COMING HOME: Butler, riding a four-game winning streak, returns from consecutive road games to host Morehead State in a Pioneer Football League game on Saturday, Oct. 25. The game, slated for 1 p.m. (ET) at the Butler Bowl, will be Butler's 2008 Homecoming contest. The Bulldogs (5-1) won their third PFL game in as many tries with a 48-21 decision at Valparaiso. It was Butler's first win on the Crusaders' home field since 2002, and it was Butler's fourth overall road win this season. The last Butler team to win its first four road contests in a season was the 1991 club, which finished with a 9-2 record and a berth in the NCAA Division II playoffs! Butler, boasting its best six-game record since 1992, has only played two home games this season. The Morehead State contest will begin a three-game homestand for the Bulldogs.
Butler is 3-0 in the PFL for the first time in the 16-year history of the league.
TROPHY RETURN: The victory at Valparaiso gave the Bulldogs the Hoosier Helmet Trophy for the second time in the three-year history of the trophy game between the PFL's two Indiana members. Butler won the first trophy game in 2006, before surrendering the helmet last year. The Bulldogs scored twice in the final 1:44 of the first half to break and 21-21 tie and then added two more touchdowns in the second half for the final tally. The 27-point difference was Butler's biggest margin of victory over the Crusaders since 2002.
BREAKING AWAY: Sophomore linebacker Derek Bradford turned in a record-breaking play at Valparaiso and earned Pioneer Football League Defensive Player of the Week recognition. With the Bulldogs hanging on to a 28-21 lead in the closing seconds of the first half, Bradford picked off a Valparaiso pass and returned it 89 yards for a touchdown to end the half. His return broke the Butler record of 85 yards, set by Chuck Orban against Anderson in 1987. It was Bradford's third career interception and his first collegiate touchdown. He became the seventh player in the PFL to return an interception for a score this season. Bradford added a fumble recovery in the game, which led to Butler's sixth touchdown, and he finished with two solo tackles and one assist.
Derek Bradford has the fifth-longest interception return in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision this year.
SIMPLY OFFENSIVE: Butler rolled up over 400 yards in total offense for the fourth time in five games, while defeating Valparaiso. The Bulldogs had 215 yards on the ground and 222 through the air for a final tally of 437 yards. Butler also tallied more than 40 points for the third time in the last four games. The 48 points at Valparaiso were the second-highest total in six seasons for the Bulldogs (trailing the 56 points scored a week earlier at Campbell). Butler currently ranks second in the PFL in scoring offense (35.7).
BUSY AFTERNOON: Sophomore quarterback Matt Kobli continued his prolific season with another big day at Valparaiso. The second-year player completed 21 of 27 passes for 222 yards and four touchdowns, and he added 105 rushing yards and a fifth TD on 11 rushing attempts. Kobli had touchdown passes of three yards to Luke Johnson, 54 yards to Eddie McHale, 22 yards to Jordan Koopman and 17 yards to McHale. His rushing touchdown was for nine yards. He racked up over 300 yards in total offense for the second straight week and for the fourth time in six outings this season. Kobli has completed over 70% of his passes this season.
Matt Kobli ranks 8th in the NCAA Division I FCS in passing efficiency (156.6).
LEAGUE LEADER: Matt Kobli continues to lead the PFL in total offense (286,2 ypg). He ranks second in pass efficiency (156.6), fourth in passing average (225.0 ypg) and fifth in rushing (61.2 ypg).
SCORING RUN: Redshirt freshman Ryan Hitchcock notched his fourth touchdown in two weeks and his sixth in Butler's last four games, during Butler's win at Valparaiso. Hitchcock, who came out of spring practice in a battle for the No. 3 tailback position on the team, scored on a two-yard run in the second quarter to give Butler a 21-14 lead. It was his team-high fifth rushing touchdown of the season. He also has one receiving touchdown, and he shares the team lead in scoring. Hitchcock posted his second-highest rushing total of the season with 72 yards on 13 attempts at Valparaiso.
CENTURY MARK: Sophomore Eddie McHale recorded his first collegiate 100-yard receiving game and the third by the Bulldogs this season with 100 yards on four catches at Valparaiso. He had a career-long 54-yard reception for a touchdown in the first quarter, an he caught a 17-yard scoring pass in the fourth period. Junior Dan Bohrer had Butler's first two 100-yard receiving performances this season.
•Butler's current four-game winning streak is tied for the seventh-longest in the NCAA Division I FCS.
•Senior linebacker Mike Bennett, who missed the Campbell game with an injury, returned to Butler's lineup at Valparaiso and recorded four tackles and one assist. His first tackle at Valparaiso gave him 200 for his Butler career.
•Sophomore center Nick Secrest will be sidelined indefinitely with injury. Secrest had started Butler's first six games this season.
•Juniors Derek Guggenberger and Spencer Summerville shared Butler's lead in tackles at Valparaiso with six apiece. Guggenberger leads the Bulldogs and is tied for seventh in the PFL in tackles (7.3), while Summerville is tied for 12th in the league in stops (6.7).
•Senior Jordan Quiroz connected on six of seven PAT kick attempts at Valparaiso, boosting his career scoring total to 155 points. He's two points shy of Kevin Kimble (1989-92) in 10th place on Butler's all-time scoring list.
•Jordan Quiroz ranks fourth in the PFL in kick scoring with 34 points.
•Quarterback Matt Kobli is the only player in the PFL to own a 100-yard rushing game and a 300-yard passing game this season. He's one of just three PFL players to have more than one 100-yard rushing performance.
•Junior Dan Bohrer stands third in the PFL in receiving yards (79.4 ypg) and receptions (6.2 pg). He had five catches for 52 yards at Valparaiso.
•Freshman Jordan Koopman had a 22-yard scoring catch at Valparaiso for his first collegiate touchdown.
•Redshirt-freshman Grant Hunter ranks third in the PFL in sacks (0.83 pg).
•Sophomore Rob Blevins ranks third in the PFL in punting average (37.8). He's also tied for 11th in tackles among defensive backs.
•Sophomore defensive back Tadd Dombart ranks second in the PFL in punt return average (17.7), and he's tied for fifth in the league in pass interceptions (0.40).
•Sophomore running back Scott Gray, who led the PFL in
scoring last year, has missed Butler's first six games this season