November 2, 2011

Bulldogs Face Davidson On "Senior Day"

HOME CLOSING:  Butler will return to action after a weekend off and will close out the home portion of its 2011 schedule when it hosts Davidson on Saturday, Nov. 5.  The Pioneer Football League game will have a noon start at the Butler Bowl.  The Bulldogs, who had an open date on the schedule last weekend, are looking to bounce back from a 28-10 loss to Marist on Oct. 22.  That setback dropped Butler to 2-2 at home this season.  The Bulldogs, who are 4-4 on the year and 2-3 in PFL play, have alternated wins and losses through the first eight games of the season.  Davidson (2-6, 0-5 PFL) is coming off a 26-20 loss in three overtimes to Campbell.  Following Saturday’s game against Davidson, the Bulldogs will close out the season with back-to-back road contests at Jacksonville and Morehead State.           

Butler is 18-15 at home in six seasons under head coach Jeff Voris.

SENIOR MOMENT:  Butler will honor 23 seniors from this year’s squad, prior to the Davidson game.  The 23, who are facing their final game in the Butler Bowl are Dominic Atkinson (Kokomo), Billy Bork (Dyer), Nick Caldicott (Oak Park, Ill.), Taylor Clarkson (Fortville), Andy Dauch (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), Steve Depositar (Mishawaka),  Matt Foor (West Chester, Ohio), Stuart Harvey (Carmel), Andrew Huck (Bloomington), Grant Hunter (Liberty Township, Ohio), Jordan Koopman (Chula Vista, Calif.), Robert Koteff (Lexington, Ky.), David Lang (Lowell), Jeff Larsen (Chicago, Ill.), Pete Mattingly (Zionsville), Jack McKenna (Elmwood Park, Ill.), Ryan Myers (Fort Wayne), Jeff Poss (Salt Lake City, Utah), Charlie Schmelzer (Bloomington, Ill.), Ross Teare (Sammamish, Wash.), Larry Thomas (West Chester, Ohio), Zach Watkins (Chicago, Ill.) and Michael Wilson (Grand Rapids, Mich.).  Butler’s senior class has helped the Bulldogs to 25 wins, a Pioneer Football League co-championship and a Gridiron Classic title over the past four seasons.  This year’s seniors need one more win to become the winningest Butler senior class since 1994.

LAST TIME OUT:  Visiting Marist rode the accurate passing arm of quarterback Tommy Reilly to a 28-10 victory in its first-ever meeting with the Bulldogs.  Reilly completed 21 of 24 passes for 270 yards and two touchdowns in the game.  He guided his team to 28 consecutive points over three quarters, after the Bulldogs had taken an early 3-0 lead.    

KICK MARK:  Senior David Lang gave Butler an early lead against Marist with a 28-yard field goal less than three minutes into the first quarter.  It was his 11th field goal this season and the 32nd of his Butler career.  He enters this week’s action in third place on the PFL’s all-time list for field goals, just one behind Hutch Parker of San Diego (2004-07) in second place.  The league’s all-time record is 49 field goals by Drake’s Billy Cundiff (1998-2001).      

David Lang needs two field goals to tie the Butler all-time record (34), set by John Jenkins (1985-88).

CLEAN-UP HITTERS:  The Bulldogs had three players record 10 or more tackles against Marist.  Senior safety Andy Dauch led both teams with a career-high 14 tackles in the contest, while PFL tackles leader Jordan Ridley chipped in with a dozen stops.  Sophomore safety Jayme Szafranski finished the game with a career-high 10 tackles.  Butler has had five different players record ten or more tackles in a game this season.  Ridley has turned in a team-high six double-digit tackles performances, while Dauch has reached twin-digits twice.  Szafranski, linebacker Zack Sedivy and defensive back Sean Grady each have hit the 10+ tackles mark once.

Jordan Ridley is averaging 13.0 tackles per game.  

LEAD CHANGE:  Quarterback Andrew Huck played only one half against Marist.  The senior signal caller, who ranks second on Butler’s all-time passing list, was injured on the final play of the first half, and he did not return in the second half.  Sophomore Tom Judge took over at quarterback in the second half, before giving way to redshirt freshman Wade Markley late in the fourth quarter.  Markley, who completed five of six passes for 83 yards and a touchdown, engineered Butler’s lone touchdown drive in the game.  Huck remains questionable for this week’s action.

Andrew Huck ranks third in the PFL in total offense (274.0).

FINAL LOOK:  Senior Zach Watkins, Butler’s all-time leading pass receiver, will play his final game in the Butler Bowl on Saturday.  Watkins enters the Davidson game with 231 career pass receptions for 2,650 yards and 20 touchdowns.  His career catches and career yards both are school records, and he’s just two touchdown catches shy of the all-time school mark (22), set by former teammate Dan Bohrer (2006-09).  Watkins stands second in the PFL in both receptions and receiving yards.

BULLDOG BITS:

•Linebacker Jordan Ridley currently ranks fourth in the NCAA Division I FCS in tackles (13.0).  He’s one of just six players in the FCS with more than 100 tackles this season.

•Wide receiver Zach Watkins is ranked 10th in the NCAA Division I FCS in pass receptions per game (7.13), and he stands 17th in the nation in receiving yards per game (87.50).

•Senior Jordan Koopman, who caught three passes for 33 yards against Marist, has moved into a tie with Kyle Conner (1997-2000) for fifth place on Butler’s all-time list for pass receptions with 124.

•Jordan Koopman had 145 all-purpose yards against Marist, including 103 yards on four kickoff returns.  Koopman is ranked eighth in the PFL in all-purpose yards (100.4).

•David Lang leads the PFL and is tied for 15th in the NCAA FCS in field goals per game (1.38).  He stands second in the league in kick scoring (7.0) and third in the circuit in overall scoring.

•David Lang is ranked third in the PFL in field goal percentage (11-13, .846).  Both of the players ranked ahead of him have attempted fewer than five field goals.

•Senior safety Andy Dauch is tied for 12th in the NCAA Division I FCS in forced fumbles.  Dauch has three forced fumbles in eight games.

•Quarterback Wade Markley threw his first collegiate touchdown pass in Butler’s game against Marist.  The redshirt freshman connected with senior wide receiver Jeff Larsen on a 29-yard scoring strike in the fourth quarter.  Markley, seeing his first action for the Bulldogs, completed the first four passes of his collegiate career.

•Senior offensive lineman Pete Mattingly has started 36 consecutive games for the Bulldogs.

•Running back Trae Heeter, who ranks third in the PFL in rushing (82.7), sat out Butler’s last two games with injury.  He remains questionable for the Marist game.

•Trae Heeter is ranked second in the PFL in all-purpose yards (166.2).

•Senior linebacker Nick Caldicott, who suffered a knee injury against Marist, finished his career with 171  tackles.