By Carey Phillips


Western Carolina’s football team will open Southern Conference action Saturday when Samford visits E.J. Whitmire Stadium/Bob Waters Field.

Kickoff time is 2:30 p.m., and the game will be broadcast on WYCW-TV (channel 62).

This week figures to be more of a fair fight than last Saturday when the Catamounts (0-2) suffered the largest defeat margin in school history, 76-0, at fourth-ranked Oklahoma.

That doesn’t mean the game will be easy. In fact the Bulldogs (1-1) have dominated the series 15-3, including a 55-27 win in the spring season.

Samford has defeated Tennessee Tech (52-14) and lost to UT-Martin (33-27).

Liam Welch has completed 55 of 82 passes with two interceptions and five touchdowns for Coach Chris Hatcher’s team. Welch went 26 of 36 for 311 yards against WCU in the spring.

Montrell Washington has been Samford’s top receiver this season with 12 catches for 200 yards. One outlet named him the Football Championship Subdivision Player of the Week after he compiled 245 all-purpose yards against Tennessee Tech.

The Bulldogs utilize a spread offense and 4-3 defense.

They went 4-3 in the spring with all of the games against conference opponents.