INDIANAPOLIS, IN – The Butler Bulldogs opened the 2017 football season on the road at Illinois State on Saturday, August 2. The Illinois State Redbirds topped Butler, 45-0, at Hancock Stadium as Redbirds senior WR Christian Gibbs caught two touchdowns on five catches for 79 yards.
Illinois State is ranked in the Top 20 nationally in the FCS polls.
The Redbirds held the Bulldogs to just 41 yards of total offense in the game, which set a Hancock Stadium record for fewest total yards allowed to an opponent. The ISU defense also did not allow a yard rushing to Butler, which only picked up three first downs all evening. On the flip side, the ISU offense racked up 519 yards of total offense, with 320 of those yards coming on the ground
After a scoreless opening quarter, sophomore RB James Robinson put the home team on the board seven seconds into the second quarter, getting around the left edge for a nine-yard touchdown run. Junior QB Jake Kolbe found senior WR Christian Gibbs on a 20-yard score with 4:02 remaining in the half.
The Redbirds limited Butler to 39 first-half yards in taking a 17-0 advantage at the break.
Butler redshirt junior QB Will Marty threw for 41 yards and an interception on 8-of-23 throwing. Redshirt sophomore RB Brad Sznajder led the way with 12 yards on 5 attempts as redshirt senior RB Duvante Lane finished with 6 yards on 6 carries.
Senior DB Isaak Newhouse had 14 tackles for the Bulldogs, including 12 of the solo variety. Redshirt senior DL Chad Burdo recovered a fumble as each team committed just one turnover.
Redshirt junior P Evan Giebel had 11 punts for the Bulldogs, averaging 41.8 yards per punt.
Freshman WR Cam Cooper, seeing his first action in a Butler uniform, returned five kick-offs for 91 yards.
The Bulldogs travel to Franklin next weekend before hosting Taylor on Sept. 16 in the 2017 home opener at 6:30 PM ET.
Chris Fultz is a Senior Writer for the Indiana Sports Report and is recognized as an accredited member of the media by Butler Athletics and has full media access. Follow @CafultzISR and the @IndySportsRep on Twitter.