The Bulldogs make a short trip to in-state rival Franklin College on Saturday to try and bounce back after suffering a 45-0 loss in the first week to Illinois State. Here are some things to watch.
Butler has a stellar history against Franklin as they head to Faught Stadium for the first time since 2013, leading the series 40-16-2. Butler won last year’s game at the Sellick Bowl 59-14 as Duvante Lane rushed for 3 touchdowns. This will be only the 4th night game at Faught Stadium (Franklin).
Playing up to the competition
Last week Franklin put up a solid game on the road against #19 Thomas Moore, only losing 47-37. Senior quarterback for the Grizzlies Chase Burton put up outstanding numbers, throwing for 315 yards and 5 touchdowns, with just 1 interception. A very impressive game for the senior who threw for 42 touchdowns last year.
Chase Burton was named the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) Player of the Week for the 8th time in his career. He has been offense MVP for the conference twice before.
The receivers are led by senior Deontez Alexander, who had 64 receptions last year and a team leading 996 yards and 15 touchdowns. Alexander caught 3 touchdown passes in last week’s game. Lee and Tanner Wroblewski team up as partners in crime on the offensive side as well, as Lee caught 10 touchdowns last season and Tanner caught 5. Tanner caught the other 2 touchdowns during the matchup last week.
The backfield will feature many different running backs for the Grizzlies, with senior Jordan Brown returning with the most experience rushing for 3 touchdowns last year and 168 yards. Jacob Earl with be another name to watch as he comes in for his sophomore season, rushing for 37 yards on 5 carries in week 1.
The defense certainly struggled in the week 1 loss to #19 Thomas Moore, giving up 47 points. Franklin is only returning 5 starters on defense, so many players are just seeing their first starts in these first few weeks.
Senior lineman Grant Bryan had All-HCAC honors last year, and started off the season with a sack last week. Indianapolis native Nathan Adams will also be a threat on the line, leading the team in sacks 2 years ago with 3.5. Adams had 4 tackles in week 1.
Senior Jarod Wesley will lead the linebackers as he was the team leader in tackles a year ago with 34. Senior Jay McClain will join him as he had 3 tackles in the first game.
In the defensive backfield, senior Ryan Conner will be the only starter returning, as he was awarded with All-HCAC honors the past 2 years. Conner had 7 total tackles in the first week and looks to improve on that this week.
Butler came out firing a year ago and won in a route. That was a team under Malcolm Weaver and a completely different look defense. Last week will be extremely hard to bounce back from, as the offense only had 41 total yards and exactly 0 rushing yards. I’ll be looking for another big performance for Duvante Lane, who lit up the Grizzlies defense a year ago. Will Marty will need to be consistent and get the ball in the hands of his many receivers as well. Also watch out for Sam Schrader, who was able to get a few rushes last week.
The defense was no better last week, giving up 519 yards. The defensive backfield is going to have to be on their toes as Chase Burton is no quarterback to mess around with. Watch for Isaak Newhouse to have a big game for the Bulldogs. The defensive line, led by redshirt senior Josh Willis will need to put constant pressure on Burton to contain the passing game and stop the inside runs.
Butler 38 Franklin 24
Kickoff will be at 6 PM from Franklin College.