Bulldogs Host League-Favorite San Diego

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HOMECOMING:  Butler, off to a 4-0 start for the second time in three seasons, returns from its Pioneer Football League opener at Morehead State to play its first league home game against PFL preseason favorite San Diego on Saturday, Oct. 3.  The Bulldogs’ annual Homecoming contest is scheduled for 1 p.m. (ET) at the Butler Bowl.  Butler passed its first league test with a stunning 28-21 overtime victory at Morehead State.  The victory was the Bulldogs’ fourth straight to open the season, matching Butler’s 2007 squad for the program’s best start in nearly two decades.  San Diego (2-1, 1-0 PFL) is returning to action after taking last weekend off.  The Toreros, 9-2 a year ago, have won 30 of their last 35 PFL outings.  Butler is looking for a 5-0 start for the first time since 1991.  Two years ago, the Bulldogs dropped their fifth game of the season to San Diego.          

Butler is one of just eight 4-0 teams in the NCAA Division I FCS.

ON THE AIR:  For the fifth straight year, Butler football games can be heard on XL 950 (AM) in Indianapolis and on the internet at BigPlayProductions.com.  Calling the game are play-by-play announcer Brian Giffin and former Butler football coach Ken LaRose.  This weekend’s game against San Diego will be carried live on the internet, starting with a pre-game show at 12:40 p.m. (ET) and will be tape-delayed on XL 950, starting at approximately 3:30 p.m.
 
LATE PAYOFF:  Butler scored three touchdowns in the second half to overcome a 21-0 halftime deficit and send the game at Morehead State into overtime.  The Bulldogs then took their first lead of the game on the second play of the overtime period when quarterback Andrew Huck found wide receiver Eddie McHale with a 22-yard touchdown pass.  Butler defensive back Mark Giacomantonio sealed the victory with a fourth down pass interception on Morehead State’s overtime possession.  The Bulldogs fell behind, 14-0, in the first two minutes of the game and trailed 21-0 with 5:59 remaining in the first quarter.

FEATURE ACT:  Butler quarterback Andrew Huck overcame an aggressive Morehead State defense and a game-long pouring rain to throw four touchdown passes and lead the Bulldogs to a come-from-behind victory.  His effort earned him Pioneer Football League Offensive Player of the Week honors for the third time in four weeks.  Huck was intercepted three times and sacked twice by the Eagles’ defense, but he persevered and led Butler’s comeback by hitting 16 of 25 passes for 143 yards after intermission.  The sophomore signal caller threw scoring aerials of nine yards to Zach Watkins and two yards to Dan Bohrer in the third quarter and then tied the game with a seven-yard TD pass to Watkins in the fourth period.  He then found Eddie McHale with a 22-yard strike for the game-winner in overtime.  Huck finished the day with 26 completions in 49 attempts for 208 yards.  

Andrew Huck leads the PFL in touchdown passes with 14 in four games.

RECEIVING END:  Wide receiver Zach Watkins had a career-high 13 receptions for 130 yards and two touchdowns to help fuel Butler’s comeback win at Morehead State.  The 13 catches were the most by a Butler player in more than three decades, matching Mike Chrobot (vs. Dayton, 1978) for the second-highest single game total in Butler football history.  Watkins accounted for half of Butler’s completions and 63% of the Bulldogs’ receiving yards against Morehead State.  The sophomore end has had at least two touchdown catches in three of Butler’s first four games this season.          

Zach Watkins ranks seventh in the NCAA Division I FCS in receptions/game (8.25).

NATIONAL LEADER:  Sophomore safety Mark Giacomantonio sealed Butler’s victory at Morehead State with a pass interception in the overtime period.  It was his fourth theft of the season, which ties him for first in the NCAA Division I FCS in pass interceptions/game (1.00).  Giacomantonio had his first career pass interception against San Diego last year.

PRESSURE POINT:  Defensive end Grant Hunter spent a good portion of the second half at Morehead State in the Eagles’ backfield.  He recorded three quarterback sacks and added a tackle for loss on a running play.  He further assisted on a second tackle for loss.  The Butler junior was responsible for 20 of the Eagles’ 58 lost rushing yards!  Hunter leads the PFL in both quarterback sacks (6) and tackles for loss (8.5).  He has 20 career quarterback sacks in his first two seasons with the Bulldogs.

Grant Hunter ranks second in the NCAA Division I FCS in QB sacks/game (1.50).

RECORD GRAB:  Senior wide receiver Dan Bohrer came up with his 19th career touchdown catch at Morehead State, giving him sole possession of Butler’s all-time record.  The record-breaking grab came on a two-yard pass from quarterback Andrew Huck with 2:59 left in the third quarter.  Bohrer also holds Butler’s all-time record for pass receptions with 160.  He’s caught at least one pass in 23 consecutive games for the Bulldogs.

BULLDOG BITS:

•Butler leads the PFL in scoring offense (40.2), passing offense (265.5), passing efficiency (153.3) and total offense (405.8).  The Bulldogs also top the circuit in rushing defense (39.8), pass interceptions (8) and quarterback sacks (16).

•The Bulldogs stand third in the NCAA Division I FCS in rushing defense, 5th in scoring offense and eighth in total defense (233.25).

•Senior wide receiver Dan Bohrer ranks fifth on Butler’s all-time list for receiving yards with 1,923.  He needs 11 yards to pass Tom Redmond (1970-72) in fourth place and 22 yards to pass Paul Page (1983-86) in the No. 3 spot.

•Quarterback Andrew Huck stands 12th in the NCAA Division I FCS in passing efficiency (153.97) and 14th in total offense (279.25).  He leads the PFL in passing efficiency, total offense and passing average (246.2).

•Sophomore Zach Watkins ranks fifth in the NCAA Division I FCS in receiving yards/game (114.25), and he’s tied for fifth in scoring (10.50).  He leads the PFL in both categories, as well as receptions per game (8.25).

•Sophomore Logan Sullivan scored his first collegiate points to help send the Bulldogs into overtime at Morehead State.  Sullivan, the holder on Butler’s special teams, tallied a two-point conversion on Butler’s third touchdown to tie the game at 21-21.

•Linebacker Derek Guggenberger, Butler’s leading tackler in each of the past two campaigns, had a season-high seven tackles, including one quarterback sack, and a fumble recovery at Morehead State.

•Junior Tadd Dombart had two pass interceptions at Morehead State giving him seven for his Butler career.  He’s tied for fifth in the PFL in pass interceptions (0.50).

•Offensive guard Donny Gilmore started his 26th consecutive game for the Bulldogs in last weekend’s win at Morehead State.

ON THIS DATE:  Tailback Steve Roberts became just the second player in Butler football history to rush for over 200 yards on Oct. 3, 1987.  Roberts picked up 246 yards on 34 carries and scored three touchdowns in Butler’s 27-22 victory at Northeast Missouri State.  He had all but six of Butler’s rushing yards in the game.  (Bruce Scifres had 206 rushing yards against Franklin in 1976).