October 12, 2011

Bulldogs Host Valparaiso In Hoosier Helmet Game

HOME STRETCH:  Butler will begin a three-game homestand when it hosts Valparaiso in the annual “Hoosier Helmet Trophy” game on Saturday, Oct. 15.  The 1 p.m. (ET) contest at the Butler Bowl also will be Butler’s annual Breast Cancer Awareness game.  Both teams are looking to rebound from a Pioneer Football League setback.  The Bulldogs, playing on the road for the fourth time in five weeks, fell at Campbell, 38-23, while Valparaiso (0-5, 0-2 PFL) lost a home contest against San Diego, 55-14.  The loss at Campbell dropped the Bulldogs to 3-3 on the year and 1-2 in PFL play.  For this weekend’s game, Butler’s players will wear pink tape or gloves to bring attention to the battle against breast cancer.  Pink and blue pom-poms and buttons with the slogan “Real Dawgs Wear Pink” will be distributed at the game, and the student group Bulldogs Against Breast Cancer will be on hand with information and a pink hair feather station.  Butler will spend the next month at home, with upcoming games against Marist (Oct. 22) and Davidson (Nov. 5) and a bye week (Oct. 29).    

Butler is 29-10 against Valparaiso in the Butler Bowl.

HOOSIER HELMET:  The Hoosier Helmet Trophy was added to the long-standing Butler-Valparaiso football series in 2006.  The white helmet on a wooden base features a Valparaiso logo on one side and a Butler logo on the other side.  It is presented to the winner of the annual contest after the game.  The Bulldogs have captured the helmet in four of the previous five trophy games, including the last three.

LAST WEEK:  Host Campbell rushed for 247 yards and three touchdowns and handed the Bulldogs a 15-point setback at Barker-Lane Stadium in North Carolina.  The Camels, behind a punishing ground attack, scored four touchdowns in the second half and stretched a 10-9 halftime lead to 38-16 in the final period.  Campbell had a 21:56-8:04 advantage in possession time over the final 30 minutes of the contest.  Butler drove inside the Campbell five-yard line on two of its first three possessions in the game, but only managed six points on the two drives.           

PFL HONOR:  Linebacker Jordan Ridley was named Pioneer Football League Co-Defensive Player of the Week for his performance against Campbell.  The Butler junior recorded a career-high 19 tackles in the game, including a career-best 14 assists.  He had one quarterback sack, one-and-a-half tackles for loss and one forced fumble against the Camels.  The 19 total tackles were the most by a PFL player this season and the fifth-highest total in the NCAA Division I FCS in 2011.  Ridley’s 14 assists were the most by a Butler player since 1997, when defensive back Joe Miles recorded 16 assists against Dayton.   

Jordan Ridley leads the PFL in tackles (12.0/game).   

PASSING ZONE:  Senior Andrew Huck moved into second place on Butler’s all-time passing list after a career day at Campbell.  The Butler quarterback completed a career-high 34 passes for a career-best 381 yards and two touchdowns against the Camels.  The 381 yards were the fourth-most in Butler football history and topped his previous career-high of 327 yards, set against Albion in his first collegiate start in 2009.  Huck, who boosted his career passing total to 6,020 yards, became just the second quarterback in Butler history to pass for more than 6,000 career yards.  He moved ahead of Bill Lynch (1972-76) in second place on Butler’s list for career passing yards.  Butler’s all-time passing record is 8,094 yards, set by DeWayne Ewing (1998-2001).

Andrew Huck has thrown 46 career touchdown passes.  

FOOT WORK:  Senior David Lang kicked three field goals for the second straight game and scored 11 of Butler’s 23 points against Campbell.  He hit field goals of 19 yards and 22 yards, to give the Bulldogs an early 6-0 lead, and then closed the first half with a 35-yard field goal to cut Campbell’s halftime margin to 10-9.  It was the fourth time in his career that the placekicker from Lowell converted three field goals in a game.  Lang boosted his career total for field goals to 31, just three shy of the Butler career record set by John Jenkins (1985-88).

David Lang scored 12 points in Butler’s victory over Valparaiso last year.

LEAD ‘DOG:  Senior Zach Watkins added to his Butler record receiving totals with eight catches for a season-high 155 yards and a touchdown at Campbell.  He raised his career totals to 221 receptions for 2,518 yards.  The wide receiver from Chicago currently leads the PFL and ranks seventh in the NCAA FCS in receptions per game (7.83), and he stands second in the league and 12th in the nation in receiving yards per game (94.67).  The 155 yards against Campbell were the second-highest single game total of his career (he had 183 yards against Albion in 2009), and his sixth 100-yard receiving performance.

BULLDOG BITS:

•Quarterback Andrew Huck ranks second in the PFL in total offense (305.8).  He stands second on the league’s list of active career leaders with 7,023 total offense yards.  Huck ranks eighth in the NCAA FCS in total offense.

•Senior Jordan Koopman missed the Campbell game with injury.  Koopman ranks third in the PFL in receptions (6.4) and fifth in the league in receiving yards (71.4).  He’s expected to be available for this weekend’s game against Valparaiso.

•Jordan Koopman ranks second in the PFL and tenth in the NCAA Division I FCS in punt return average (15.57).

•Running back Trae Heeter, who ranks third in the PFL in rushing (82.7), was injured in the first quarter of the game at Campbell, and he sat out the rest of the contest.  He’s questionable for this weekend’s game.  Heeter scored his first collegiate touchdown on a 64-yard run at Valparaiso last year.

•Linebacker Jordan Ridley ranks fifth in the NCAA FCS in tackles per game.

•Jordan Ridley has had 10 or more tackles in four of six games this season and in 13 games during his Butler career.

•Sophomore wide receiver Brendan Shannon (right) had a career-high 10 receptions for 87 yards at Campbell.  He also returned six punts for 87 yards, giving him 174 all-purpose yards on the afternoon.

•Brendan Shannon had a 12-yard touchdown reception against Valparaiso last year.

•Senior defensive back Andy Dauch had a career-high 10 tackles and one forced fumble at Campbell.

•Linebacker Paul Yanow had a career-high eight tackles at Campbell.  Defensive tackle Jeremy Stephens also had a career-high eight stops in the game.

•Senior placekicker David Lang is the PFL’s active leader in career field goals (31).  

•David Lang leads the PFL and ranks eighth in the NCAA FCS in field goals/game (1.67) this season.  He stands second in the league in kick scoring (7.7) and fourth in the circuit in overall scoring.

•Senior offensive lineman Pete Mattingly has started 34 consecutive games for the Bulldogs.