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Butler Bulldogs Host Taylor in 2017 Home Opener

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – The Butler Bulldogs, fresh off their first win of the season last week, are set to host the Taylor Trojans (1-0) in what will be the first Butler football game at the Bud and Jackie Sellick Bowl. The game also serves as the team’s 2017 home opener with a 6:30 PM ET kickoff.

Butler holds a 6-0 advantage in the all-time series against Taylor. Five of those wins have come under Head Coach Jeff Voris. The first meeting took place in 1965 with Tony Hinkle manning the Butler sidelines.

The Bulldogs posted a 27-14 win at Taylor a year ago. The Bulldogs held Taylor without a point over the final 27 minutes of the contest. QB Malcolm Weaver had 214 yards passing and another 119 yards on the ground to lead the Butler attack. Seventy of his rushing yards came on a second-quarter rushing touchdown that gave the Bulldogs a 14-0 lead.

Over the final 27 minutes of the contest, Butler’s defense forced five consecutive punts and then a turnover on downs on Taylor’s final drive of the game that began with 2:36 to play. Taylor had just 75 yards rushing in the contest (on 30 carries) compared to Butler’s 240 yards on the ground. The Bulldogs got the win without converting a third down, going 0-for-11. Taylor’s offense was limited almost as much as Butler forced Taylor into only 3-of-13 conversions.

The Bulldogs are 1-1 on the season, coming off a 43-24 victory at Franklin last Saturday night. Butler posted 501 total yards of offense, converting 9-of-17 third-down conversions and all three of its fourth down attempts.

Last time on the field at Franklin, Butler redshirt junior QB Will Marty orchestrated the aerial attack, completing 21 of his 30 attempts. His 313 passing yards were one short of his career-high 314 that he posted in the 2016 game against Marist. He had three touchdowns – connecting with junior WR Pace Temple, redshirt senior TE Cord Collier and redshirt sophomore RB Brad Sznajder. Marty’s 21 completions were spread among eight receivers.

Temple, a preseason All-Pioneer Football League selection, had eight catches for a career-best 156 yards. It was his fourth career 100-yard game. Temple had 978 receiving yards in 2016, which was 24th in FCS.

Photo: Butler Athletics/Bud And Jackie Sellick Bowl

Freshman WR Cam Cooper, who has also seen time returning kicks for the Bulldogs, had the first reception of his Butler career, a 15-yard connection with redshirt sophomore back-up QB Cameron Towns late in the contest. Cooper is averaging 19.8 yards per kick-off return this season.

Redshirt senior RB Duvante Lane led the ground attack at Franklin, posting 117 yards on 26 carries. He had two touchdowns in addition to a single reception of 16 yards. It was Lane’s third career 100-yard rushing game of his career. His career-high of 29 carries and 156 yards came against Valparaiso in 2016. Lane joined Temple as a preseason All-PFL honoree after finding the end zone nine times last season.

Butler’s offense had the ball for 44:21 minutes Saturday at Franklin. The Grizzlies had possession of the ball for only 4:22 of the second half’s 30 minutes.

For the second consecutive game, senior S Isaak Newhouse led the Bulldogs with nine tackles at Franklin. That performance followed a 14-tackle (12 solo) game against Illinois State in the 2017 opener.

Redshirt sophomore DB Luke Sennett grabbed the first interception of his Butler career in the win over Franklin.

Redshirt senior DL Josh Willis had 1.5 sacks, including combining efforts with redshirt senior DL Chad Burdo on a nine-yard sack that resulted in a safety on Franklin’s first possession of the game.

Voris, in his 12th season on the Butler sidelines, enters Saturday’s contest with a 65-61 mark at Butler.

Butler was picked to finish seventh in the Pioneer Football League preseason poll. The conference’s 11 head coaches voted in the poll and were not allowed to vote for their own team. The University of San Diego was picked as the preseason favorite.

Butler opens PFL play next weekend, traveling to San Diego (Saturday, Sept. 23).

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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