JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. — Devlin Hodges ran for three touchdowns and surpassed Steve McNair for the most passing yards in a Football Championship Subdivision career as Samford denied East Tennessee State the outright Southern Conference championship with a 38-27 upset on Saturday afternoon.
Hodges finished 40 of 53 for 404 yards to give him a career mark of 14, 584. McNair set the previous mark of 14,496 at Alcorn State (1991-94).
East Tennessee State earned a share of the conference crown with its win over Mercer November 3. A loss to Samford and a win by Furman Saturday at Mercer would create a three-way tie for the title, with Furman owning the tiebreaker to claim the automatic berth in the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs.
Samford (6-5, 5-3), which came into the game with just one win in five road contests, has now beaten the Bucs five of the six meetings between the programs.
Quay Holmes scored on a 6-yard run to put ETSU up, 10-0 in the first quarter, but Hodges scored from the 9 early in the second to put the Bulldogs up, 14-10. Austin Herink scored back-to-back touchdowns on runs to put the Bucs up, 24-14, but Hodges again tied the game, this time with a 2-yard run. JJ Jerman kicked his third field goal of the game for ETSU, connecting from 39-yards out for a 27-24 lead, but Hodges scored from the 2 with 11:15 left to put Samford up for good and DeMarcus Ware ran 3 yards for a score to put the game away with 1:31 left.
Herink was 18 of 34 for 186 for the Bucs (8-3, 6-2) and carried eight times for 64 yards and two touchdowns.
The Associated Press