Bulldogs Face First Ivy League Foe
IVY LOOK: A season of firsts for Butler football will continue when the Bulldogs travel to Hanover, N.H., for a night game against Dartmouth. The 6 p.m. (ET) contest at Dartmouth's Memorial Field will be Butler's first game against a team from the Ivy League. It also will be the Bulldogs' first game in New Hampshire. Butler (1-1) is coming off a 42-13 non-conference victory over Franklin. That contest was the first football night game in the newly-renovated Butler Bowl, and Butler's first home night game in 71 years. A week earlier, the Bulldogs faced Western Illinois for the first time as a football opponent. Dartmouth is opening its 2012 season on Saturday against Butler. The Big Green tied for second in the Ivy League last season with a 4-3 record and finished with a 5-5 overall mark. Six starters return from that club, including honorable mention All-Ivy League linebacker Bronson Green. Butler will wrap up its pre-conference slate with the game at Dartmouth. The Bulldogs will begin Pioneer Football League play at home against Campbell on Sept. 22.
Butler is the first PFL team to play at Dartmouth since 1993, when the league was founded.
ON THE AIR: Beginning this season, Butler football webcasts for all 11 games will be available at www.butlersports.com. Play-by-play for the broadcasts will be handled by Butler graduates Brandon Gaudin '06 and Mark Minner '12, while former Butler head coach Ken LaRose will serve as the broadcast analyst.
OFFENSE PLUS: Butler rolled up 583 yards in total offense and set a school single game record with 32 first downs, while picking up a 42-13 victory over Franklin. The 583 yards were the most by a Butler team since Oct. 21, 2000, when the Bulldogs rolled up 592 yards in a home game against San Diego. The 32 first downs broke the previous Butler mark of 31, set by the Bulldogs against UAB in 1993 and Valparaiso in 1983. Butler scored its first touchdown less than four minutes into the game, and the Bulldogs led 27-0 at halftime. That margin reached 33-0 midway through the third period, and Butler head coach Jeff Voris was able to substitute freely throughout the remainder of the game. The Bulldogs' 42 points matched the sixth-highest total of the Jeff Voris era at Butler.
TOP 'DOGS: Butler leads the Pioneer Football League in both total offense (449.5 ypg) and total defense (297.5 ypg) after two weeks. The Bulldogs, who ran for 230 yards in their victory over Franklin, also lead the league in rushing offense (168.5). Butler further tops the circuit in third down conversions (.571), first downs (24.5) and fewest sacks allowed (0.50), while ranking second in the league in scoring offense (28.5) and fourth in scoring defense (18.0).
HOME SHOW: Quarterback Matt Lancaster, who sat out last season after transferring to Butler from Illinois State, made the most of his first start in the Butler Bowl. The West Lafayette, Ind., junior completed 19 of 30 passes for 258 yards and three touchdowns, and he added a game-high 96 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries against Franklin. And he did it in just over two quarters! Lancaster, who guided Butler on five scoring drives, led the Bulldogs to a 33-0 lead and then was given the rest of the night off with more than 11 minutes remaining in the third period. He threw a 33-yard scoring strike to wide receiver Brendan Shannon just over three minutes into the game for his first Butler Bowl touchdown pass, and he later added a 12-yard touchdown toss to Don Stewart Jr., and a 24-yard scoring pass to JT Mesch. He had rushing touchdowns of 16 yards and one yard in the second quarter. Lancaster finished the first half with 325 yards in total offense, and he had 354 total yards for the game.
Matt Lancaster leads the PFL in total offense (304.5 ypg).
WELL RECEIVED: Junior Brendan Shannon, who played in the shadow of Butler all-time leading pass receiver Zach Watkins a year ago, stepped into the spotlight in the Bulldogs' home-opener against Franklin. Shannon led both teams with eight receptions for a career-high 134 yards and two touchdowns, while helping Butler to a 29-point win. He scored the game's first touchdown on a 33-yard catch-and-run, and he later added a 24-yard scoring grab from back-up quarterback Wade Markley. The 134 receiving yards were the most by a PFL player this season.
DEFENSIVE WORK: The Bulldogs limited Franklin to just 246 total yards, including just 58 rushing yards. The visitors managed just 10 rushing yards and 61 total yards in the first 30 minutes of the game. The solid defensive stand was the result of a total team effort, with no Butler player recording more than five tackles. Senior Jordan Ridley, juniors Jeremy Stephens and Thad Satre and sophomore Jimmy Schwabe each finished with five stops to lead Butler against the visiting Grizzlies.
•Quarterback Matt Lancaster is leading the Pioneer Football League in rushing (71.0 ypg), while running back Trae Heeter is tied for second in the league (67.5 ypg).
•Matt Lancaster ranks 10th in the NCAA Division I FCS in total offense.
•Junior Trae Heeter, who led the Bulldogs in rushing a year ago, ran for 86 yards on 12 carries against Franklin. He had a 33-yard run to help set up Butler's fifth touchdown.
•Trae Heeter ranks fourth in the PFL in all-purpose yards (99.5 ypg).
•Sophomore linebacker Bryce Barry recorded his first collegiate pass interception and returned it eight yards to midfield to ignite Butler's fourth scoring drive against Franklin.
•Bryce Barry and Butler senior Jordan Ridley are tied for eighth in tackles in the PFL. The two linebackers lead Butler with 19 total stops.
•Sophomore JT Mesch had a career-high six receptions for a career-best 71 yards and one touchdown against Franklin. He scored his first collegiate touchdown on a 24-yard pass from Matt Lancaster.
•Freshman Jon Treloar kicked his first collegiate field goal in Butler's victory over Franklin. Treloar hit from 20 yards out in the third quarter.
•Sophomore quarterback Wade Markley came off the bench and completed nine of 10 passes for 95 yards and one touchdown against Franklin. Markley has completed 74% (34-46) of his passes in four career games with the Bulldogs.
•Redshirt-freshman Brian Akialis, in his second game as Butler's punter, averaged 40.5 yards on two punts against Franklin. Akialis dropped both of his punts inside the Franklin 20-yard line.
•Butler played against Franklin without starting offensive lineman Greg Ambrose who was sidelined with injury. The 6-3 sophomore is expected to be available for action at Dartmouth.
•Senior offensive lineman Matt Storey has started 24 consecutive games for the Bulldogs.
•Butler is 16-7 in non-league games under head coach Jeff Voris.