Butler Tabbed Fifth In Pioneer Football League Poll

Butler has been picked to finish fifth in the 2009 Pioneer Football League race according to the preseason poll of league coaches.  San Diego, runner-up in last year’s final league standings, was tabbed as the coaches’ preseason favorite for the fourth consecutive year.

San Diego picked up five first place votes and 77 total points in the poll to finish six points ahead of co-second place picks Dayton and Jacksonville.  Dayton garnered three first place votes, while defending champion Jacksonville gathered the other two top picks.  Morehead State was slated fourth with 51 points.

Butler, coming off a fourth place tie in the 2008 PFL final standings, received 42 points in the poll and finished two points ahead of sixth place pick Drake.  Davidson (37) was tabbed seventh, followed by new league member Marist (32), Valparaiso (20) and Campbell (9).  Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team in the poll.

The Bulldogs return 16 starters from last year’s 6-5 squad, including preseason All-American defensive end Grant Hunter.  Just a sophomore, Hunter returns after leading the PFL in quarterback sacks with 14 and finishing second in the league in tackles for loss (18).  He’s one of eight defensive starters back for the Bulldogs this season.

Butler fourth-year head coach Jeff Voris also can call on one of the league’s premier passing duos.  Junior quarterback Matt Kobli led the PFL in total offense (3,011) in 2008, while setting a Butler single season record for touchdown passes (23).  His 2,518 passing yards were the second-highest single season total in Butler football history!  And Kobli again can look to top receiver Dan Bohrer, who finished second in the PFL in both receptions per game (6.4) and receiving yards per game (86.6).  The senior wide receiver set a Butler single season record for touchdown catches (11), and he recorded the school’s second-highest single season total for receptions (71).  His 971 receiving yards were the third-most in school history.

The Bulldogs, who posted their most football wins since 1997 a year ago, reported for fall camp on Monday, Aug. 10.  The team will run through preseason drills through the end of August in preparation for the season-opener at home against Albion on Sept. 5.