BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) Michael Hiers threw a career-high four touchdowns passes and Samford overcame a slow start to defeat VMI 34-15 on homecoming Saturday, giving coach Chris Hatcher his school-record 48th victory.

Chandler Smith had 10 catches for 134 yards with two touchdowns and Jaylan Thomas added 97 yards rushing, including a 32-yard score for the Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs (8-1, 6-0 Southern Conference), ranked No. 10 in the FCS coaches poll, trailed 12-7 at halftime. In the third quarter, Hiers threw for touchdowns of 49 yards to Smith for a 14-12 advantage and later 70 yards to Kendall Watson for a 20-15 lead.

Hiers added a second TD connection with Smith in the fourth quarter. Thomas capped the scoring with his 32-yard dash.

Hiers finished with 322 yards passing on 30 completions in 38 attempts. He was intercepted once.

Jerry Rice made all five of his field goal attempts for VMI. Seth Morgan threw for 213 yards and Korey Bridy had 113 yards on the ground for the Keydets (1-8, 0-6).


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