

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