Bulldogs Plan to Exercise
Option Again in 2000
averaged 30 points a game and ranked fourth in the nation in
rushing last football season. Running their new option offense,
the Bulldogs averaged 313 yards a game and scored 41 touchdowns
on the ground-both school records. That performance keyed a 7-4
record-Samford's fifth consecutive winning season.
With nine starters back, including quarterback Josh Kellett and
the entire line, the offense should thrive again in 2000. In
fact, it may be even more productive.
"We're much further along than we were a year ago in installing
our new offensive system," said Coach Pete Hurt. "We
were able to go back and revamp our offense and to add more to
it, particularly in the passing game."
Now, if Hurt can rebuild a defense that lost eight starters,
the winning could continue.
The Bulldogs have some talented young defensive players among
their 38 returning lettermen. "The question is how fast
they will develop," said Hurt.
Starting quarterback Josh Kellett returns to direct Samford's
offense once again.
A further glance at season 2000
Offense-Kellett ran for 762 yards and passed for 831 as a redshirt
freshman last year, showing a natural ability to read opposing
defenses. Leading rusher Jerome Russell (3,142 career yards)
graduated, but running back Rashad Brewer (1,987 career yards)
and fullback Kadell Wright (13 touchdowns in seven games last
year) are back. Up front, three-year starters Philip Duplantis
at tackle and Jim Dudley at guard lead the way. Aryvia Holmes
(24 catches as a true freshman) is a talented receiver and kick
Defense-Lamar Whitaker, last year's sack leader with six, and
Brent Robinson are back in the line. Matthew Forester (57 tackles
and three late-season starts) inherits middle linebacker from
I-AA All Independent Fred Bishop, who graduated. Jason Long and
Lewis Cole bring experience at linebacker. Michael Williams (43
tackles and six broken up passes) returns at cornerback.
Schedule Notes-Samford will play six Thursday night games (a
trend in Division
I-AA), starting at traditional rival Chattanooga Aug. 31. The
Bulldogs will play their first Division I foe since 1997, meeting
Big West Conference member North Texas in Denton Oct. 5.