Week 4: Preview vs. San Diego

Photo by Jimmy Lafakis (@JJLII30)

Last week was fun, wasn’t it?

The Bulldogs won their 7th straight game against Taylor by a Will Marty quarterback sneak from the 1 yard line with 7 seconds left.

Now, PFL play starts and the first opponent for the Bulldogs is no easy game. San Diego, the preseason PFL favorite, comes in with a 1-2 record, with losses to UC Davis and Princeton. The Toreros have dominated the series, beating Butler 17 times out of 23 meetings, and winning the past 5 games in a row. Last year was a 44-10 route at the Sellick Bowl. 5th year Head Coach Dale Lindsey comes into this home game with a 23-2 home record, and has yet to drop a PFL home game, going 16-0.

Scouting the Toreros

The San Diego offense is led by third year starting quarterback Anthony Lawrence. Lawrence was named to the preseason FCS Walter Payton Award watch list and was a member of the preseason All-PFL team, after gathering first team honors last season. Lawrence had a 67.6 percent completion rating last year, throwing for 2,998 yards and 25 touchdowns. In the loss versus Princeton, Lawrence threw for 293 yards and 1 touchdown, going 27-42.

Lawrence’s favorite target this year seems to be Justin Priest. Priest had a career best 11 receptions for 142 yards and a touchdown in the game against Princeton. Priest is very experienced as begins his 4th year starting this season.

San Diego had a major rushing threat with senior Jonah Hodges last season, rushing for 128 yards on 16 carries for 2 scores in last year’s game against Butler. Now, freshman Emilio Martinez steps in as the likely leading rusher this year. He rushed for 43 yards on 13 carries against Princeton last week, and had 96 yards on 17 carries and a touchdown in the season opener against Western New Mexico.

Redshirt senior Ross Dwelley will also be a target to watch out for at tight end. He too was named to the preseason All-PFL team after leading the team last year with 70 receptions for 843 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Defensively, Butler will want to watch out for linebacker Kim Mahoney, who led the team in tackles last week. The Toreros had 2 defensive players added to the preseason All-PFL team, Senior defensive end Jonathan Petersen and senior safety Ray Clark. Clark had an interception last season with 42 tackles. Petersen has 25.5 sacks in his career, only 10 behind Eric Bakhtiari, who is the all- time team leader.

Looking at Butler

Quarterback Will Marty comes in to this game after going 32-48 for 253 yards and 1 passing touchdown as well as a rushing touchdown in the game vs. Taylor. Marty threw a dime to wide receiver James Marbaugh and had the 1 yard sneak to seal the victory with 10 seconds left.

Duvante Lane showed some struggles against Taylor, only going for 57 yards on 14 carries. He was actually taken out for Anthony Scaccia for some drives, who ended up with 28 rushing yards but 40 receiving yards on just 6 receptions.

Ethan Brunhofer led the Bulldogs with 8 tackles in the game against Taylor. Butler was not able to rack up any sacks in the game but held Taylor to just 21 points.

Predictions

This game is going to be tough. San Diego is the closest team to Illinois State that the Bulldogs have seen since week 1, and they gave up 45 points in that game. As big of a Bulldog fan that I am, I can’t see the defense holding San Diego under 35 points.

San Diego 38, Butler 17

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About Samuel Weiderhaft 13 Articles
Butler Sports Media student '20