Bulldogs Face First Time Foe Marist
HOMECOMING: Butler will try to put
together back-to-back wins for the first time this season when it
hosts first-time foe Marist in a Pioneer Football League game on
Saturday, Oct. 22. The two teams will square off in
Butler’s annual Homecoming contest at 1 p.m. (ET) at the
Butler Bowl. The Bulldogs are coming off a 42-14 victory over
Valparaiso. That win gave Butler the Hoosier Helmet Trophy
for the fourth straight year and for the fifth time in six
years. It also lifted the Bulldogs to 4-3 on the season and
2-2 in league play. Marist (2-5) fell at home to Campbell,
35-21, last week and slipped to 1-3 in PFL action. The Red
Foxes had picked up their first PFL win with a 13-9 decision over
Davidson just one week earlier. Marist is in its third season
as a member of the PFL, but the Red Foxes did not play Butler in
their first two seasons in the league. Butler dropped last
year’s Homecoming game to Morehead State, 21-20, on a field
goal with just 0:11 remaining.
Butler improved to 18-14 at home under head coach Jeff Voris.
LAST WEEK: Butler ran just 51 plays, but rolled up 400 yards in total offense and handed visiting Valparaiso a 28-point setback in the annual Hoosier Helmet Trophy game. The Bulldogs broke a 7-7 tie in the second quarter on a 13-yard Andrew Huck to Zach Watkins touchdown pass and then added three more touchdowns before Valparaiso scored again in the final period. The Crusaders actually dominated the time of possession (38:32-21:28) in the game, while running 100 plays. The visitors had 463 yards in total offense and 28 first downs, but only managed to find the end zone twice.
CATCHING UP: Wide receiver Zach Watkins caught three touchdown passes for the second time in his Butler career to lead the Bulldogs to their victory over Valparaiso. Watkins gave Butler a 14-7 halftime lead with his first touchdown reception in the second quarter, and then he added touchdown receptions of four yards and 22 yards in the third period. The three catches boosted his career total for touchdowns to 20, two shy of the Butler all-time record held by former teammate Dan Bohrer (2006-09). Watkins, who had seven catches for 98 yards against Valparaiso, also had three TD receptions in Butler’s victory over Albion in 2009.
Zach Watkins leads the PFL in receptions (7.7/game).
RECORD RETURN: Sophomore Sean Grady made sure his second career pass interception was memorable. The Butler cornerback picked off a Valparaiso pass at the Butler 10-yard line in the fourth quarter, reversed his field and raced 90 yards down the right sideline for a touchdown! The 90-yard return, the longest in the PFL this season, broke Butler’s previous school mark of 89 yards, set by Derek Bradford against Valparaiso in 2008.
POWER HITTER: One week after recording a career-high 19 tackles at Campbell, linebacker Jordan Ridley topped himself with 20 tackles against Valparaiso. The Butler junior had four solo tackles and 16 assists against the Crusaders. The 16 assists tied Butler’s single game record, shared by John Doctor (vs. Ashland, 1982) and Joe Miles (vs. Dayton, 1997). His 20 total tackles are the most in the Pioneer Football League this season, and the most by a Butler players since 2004, when Chris Haynes racked up 20 stops against St. Francis (Ind.). Ridley has had 10 or more tackles in five of seven games this season and in 14 games during his Butler career.
Jordan Ridley leads the PFL and ranks third in the NCAA Division I FCS in tackles (13.14/game).
SCORING TOSS: Quarterback Andrew Huck matched the second-highest single game total of his career with four touchdown passes in Butler’s victory over Valparaiso. The senior signal caller also threw four TD passes against Franklin and Morehead State in 2009, while he had a career-high and Butler record five scoring passes against Albion in his sophomore season. The four touchdown aerials boosted his career total to 50. The Butler all-time record is 60 touchdown passes by Bill Lynch, 1972-76.
Andrew Huck ranks third in the PFL in touchdown passes (17).
CAREER DAY: Junior Jordan Ridley wasn’t the only Butler player to rack up a single game high for tackles in the Bulldogs’ win over Valparaiso. Linebacker Zach Sedivy, defensive tackle Jeremy Stephens, and defensive backs Kevin Cook and Greg Egan also had career-best performances. Sedivy recorded 12 tackles against the Crusaders, the most by a Butler player not named Ridley on this year. Stephens finished with a career-best nine stops, including one-and-a-half tackles for loss, while Cook, who entered the game with 10 career tackles, racked up nine stops, including his first career quarterback sack. Egan, seeing his most extensive action of the season, finished with five tackles.
•Quarterback Andrew Huck leads the PFL and ranks eighth in
the NCAA Division I FCS in total offense (298.3). He stands
second on the league’s list of active career leaders with
7,276 total offense yards.
•Andrew Huck completed 14 of 26 passes for 189 yards against Valparaiso, boosting his career passing total to 6,209 yards. He’s just the second quarterback in Butler football history to pass for more than 6,000 career yards.
•Andrew Huck ranks fourth in the PFL in passing average (270.0) and passing efficiency (141.1).
•Running back Don Stewart Jr., getting his first collegiate start, rushed for a career-high 64 yards against Valparaiso. He shared team rushing honors with quarterback Andrew Huck.
•Senior Jordan Koopman, who missed the Campbell game with injury, had four receptions for 68 yards and a touchdown against Valparaiso. He moved into sixth place on Butler’s all-time list for pass receptions with 121, three shy of current Valparaiso assistant coach Kyle Conner (1997-2000) in the No. 5 spot.
•Senior placekicker David Lang matched his career-high by hitting six of six PAT kicks against Valparaiso. It was the fourth time in his career that he was perfect on six PAT kicks.
•David Lang is the PFL’s active leader in career field goals (31).
•David Lang leads the PFL and ranks 14th in the NCAA FCS in field goals/game (1.43). He stands second in the league in kick scoring (7.4) and third in the circuit in overall scoring.
•Senior offensive lineman Pete Mattingly has started 35 consecutive games for the Bulldogs.
•Running back Trae Heeter, who ranks third in the PFL in rushing (82.7), sat out the Valparaiso game with injury. He remains questionable for the Marist game.
•Sophomore quarterback Tom Judge completed two of three passes for 66 yards and his first collegiate touchdown in Butler’s win over Valparaiso. His first collegiate completion was a 44-yard pass to tight end Ryan Webb, and his second was a 22-yard scoring strike to tight end Matt Jenson.