Butler Looks To Bounce Back Against Campbell

Butler Looks To Bounce Back Against Campbell

Game:   Butler (2-2, 0-1 PFL) vs. Campbell (1-3, 0-1 PFL)
Date:    Saturday, Oct. 2, Butler Bowl (5,647)
Time:    Noon EST
Radio:   XL 950 (AM), BigPlayRadioSports.com
Video:    http://hometownsportsindiana.com 
TV:        HomeTown Sports (Delayed Saturday at 9 p.m.; Sunday at 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.)

Third Meeting, Butler leads, 2-0
•Butler and Campbell will be meeting for just the third time in a series that began three years ago.  The Bulldogs have captured the first two meetings, including a 23-16 decision last year.  The Fighting Camels are making their first visit to the Butler Bowl.

•Butler scored on three consecutive possessions in the first half to grab a 20-0 lead at Campbell's Barker-Lane Stadium last year.  Campbell out-scored the Bulldogs, 16-3, the rest of the way but couldn't overcome Butler's early outburst.

•Quarterback Andrew Huck passed for 214 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for a team-high 56 yards to lead the Bulldogs past Campbell last year.

HOME RETURN:  Butler will be looking to rebound from a setback in its Pioneer Football League opener when it hosts Campbell in its second league test on Saturday, Oct. 2.  The two PFL teams will meet in the newly-renovated Butler Bowl at noon.  The game will be just the second home contest of the season for Butler and will begin a stretch that finds the Bulldogs playing three of their next four outings in the Butler Bowl.  Butler has won nine of its last 11 home tests and stands 16-9 in the Butler Bowl under head coach Jeff Voris.  The Bulldogs (2-2) fell in their PFL opener at San Diego, 24-0, last weekend.  It was Butler's second night game of the young season, and both resulted in 24-point setbacks.  Campbell (1-3), also 0-1 in PFL action, is coming off a 24-21 loss at home to Georgia State, and  the Camels are trying to snap a three-game losing skid.  The Camels, who dropped a one-point decision at home to Davidson, 28-27, two weeks ago in the PFL-opener for both teams, picked up their lone win this season came on the road in the 2010-opener at Virginia Wise, 20-16.  Campbell is making its first visit to the Butler Bowl.                                  

Butler has won eight consecutive games in the Butler Bowl.

ROAD BLOCK:  The Bulldogs came up short on their longest trip of the season, dropping their first PFL test at San Diego.  Butler drove 60 yards in 16 plays on its first possession in the game, but missed a 30-yard field goal attempt.  That wound up being the Bulldogs' last drive until late in the fourth quarter.  Five of the Bulldogs' eight first downs in the game came on the opening drive, while the other three came on the team's final possession.  Butler had eight consecutive possessions of three plays or less, and the Bulldogs gained just 31 total yards after the opening drive.  San Diego grabbed a 10-0 lead at halftime and then added single touchdowns in the third and fourth quarters.  The Bulldogs fell to 1-9 all-time in San Diego's Torero Stadium.    

OCTOBER SURPRISE:  The Bulldogs, who were 2-2 in the month of September, have recent history on their side as they look to improve their record in the upcoming weeks.  Butler has won eight consecutive October games over the past two seasons, all against PFL opponents.  The Bulldogs were 4-0 in October last season, including a 23-16 victory at Campbell.  Butler's last October loss came in 2007 to Davidson, 44-32.

DEFENSIVE MOVE:  Butler has taken over the top spot in the PFL in total defense (317.5 ypg).  The Bulldogs, who ranked second in total defense a week earlier, also lead the league in pass defense (146.8 ypg) and in pass defense efficiency (112.3).  Butler ranks second in the circuit in scoring defense with a yield of 22.0 points per game.

CLEANUP HITTER:  Sophomore Jordan Ridley, who had a team-high 10 tackles at San Diego, has recorded 10 or more tackles in three consecutive games for the Bulldogs.  He had two solo tackles and a team-high eight assists against the Toreros.  The Butler linebacker is averaging 12.3 tackles over the Bulldogs' last three outings, including a career-high 16 tackles at Youngstown State.  Ridley had one tackle in limited reserve duty at Campbell last season.

Jordan Ridley ranks third in the PFL in tackles per game (10.8).

CATCHING UP:  Junior wide receiver Zach Watkins had seven catches for 43 yards at San Diego and climbed another notch on Butler's all-time list for pass receptions.  Watkins enters this week's action with 130 career catches, good for fourth place on the all-time Butler list.  He trails Mike Chrobot (1975-78) in third place on the chart by seven receptions, and he's 12 catches away from Eric Voss (1990-93) in second place.

PASSING ZONE:  Quarterback Andrew Huck was limited to a career-low 74 passing yards at San Diego, but he still moved up on Butler's all-time list for passing yardage.  Huck slipped into the No. 9 spot on the Butler passing list with 3,186 career yards.  He trails Mike Lee (1982-86) in the No. 8 position by 341 yards.  Huck completed 12 of 22 passes against the Toreros, giving him 81 completions on the year and 314 for his Butler career.  

Andrew Huck leads the PFL in completion percentage (.658, minimum 75 att.).

ATTACK 'DOG:  Junior Grant Hunter recorded his fourth quarterback sack of the season at San Diego and added another notch on a growing career total.  Hunter is the PFL active leader in quarterback sacks with 25.5 in just over two seasons with the Bulldogs.  He's second in the league in career tackles for loss with 35.5.  Hunter currently stands second in the PFL in sacks, and he's tied for fourth in tackles for loss (6).


•Linebacker Nick Caldicott came up with his fourth career pass interception and returned it 21 yards at San Diego.  Caldicott picked off his first career pass at Campbell last year.

•Sophomore Michael Wilson averaged 40.5 yards on six punts at San Diego.  He ranks fourth in the PFL in punting (39.5), and he's tied for second in the league in punts dropped inside the 20-yard line (6).

•Freshman Trae Heeter returned five kickoffs for 114 yards at San Diego, including a career-long, 36-yard return.  Heeter ranks fifth in the PFL in kickoff return average (22.8).

•Butler juniors Jordan Koopman and Zach Watkins are tied for second in the PFL in pass receptions (24/6.0 pg).  Koopman stands fifth in the league in receiving yards (67.0 pg), while Watkins is eighth (53.8 pg).

•Jordan Koopman had 132 all-purpose yards against Campbell last year.  He rushed one time for 14 yards, caught three passes for 26 yards and returned three kickoffs for 81 yards.

•Zach Watkins is 104 yards shy of Tom Wallace (1,556, 1979-82) in the No. 10 spot on Butler's all-time list for pass receiving yards.  Watkins has racked up 1,462 yards in 24 career games.

•Quarterback Andrew Huck scored his first collegiate touchdown on a 39-yard run against Campbell in 2008.

•Tailback Scott Gray, who rushed for 21 yards on eight carries at San Diego, needs 159 rushing yards to catch Kevin McDevitt (1,889, 1973-76) in the No. 10 position on Butler's all-time rushing list.

•Senior offensive lineman and team captain Donnie Gilmore missed Butler's trip to San Diego because of injury.  Gilmore had made 37 consecutive starts for the Bulldogs prior to the San Diego game.

•Junior linebacker Andrew Cottrell, who missed Butler's first three games with injury, returned to action at San Diego and was credited with five tackles.  Cottrell finished fifth on the squad in tackles last season.

•Butler ranks third the PFL in rushing offense (144.0) after four games, despite picking up just 17 yards at San Diego.