The Chris Hatcher Show: Nov. 4, 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 come into this week with a record of 3-5 overall and 2-4 in Southern Conference play following a heart-breaking 46-45 loss at 18th-ranked VMI last Saturday. Hatcher said despite the outcome, he was proud of the effort his team displayed in the game.
 
“I feel like we were very well prepared, our guys played extremely hard, and they were very excited for the opportunity,” Hatcher said. “We jumped out to a good lead. They got the ball to start the second half and cut the lead down. We missed a couple of opportunities offensively in the fourth quarter to extend the lead. And then they got the momentum and it’s a very difficult place to play.”
 
Offensively in the game, Samford put up 547 total yards. The Bulldogs were six-for-six in red zone chances as the Bulldogs lead the SoCon and rank in the top 10 nationally in red zone efficiency at 92.7 percent.
 
“The first drive we went three-and-out and had to punt and then we scored on seven-straight drives after that offensively,” Hatcher said. “I thought we ran the ball very well. We mixed our passing game in that and usually it’s the other way around, but we rushed for almost 200 yards. Liam had a nice day.”
 
Hatcher talked about some of the mistakes that cost the Bulldogs in the loss.
 
“We get to the third quarter, and we score to get to 45 right there,” Hatcher said. “Then we didn’t get the ball back until the fourth quarter. Then we had a couple of drives where we missed an open Ty King down the sideline, we converted on a nice third down still with the lead and we get a holding penalty called back. Early in the game we dropped a touchdown pass. Then we got the ball down to the one and got a holding penalty.”
 
Hatcher said he liked the way the offense played, but that the unit must do a better job late in games.  
 
“I thought offensively we played really well, we scored seven out of the 12 times we had the ball,” Hatcher said. “However, we have to do better in the fourth quarter. Some of those crucial mistakes kept us from getting on the board. I thought Liam was efficient I thought our o-line did a great job, we gave up one sack and we missed the hot throw there with Liam. But I thought he played well, we caught the ball well, it was tough conditions, the field was really slick. Offensively, other than a couple of drives there in the fourth quarter, they were firing on all cylinders. In fact, I think that’s the best first half of offensive football that I’ve had since I’ve been here.”
 
Nelson Jordan led the Samford defense with 13 total tackles. Hakeem Johnson had seven tackles, a forced fumble and a pass break up.
 
“I thought our guys played extremely hard,” Hatcher said. “We challenged them a little bit more than we have in the past. Of course, we’re disappointed that we gave up a lot of points. But then I watched the film on Sunday, and I thought, ‘man, we’re getting better over there.’ I know it didn’t look like it on the scoreboard, but we’re getting better, we’ve done some really good things. We played a really good offense and you’re sitting there, and you don’t have some of your guys back there. Lamar Anderson didn’t make the trip; Ty Herring was not there. Coutrell Plair went, but really couldn’t go.
 
“So, we’re out there with a lot of pups out there,” Hatcher said. “J.P. Peters, I thought he competed hard as a freshman. Midnight Steward, a true freshman got playing time the other night. I think we’re getting better over there; I saw some really good things. We’ve just got to put it all together defensively. I thought the first half we did a good job, the second half we had a three-and-out and then they faked the punt on us and that kind of deflated us. So, I think for the entire group, defense, offense and special teams, we’ve got to be mentally tougher in being able to overcome when bad things happen to us and focus on the next play.”
 
Hatcher gave an overall assessment of the team at this point in the season.
 
“I think we have a really good team; our record does not show that, but I still believe that,” Hatcher said. “In this league, we’re all so very similar athletically. We all have really good schemes, and everybody is really good coaches. I don’t think anybody in this league has the players that you can just go out there and knock people out, week-to-week. Even though you do get a big lead, that other team is very capable of chopping into that lead. So, it’s more about being consistent throughout the course of a ballgame, and that’s something that’s plagued us, and we coach it up, we work on it and at some point, it’s going to turn for us and we hope it’s this week at homecoming versus The Citadel.”
 
This Saturday, Samford will host The Citadel. The team runs the option offense that is not seen often in college football today. Hatcher talked about the challenges the visiting Bulldogs pose.
 
“Every week is a battle,” Hatcher said. “This week’s no different. You face a different type of team when you face the option. When I first got in the league, everybody ran some form of the option, they’re the lone group that has continued to do it. There’s not much carry over from VMI, they’re more like us, they throw the ball around. So, we’ve got to get our assignments proper. Defensively, they try to create a lot of confusion to come up with the big play. So, we have to limit our negative plays there. You’ve got to expect a really good game where both of us have pretty close to the same record, we’re one ahead of them. But anytime you play these guys, you’d better bring your lunch pail, your hard hat because they’re a very tough group to defend. If practices this week are any indication, I believe our guys are going to be ready.”
 
The Bulldogs will play host to The Citadel Saturday for the team’s 2021 homecoming contest. The game is set for a 2 p.m. start from Bobby Bowden Field at Seibert Stadium. To purchase tickets for Saturday’s game, click here: TICKETS. The game can be seen live on ESPN+ at the following link: WATCH LIVE. Live stats are also available at the following link: LIVE STATS.
 
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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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