November 4, 2010

Butler Hosts League-Leading Jacksonville

HOME FINALE:  Butler will wrap up the home portion of its 2010 schedule when it hosts Jacksonville on Saturday, Nov. 6.  The Pioneer Football League game will be played at the Butler Bowl, starting at 12 noon (ET).  Jacksonville (8-1, 6-0 PFL) currently boasts a seven-game winning streak and shares first place in the PFL with Dayton.  The Dolphins are the league’s highest-scoring team, averaging better than 45 points per game, and the Florida squad has topped 50 points in each of its last three outings, including an 86-7 decision at Valparaiso.  Jacksonville quarterback Josh McGregor was named PFL Offensive Player of the Week for the third time this season, after throwing seven touchdown passes in a 61-17 victory at Morehead State last weekend.  Butler snapped a two-game skid and rolled up its biggest point total of the year with a 48-0 victory at Valparaiso last weekend.  The Bulldogs, unbeaten in the Butler Bowl a year ago, are looking for their first PFL home win this season.     
                                                           
Butler is 16-12 in the Butler Bowl under head coach Jeff Voris.

SENIOR MOMENT:  Butler will pay tribute to 18 seniors from this year’s squad prior to the game with Jacksonville.  The 18, who are facing their final game in the Butler Bowl, are defensive end Rob Cosler (Winter Park, Fla.), linebacker Andrew Cottrell (West Chester, Ohio), cornerback Tadd Dombart (Cincinnati, Ohio), offensive lineman Josh Dorfman (Durham, N.C.), safety Mark Giacomantonio (Carmel), offensive lineman Donnie Gilmore (Westphalia), running back Scott Gray (Lowell), defensive tackle Taylor Harris (Logansport), running back Ryan Hitchcock (Bedford), offensive lineman Rob Hobson (Arcadia), quarterback Matt Kobli (Whiting), wide receiver Eddie McHale (Cincinnati, Ohio), linebacker Bob Olszewski (LaGrange, Ill.), cornerback Andrew Pratt (Ridge Farm, Ill.), offensive lineman Ryan Secrist (Rochester), defensive tackle Tyler Skaggs (Winona Lake), offensive lineman Mike Staniewicz (Hebron) and safety Logan Sullivan (Winston-Salem, N.C.).  The 17 have helped the Bulldogs to 25 wins, a Pioneer Football League co-championship and a Gridiron Classic championship during their four seasons at Butler.

COMPLETE GAME:  The Bulldogs scored 48 points in the first three quarters and backed the offensive explosion with their best defensive effort of the season to pick up a PFL road win at Valparaiso.  Butler jumped in front just under six minutes into the contest and then stretched the margin to 34-0 by halftime.  Six different Bulldogs scored touchdowns in the win, and placekicker David Lang added a season-high 12 points.  Butler scored on eight of 12 possessions in the contest.  The defensive performance was equally impressive.  Butler limited the host Crusaders to just 188 total yards, including just 80 through the air.  Valparaiso gained less than 10 yards on eight of its 13 possessions in the game.

The Bulldogs’ shutout at Valparaiso was Butler’s first since 1998.

NO RUST:  Senior running back Scott Gray, who missed three games with a hand injury, returned to action at Valparaiso, and he scored his second touchdown of the season with a 34-yard run in the third quarter.  Gray, Butler’s leading rusher on the season, wound up leading the Bulldogs in the win with 87 rushing yards on nine carries.  The senior back has rushed for 1,861 yards in four seasons and stands 11th on Butler’s all-time rushing list, 28 yards behind Kevin McDevitt (1973-76) in the No. 10 spot.
     
Scott Gray has scored 25 touchdowns during his Butler career.

STOP SIGN:  Sophomore linebacker Jordan Ridley paced Butler’s defense at Valparaiso with a team-high eight tackles.  It was the eighth consecutive games that the second-year defender has topped the Bulldogs in tackles.  Ridley, who had four solo tackles and four assists in the Butler road victory, continues to lead the PFL in tackles (11.4).

Jordan Ridley ranks 10th in the NCAA Division I FCS in tackles.

AIR SUPPLY:  Junior quarterback Andrew Huck, who completed 12 of 15 passes for 186 yards and two touchdowns at Valparaiso, has moved into sixth place on Butler’s all-time passing list.  The Butler signal caller has passed for 3,922 yards during his time with the Bulldogs.  He needs 149 passing yards to catch Rob Cutter (1984-87) in the No. 5 spot on Butler’s all-time list.  Huck tossed a 73-yard touchdown pass to senior Eddie McHale and a 12-yard scoring aerial to redshirt-freshman Brendan Shannon in Butler’s victory at Valparaiso.

BOOT CAMP:  Junior David Lang kicked his 10th and 11th field goals of the season at Valparaiso, matching the Butler single season record shared by John Jenkins (1987) and Tim Witmer (1990).  Lang, who has kicked three field goals of 41 yards or more in Butler’s last three games, leads the Bulldogs in scoring with 51 points.
 
David Lang leads the PFL in field goals.

BULLDOG BITS:

•Butler continues to lead the PFL in total defense (303.1) and in pass defense (155.1)  The Bulldogs rank 21st in Division I in total defense and 20th in pass defense.

•Senior defensive tackle Tyler Skaggs scored his first career touchdown with a 12-yard fumble return at Valparaiso.

•Redshirt-freshman Matt Benson, who began his Butler career as a running back, saw his most extensive action at defensive end in Butler’s win at Valparaiso.  He finished with a career-high seven tackles, including one quarterback sack, three total tackles for loss and one forced fumble.

•Sophomore Michael Wilson continues to lead the PFL in punts dropped inside the 20-yard line (14).  Wilson ranks fourth in the league in punting (39.6).

•Freshman Trae Heeter scored his first collegiate touchdown on a 64-yard run at Valparaiso.  Heeter picked up 82 yards on four carries in the game.

•Trae Heeter ranks fourth in the PFL in kickoff returns (21.8).

•Wide receiver Zach Watkins, who had eight catches for 92 yards at Valparaiso, has moved into seventh place on Butler’s all-time list for pass receiving yards.  Watkins has racked up 1,774 yards in 29 career games.  He needs 27 yards to catch Kyle Conner (1,801, 1997-2000) in the No. 6 position.

•Zach Watkins stands second on Butler’s all-time list for receptions with 157 career catches.  Butler’s all-time record of 192 receptions is held by Watkins’ former teammate, Dan Bohrer (2006-09).  Watkins currently ranks third in the PFL in receptions per game (5.7).

•Zach Watkins ranks seventh in the PFL in receiving yards per game (58.6).

•Senior Tadd Dombart ranks sixth in the PFL in punt return average (8.5).  Dombart returned three punts for 49 yards at Valparaiso.

•Senior offensive tackle Mike Staniewicz has started 32 consecutive games and 42 of 43 games during his Butler career.

•Butler senior safety Mark Giacomantonio (knee) and senior captain Donnie Gilmore (knee) continue to be sidelined with injuries.  Gilmore, who had started 37 consecutive games on the offensive line for Butler, was injured in the Taylor game.