SPARTANBURG, S.C. (Wofford SID) – The Wofford College football team fell 37-27 to Samford on Saturday afternoon at Gibbs Stadium. The Terriers had a 14-7 lead after the first quarter, but the Bulldogs scored the next 30 points on the way to the victory.
The Terriers are 4-6 on the season and 2-4 in Southern Conference play, while the Bulldogs are 5-5 and 2-4 in the league. Wofford was led by Lorenzo Long with 162 rushing yards and a touchdown, while Evan Jacks added 115 rushing yards and a touchdown. Samford quarterback Devlin Hodges was 28-of-38 passing for 345 yards and three touchdowns and he also ran for 94 yards.
“It boils down to it that we were not consistent today,” said head coach Mike Ayers. “We did well offensively to start the game and did well on the defensive side. Then there were times that we turned the ball over and on defense we did not tackle well. We have a great group of guys that worked hard this week. In the tail of the tape, we come out in the fourth quarter and were able to score twice. We lost some focus and energy, and when that happens we are slow to recover. As a staff we need to get those guys to understand their job and to stay fundamental. You have to be a fundamental player whether you are on offense, defense, or special teams. It is easier said than done, but our goal is to get better this week and be a better football team.”
The Bulldogs had one first down on the game’s opening drive before punting. The Terriers took over at the one-yard line and used a 57-yard run up the middle by Lorenzo Long to move into Samford territory. After a first down pass to Zach Muller, Hunter Windham ran the ball in from 15-yards out for a 7-0 lead with 10:26 on the clock. Samford answered with a ten-play drive that covered 75 yards and was capped by a 16-yard pass from Devlin Hodges to Karel Hamilton to tie the game.
Wofford ran for a pair of first downs before having to punt back to Samford. The Bulldogs had one first down before Daryl Vining forced a fumble that was recovered by Jaleel Green at the 36-yard line. Evan Jacks had a 63-yard run to move the ball into the red-zone. Jacks capped the drive with 3-yard touchdown run for a 14-7 lead with 57 seconds left in the first quarter.
Samford drove inside the five-yard line on their next drive. It appeared that Samford scored a touchdown, but the Bulldogs were called for an illegal formation. Samford settled for a 19-yard field goal to make it a 14-10 score with 13:06 left in the third quarter. The Terriers then went three-and-out and punted on their next drive. The Bulldogs started on the 48-yard line and needed only three plays to score a touchdown when Denzel Williams went in from 6-yards out. Samford had a 17-14 lead with 10:49 on the clock in the second quarter.
On the next drive for the Terriers, they gained two first downs before having to punt. Samford had just one first down before they returned the punt to Wofford with 7:06 left in the first half. The Terriers had one first down, but then failed to convert on fourth-and-one from the 25-yard line. With the short field, the Bulldogs were able to take advantage with a 27-yard field goal for a 20-14 lead with 2:56 remaining in the half. Wofford was able to move the ball across midfield with a three first downs. With twelve seconds left, Evan Jacks put up a long pass that was intercepted by Jamerson Blount at the five-yard line. The Bulldogs took a knee to end the first half with a 20-14 lead.
To open the second half, Wofford gained one first down before having to punt. The Bulldogs picked up five first downs and added a touchdown on a 10-yard pass completion to Kelvin McKnight from Devlin Hodges. Samford had a 27-14 lead with 8:39 on the clock in the third quarter. On the next drive for the Terriers, they had one first down before failing to convert a fourth-and-three. The Bulldogs took over at the 28-yard line and methodically moved down the field. The drive stalled inside the five-yard line and Samford settled for a 19-yard field goal at the 14:56 mark of the fourth quarter for a 30-14 lead.
On the ensuing kickoff, the return was fumbled and recovered by the Bulldogs at the 18-yard line. Devlin Hodges hit Denzel Williams for a 6-yard touchdown pass and the Bulldogs led 37-14 with 13:25 left in the game. Wofford was able to convert a pair of fourth downs on their next drive and Lorenzo Long scored a four-yard touchdown. The two point attempt failed and Samford had a 37-20 advantage with 8:17 on the clock. Wofford recovered the onside kick attempt and had fourth-and-twelve. A 20-yard pass from Brandon Goodson to Nick Colvin picked up the first down. Lorenzo Long then picked up a first down on fourth-and-one to keep the drive alive. Raymond Smith capped the drive with a three-yard touchdown run to make it a 37-27 game with 3:43 left on the clock.
The Terriers tried another onside kick, but Wofford was called for a penalty. The second onside attempt went out of bounds as it was being recovered by the Terriers and Samford took over at the 38-yard line. The Bulldogs converted a fourth-and-two and a fourth-and twelve and were able to run out the clock for the win.
Wofford had 548 total yards, with 486 rushing. Samford had 496 total yards, 345 of which were passing. Samford had a 28 to 24 advantage in first downs. Wofford was 6-of-15 on third downs and 3-of-5 on fourth down. Samford was 6-of-13 on third down and 3-of-3 on fourth down. Wofford was called for two penalties to Samford’s five. Wofford had a 35:20 to 24:40 time of possession advantage.
Wofford vs. Samford Post-Game Notes
After the win, Samford has an 8-5 lead in the series. The Bulldogs have three wins in the last four meetings.
Lorenzo Long ran for 162 yards, which was his third 100+ rushing game this season and the eighth of his career. Jacks ran for 115 yards, his fourth career 100+ rushing game and third this season.
For Wofford, Zach Muller and Daryl Vining left the game with injuries.
With the loss, Wofford will end the season with a losing record for the second time in the last three seasons.
Game captains were Jim Dolinak and Evan Jacks.
Attendance was 5,077 at Gibbs Stadium.
The regular season will end on November 24 when Furman visits Gibbs Stadium at 3:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast on the American Sports Network (ASN), which will air locally on CW 62.