Butler To Host Tennessee State In FCS Playoffs

INDIANAPOLIS, IND. -- Butler will make its first appearance in the NCAA Division I Football Championship in a comfortable setting.  The Bulldogs were chosen to host a first round game and will face Tennessee State on Saturday, Nov. 30, at 1 p.m. (ET).

"We're excited.  Probably more so now with the news that we're going to be at home," said Butler head coach Jeff Voris.  "We knew whoever we drew was going to be a heck of a challenge for us, and there's no question that Tennessee State is a huge challenge."

Tennessee State (9-3) was the runner-up in the Ohio Valley Conference to Eastern Illinois (11-1), the No. 2 seed in this year's championship.  The Tigers, who posted nine victories for the first time since 1999, currently rank fifth in the nation in team defense, allowing just 278.9 yards per game.

"The one thing with the playoffs is you get a lot of teams that you haven't seen or don't know a lot about," noted Voris. "It's going to be a full week of preparation, and it's going to be fun trying to come up with a plan that allows us to compete."

Butler (9-3) shared the Pioneer Football League title with Marist and earned the league's first automatic bid through the league's tie-breaker system.  The PFL championship was Butler's second straight and third in five years.

Two-time defending champion North Dakota State earned the No. 1 seed in the playoffs.  Eastern Illinois was seeded second, while Eastern Washington was seeded third.  Rounding out the top eight seeds were Southeastern Louisiana, #5 Maine, #6 McNeese State, #7 Towson and #8 Montana.  Each of the top eight seeds received a first round bye.

The winner of the Butler-Tennessee State game will face Eastern Illinois in the second round on Dec. 7.