Butler returns to the Sellick Bowl this Saturday for a PFL Bulldog battle with the Drake Bulldogs. Butler dropped their first PFL game to San Diego 37-17 last week. Butler has won the past 4 of 5 games against Drake. Here’s a preview of the matchup.
Scouting the Bulldogs (Drake)
Drake holds the all-time record 17-8-1, winning last year’s matchup 28-14. The Bulldogs come in with the same record as Butler at 2-2, winning their first PFL game against Valparaiso 38-13 last week.
The offense is led by senior quarterback Grant Kraemer. Kraemer has already passed for over 1,000 yards on the season with 9 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. His best game came last week where he went 28-42 with 445 passing yards and 2 touchdowns.
The receiving group is young, led by true sophomore Mitch McFarlane who has racked up 17 receptions on the season for 303 yards and 3 touchdowns. Juniors Devin Cates and Steven Doran have also contributed with a pair of touchdowns themselves.
Drake is quite obviously a pass first team. With only 386 total rushing yards on the season, they shuffle through a few running backs that clean up the small yardage plays. They have 5 rushing touchdowns on the season shared by many different players.
Defensively, the man highlighted is fifth year senior lineman Mack Marrin. Marrin missed a lot of 2016 with injury but has come back to lead the team with 2.5 sacks and 10 tackles.
Looking at Butler
Pace Temple had another impressive showing in the PFL opener against San Diego. The junior caught 2 touchdown passes with 155 yards (1 yard shy of tying career best) on 8 catches. Temple is averaging 92.3 yards per game which is 20th nationally in FCS.
Luke Sennett was able to pick off San Diego for his team leading 2nd interception of the season. Isaak Newhouse was also a factor on defense with 11 total tackles last week, leading the team.
These two teams match up well. Both teams got blown out by nationally ranked FCS opponents, and Butler put up a pretty strong fight against San Diego until the 4th quarter. Home field advantage will play a huge factor as I see Butler taking the victory here in an upset.
Butler 20 Drake 17
(I was off by one point in last week’s prediction, this one has to be spot on)
The game will be streamed on the Butler Bulldogs Facebook live stream at 1 PM.