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Butler Bulldogs Drop Season Opener Against Indiana State

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – The Butler Bulldogs, looking to open the 2016 season with a win, came up short on Saturday, September 3rd, on the road against the Indiana State Sycamores. Four Butler turnovers led to the final score of 41-25. Indiana State got 315 yards through the air and three total touchdowns from quarterback Isaac Harker.

Butler redshirt senior QB Malcolm Weaver passed for 202 yards on 18-of-30 attempts, one interception and two fumbles lost. Sophomore WR Pace Temple led the way for the Bulldogs with 94 receiving yards and eight receptions. Redshirt sophomore RB Anthony Scaccia had 77 yards on 13 carries for an average of 5.9 yards on the ground and two touchdowns for Butler.

Midway through the first quarter, after the teams had traded punts, a 16-yard connection to Temple on fourth down put the Bulldogs in the red zone. Butler drove the ball all the way to the Indiana State 1-yard line. On second down, Weaver attempted a quarterback keeper. Indiana State stripped the ball and Tsali Lough returned the fumble 100 yards for a big swing in momentum and a 7-0 Sycamores lead.

Photo: Butler Athletics/Butler Bulldogs Football
Photo: Butler Athletics/Butler Bulldogs Football

On the afternoon, the Sycamores converted four Butler turnovers into 21 points, and that was the deciding factor. Butler won the battle in time of possession (33:42), rushing yards (145-124), and first downs (24-21). The Bulldogs limited ISU to 3-of-13 on third downs.

An interception started an ISU drive and led to a Harker one-yard touchdown rush and a 14-0 lead late in the first quarter. The Bulldogs pulled within 17-6 at the half, as redshirt junior RB Duvante Lane finished off a seven-play, 72-yard drive with a four-yard touchdown run. Lane finished the day with 39 yards.

A 21-point third quarter by the Sycamores opened up the contest. Redshirt freshman RB Tim Vestuto had a one-yard touchdown run as time expired for the final margin.

Senior LB David Starkey had 12 tackles, including seven solo, to lead the Butler defensive effort. He had a sack and forced two fumbles. Junior LB Connor Andras recovered one of those early in the third quarter but the ensuing Butler drive was halted on fourth and one. Redshirt senior LB Sean Horan added nine tackles.

Butler opens the home portion of its 2016 schedule Saturday night (Sept. 10) at the Butler Bowl, hosting Franklin at 6:30 p.m. Youth wearing their football jersey will be admitted free. Kids can enjoy face painting and games, as well as the opportunity to participate in the pre-game tunnel on the field.

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.

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