Mocs defense to face fast attack

Samford's up-tempo offense could give UTC trouble when Southern Conference foes meet

Dustin Taliaferro likes seeing defenses gassed. The Samford quarterback knows the feeling well.

Last spring, when new offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee began implementing the fast-paced attack he learned under Gus Malzahn, Samford's offense had plenty of trouble maintaining the desired pace of play. It was more of the same in the preseason.

"We had to get in shape to run this offense and it took us all through camp, and we kind of found our stride there after the first couple of games," said Taliaferro, whose Bulldogs (5-3, 3-3 Southern Conference) host the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (4-5, 2-4) on Saturday.

Lashlee, who was hired by Samford coach Pat Sullivan after working as Malzahn's graduate assistant at Auburn for two years, knows first-hand the effect the offense can have. He not only saw what Cam Newton could do with it a year ago, but Lashlee was Malzahn's quarterback in high school in Springdale, Ark.,