Bulldogs Visit FCS Foe Youngstown State

ROAD TEST:  Butler, coming off a season-opening victory, will continue its road stretch with a major challenge at NCAA Division I FCS foe Youngstown State on Saturday, Sept. 11.  The game against the Penguins (0-1) is scheduled for 6 p.m. (ET) at Arnold D. Stambaugh Stadium on the Youngstown State campus.  Butler will be facing a full-scholarship Division I program for the first time in nearly a decade.  The Bulldogs last played a Division I scholarship team in 2002, falling at Florida International, 42-0.  Butler opened the 2010 campaign at NCAA Division III foe Albion last weekend and posted a fourth consecutive season-opening victory, 29-13.  It was the Bulldogs’ third straight win dating back to last season and the team’s 12th win in the past 13 games.  Butler also improved to 12-4 in non-league contests under head coach Jeff Voris.  Youngstown State dropped its season-opener at Big Ten power Penn State, 44-14.  The Penguins had a 7-3 lead early in the game and trailed only 16-7 at halftime.  Youngstown State is 17-1-1 in home openers since 1989.           

Butler is 0-4 against Division I scholarship programs since 1993.

SUCCESSFUL START:  Junior quarterback Andrew Huck passed for 222 yards and three touchdowns to lead Butler to a 16-point win in the Bulldogs’ season-opener at Albion.  He guided the Bulldogs to scores on five of their first seven possessions and led the team to over 500 yards in total offense.  The Bulldogs marched inside the Albion 20-yard line on their first two possessions of the game and came away with a pair of field goals to take the lead for good.  Butler led 16-6 at halftime and then stretched the margin with a pair of second half TDs.  The Bulldogs had a 519-232 advantage in total offense in the game, a 27-9 edge in first downs and led in possession time, 38:16-21:44.

Butler has won five consecutive non-league games.    

GAME RECOGNITION:  Three Butler players - wide receiver Jordan Koopman, defensive end Grant Hunter and placekicker David Lang - received honorable mention Division I FCS College Football Performance Awards for the first week of play.  Recipients of the award are selected exclusively based upon objective scientific rankings of the extent to which individual players increase the overall effectiveness of their teams.  Koopman caught a pair of touchdown passes in Butler’s win at Albion, while Hunter finished with three tackles for loss, including one quarterback sack.  Lang was successful on three field goal attempts in the game, and he added a pair of PAT kicks.  Lang also was named Pioneer Football League Special Teams Player of the Week for the third time in the past two seasons.

RUSH DELIVERY:  Butler rolled up 297 rushing yards on 48 attempts (6.2 avg.) at Albion.  It was the most rushing yards by a Butler team since 2002, when the Bulldogs rolled up 307 yards against Valparaiso.  Senior Scott Gray led the way with 93 yards on 18 carries, while junior Ryan Hitchcock added 88 yards on 14 carries.  Redshirt freshman David Thomas, making his Butler debut, had 63 yards on just two attempts  Thomas unleashed a 59-yard run on his first collegiate carry!  Quarterback Andrew Huck picked up 43 yards, wide receiver Jordan Koopman added eight yards and quarterback Matt Kobli rushed for two yards.  The Bulldogs had 15 rushing first downs.

TOP STOPPERS:  Butler sophomores William Lamar and Jordan Ridley made their first collegiate starts in Butler’s win at Albion, and the two linebackers shared the Bulldogs’ lead in tackles in the game.  Lamar had five solo tackles and one assist, while Ridley added three solo tackles and three assists.  Each has a tackle for loss in the contest.

PLAYING CATCH:  Junior Jordan Koopman led Butler’s receiving corps at Albion with a career-high nine receptions for a career-best 108 yards.  It was his first career 100-yard receiving performance and the nine receptions were three more than his previous career-high.  Koopman scored Butler’s final two touchdowns, the first on a two-yard pass from quarterback Andrew Huck in the third quarter and the second on a 26-yard toss from Huck in the final period.

QB HUNTER:  Butler junior defensive end Grant Hunter is the Pioneer Football League’s active career leader in both tackles for loss and quarterback sacks, and he added to both career totals at Albion.  Hunter’s three tackles for loss boosted his career total to 32.5 in just over two seasons.  He also increased his career total for quarterback sacks to 25.  Hunter finished second in the PFL and 11th in the NCAA Division I FCS with 10 quarterback sacks last season.

Grant Hunter has averaged 1.19 QB sacks per game during his Butler career.

BULLDOG BITS:

•Junior quarterback Andrew Huck made his 13th consecutive start for the Bulldogs at Albion and recorded three touchdown passes.  Huck has either passed for or run for a touchdown in all but one of his starts.

•Andrew Huck recorded his eighth career 200-yard passing effort in Butler’s win at Albion.

•Junior Logan Sullivan came up with his second career pass interception and returned it 31 yards to set up Butler’s final touchdown at Albion.  A year ago, Sullivan set the stage for Butler’s final touchdown against Albion with a blocked punt.

•Junior wide receiver Zach Watkins, who had three catches for 58 yards at Albion, needs two receptions to move into a share of tenth place on Butler’s all-time receptions list.  Jon Hill (111, 1990-93) holds the No. 10 spot on Butler’s all-time list, while Adam Lafferty (112, 1999-2002) and Dave Swihart (112, 1972-75) share the No. 8 position.  Watkins is the Pioneer Football League active career leader in receptions with 109 career catches.   

•Zach Watkins is 261 yards shy of Tom Wallace (1,556, 1979-82) in the No. 10 spot on Butler’s all-time list for pass receiving yards.

•Quarterback Matt Kobli needs 12 passing yards to move into 10th place on Butler’s all-time passing list.  The No. 10 spot is currently held by Eli Stoddard, who threw for 2,995 yards from 1994 to 1997.

•Tailback Scott Gray, who rushed for 34 yards on nine carries against Albion last year, needs 280 rushing yards to catch Kevin McDevitt (1,889, 1973-76) in the No. 10 position on Butler’s all-time rushing list.  Gray is 23 points behind Tim Witmer (161, 1989-92) on Butler’s all-time scoring list.

•Senior offensive lineman Donnie Gilmore made his 35th consecutive start in Butler’s game at Albion.

•Butler played its season-opener without starting tight end Carter Walley and starting linebacker Andrew Cottrell, both of whom were sidelined with injuries.  Walley will rejoin the Bulldogs for this week’s game, while Cottrell remains questionable.

•Sophomore safety Matt Foor, who was sidelined by injury during the Albion game, will not play at Youngstown State.