BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) Michael Hiers passed for 292 yards and four touchdowns to propel Samford to a 35-12 victory over Western Carolina on Saturday.

Hiers completed 24 of 30 passes with an interception for Samford (3-1) in a Southern Conference opener.

Hiers opened the scoring with a 20-yard touchdown pass to Judd Cockett midway through the first quarter. He upped the Bulldogs' lead to 14-0 with a 34-yard strike to Chandler Smith early in the second quarter.

Hiers connected with Jaylan Thomas for a 60-yard score and a 21-6 lead in the third quarter. Hiers and Ty King teamed up for a 15-yard touchdown in the fourth. Jay Stanton added a 49-yard touchdown run with 9:47 left to play. Smith finished with eight catches for 125 yards.

Richard McCollum kicked four field goals for Western Carolina (2-2).

Carlos Davis completed 29 of 44 passes for 301 yards for the Catamounts, but he was picked off twice.

Samford leads the all-time series 17-3. The Catamounts haven't won in Birmingham since 1969.


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