Butler Heads West To Face San Diego
DISTANT SHORES: Butler will begin a season-ending two-game road stretch with its longest trip of the year when it visits San Diego on Saturday, Nov. 15. The Bulldogs will make the 2,100-mile trip to the west coast for a 6 p.m. (PT, 9 p.m. in Indianapolis) Pioneer Football League game against the Torerors at Torero Stadium. Butler (6-3, 4-2 PFL), coming off a 28-21 overtime loss at home to Dayton, has dropped back-to-back games for the first time this season and trails San Diego (7-2, 5-2 PFL) by one-half game in the PFL standings. Both teams are chasing league-leading Dayton (6-0) and second place Jacksonville (5-1), the two teams that handed the Bulldogs setbacks in the past two weeks. San Diego has just one loss in its last 29 home games, a 30-22 decision to Dayton on Nov. 1. The Bulldogs have dropped their last three visits to Torero Stadium.
Butler is 4-0 on the road this season.
EXTRA PLAY: Jeff Pechan's touchdown pass in overtime and a strong defensive stand by the visiting Flyers lifted Dayton to a victory over Butler in the Bulldogs' final 2008 home game. The Bulldogs erased a 21-7 deficit in the fourth quarter and sent the game into overtime on a six-yard touchdown run by Dionte Wiggins that tied the game at 21-21 with 0:42 left in regulation play. Dayton scored on it first possession of overtime when Pechan found Justin Millio from 15 yards out. The Flyers then sacked Butler quarterback Matt Kobli on the Bulldogs' first overtime play, and Butler was unable to recover on its final three plays. The loss dropped Butler two games behind the league-leading Flyers.
QB HUNTER: Redshirt-freshman Grant Hunter spent considerable time prowling the Dayton backfield, and the Butler defensive end wound up recording a career-high four quarterback sacks and a career-best eight total tackles. His effort earned him Pioneer Football League Defensive Player of the Week recognition. Hunter's four quarterback sacks resulted in a loss of 36 yards for the Flyers. Two of his sacks came on third down and one denied Dayton a possible field goal opportunity. Hunter, who had six solo tackles in the game, also recorded a forced fumble and a fumble recovery that led to Butler's first third-quarter touchdown. His four quarterback sacks were the most by a player in the PFL this season.
Grant Hunter leads the PFL in quarterback sacks with 13.
AIR SHOW: Sophomore quarterback Matt Kobli passed for just 70 yards in the first half against Dayton, but still wound up with the second-highest passing total of his young career. Kobli, who completed 24 of 39 passes (with two interceptions) in the game, threw for 227 yards after intermission and came up just thee yards shy of his second career 300-yard passing performance. He had a career-long, 63-yard pass to freshman Zach Watkins in the second half, and he tossed a pair of five-yard touchdown passes to junior Dan Bohrer in the game. The 297 passing yards boosted his season passing total to 2,055 yards, the sixth-best single season total in Butler football history!
Matt Kobli became the seventh Butler quarterback to pass for over 2,000 yards in a season.
CATCH THIS: Butler recorded its fourth and fifth 100-yard receiving performances of the season in the home finale against Dayton. Junior Dan Bohrer had nine receptions in the game for 139 yards, while freshman Zach Watkins caught five passes for 100 yards. It was the third 100-yard receiving performance of the season for Bohrer, who ranks second in the PFL in both receptions per game (6.1) and receiving yards per game (80.1). Watkins, who had a career-long 63-yard reception in the game, recorded his first career 100-yard performance. The last time Butler had two players post a 100-yard receiving performance in the same game was in 1999, when Kyle Derickson (109) and Nathan Hazelwood (105) turned the trick against Valparaiso.
Dan Bohrer is second in the PFL to John Matthews of San Diego (7) in number of 100-yard receiving performances.
TACKLE CHART: Linebacker Derek Guggenberger had a busy afternoon against Dayton and wound up with a game-high 12 tackles. The Butler junior finished with five solo tackles and seven assists, and he added a fumble recovery which stopped a Dayton scoring drive at the Butler 10-yard line just before halftime. The 12 tackles matched Guggenberger's career-high, set earlier this season against Drake. Guggenberger has moved into a tie for sixth in the PFL in tackles with 69.
RETURN ADDRESS: Sophomore Tadd Dombart appeared to have his second punt return for a touchdown in three games when he sprinted to the end zone from 55 yards out in the fourth quarter against Dayton. But the play was nullified by off-setting penalties. Dombart still wound up with five punt returns for 22 yards in the game, and he took over the PFL lead in punt return average (16.9). The Butler defensive back has returned 12 punts for 203 yards this season, and he had a 75-yard return for a touchdown in Butler's home win over Morehead State.
•Butler's game with Dayton was the Bulldogs' fifth overtime contest all-time. The Bulldogs are 2-3 in extra session games.
•The Bulldogs averaged 2,858 fans for five home games this season, which was a 31% increase over last year's average attendance. The 14,289 fans this season represents a five-year high for the Bulldogs.
•Sophomore running back Scott Gray made his first appearance for the Bulldogs this season in the Dayton game. Gray, who missed Butler's first eight games with a foot injury, led the PFL in scoring and topped the Bulldogs in rushing a year ago.
•Quarterback Matt Kobli continues to lead the PFL in total offense (274.8 ypg). He's third in the league in passing efficiency (142.3), fourth in passing average (228.3) and seventh in rushing (46.4).
•Matt Kobli ranks 12th in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision in total offense (274.8 ypg). Kobli is the only player in the PFL to boast both a 300-yard passing game and a 100-yard rushing performance this season.
•Senior Jordan Quiroz is tied for fourth in the PFL in kick scoring (5.0). He has 36 successful PAT kicks this season, four shy of the Butler school record set by Mario Neto Brocchi in 2000.
•Jordan Quiroz stands seventh on Butler's all-time scoring list with 166 career points, six points shy of Kevin McDevitt (1973-76) in sixth place.
•Wide receiver Dan Bohrer has moved into third place on Butler's all-time list for pass receptions (125), and he's climbed into ninth place on Butler's all-time list for pass receiving yards (1,538).
•Dan Bohrer stands third on Butler's single season list for pass receptions with 56. He's seven shy of Kyle Connor (2000) in the No. 2 spot and 17 away from the school record set by Tom Redmond in 1972.
•Dan Bohrer has taken over ninth place on Butler's single season list for receiving yards with 739. He's eight yards behind John Barron (1987) in eighth place, 17 behind Jim Hoskins (1984) in seventh place and 21 yards away from Adam Lafferty (2001) in sixth place.
•Defensive end Grant Hunter leads
the PFL in tackles for loss (17).