Butler 2013 FCS Football Playoff Capsule

Butler Bulldogs


Butler will try and follow in the footsteps of the schools highly successful basketball program and make a run in this year’s FCS Playoffs.  The Bulldogs are the automatic qualifier out of the Pioneer Football League.  They finished the year tied for first in the conference with Marist.  Both teams had 7-1 conference records and were awarded the playoff bid via a tiebreaker.  The playoff appearance will be Butler’s first ever appearance in the FCS Playoffs, with their only other postseason appearance being in a 2009 Gridiron Classic game against Northeast Conference Champion Central Connecticut State, who they defeated.

2013 Record: 9-3, 7-1
Coach: Jeff Voris

Big Wins: 11/2 at Dayton (33-30), 11/16 at Morehead State (58-27)
Bad Losses: 8/31 at South Dakota State (14-55), 9/21 Dartmouth (23-30)

This team is led by a high-powered offense and a strong rush defense.  Senior QB Matt Lancaster, the 2012 Pioneer Football League Offensive Player of the Year, leads the offense.  He threw for 2,639 yard this season, with 19 touchdowns and only six interceptions.  Joining him is senior RB Trae Heeter, who had 1,721 all-purpose yards (1,311 rushing and 410 receiving) this year, and senior WR Brendan Shannon, who caught 71 passes for 978 yards and six touchdowns in only 10 games.  Heeter and Shannon were two of five players to catch at least 20 passes and have 200 yards receiving on the season.  There was a lot of room to make plays due to the stellar play of the offensive line.  They only allowed 0.92 sacks per game this season.  The Bulldog defense was solid in the running department, allowing only 115.9 yards on the ground per game.

While the defense does do well against the run, they struggled mightily against the pass.  This season, they allowed 304.3 passing yards per games.  They also struggled getting teams off the field, allowing 248 first downs.  Their ability to create turnovers has bailed them out.  Butler has picked off 15 passes and recovered 15 fumbles.  Senior DB Sean Grady leads the team in interceptions with four, while a trio of juniors, DB David Burke, LB Paul Yanow, and LB Zach Sevidy has two fumble recoveries each.  Special Teams is also a big concern.  The Bulldogs had two punts and four kicks blocked and they were 110th in the country in net punting.

Statistical Leaders:
Rushing: Trae Heeter, RB, 1,311 yards
Passing: Matt Lancaster, QB, 2,639 yards
Receiving: Brendan Shannon, WR, 978 yards
Tackles: David Burke, DB, 67
Sacks: Jeremy Stephens, DL, 4
Interceptions: Sean Grady, DB, 4

2013 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 216.8 (20th in nation, 3rd in conference)
Passing Offense: 257.7 (26, 6)
Total Offense: 474.5 (13, 3)
Scoring Offense: 36.1 (19, 4)
Rushing Defense: 115.9 (17, 3)
Pass Defense: 304.3 (121, 12)
Total Defense: 420.2 (84, 6)
Scoring Defense: 26.5 (67, 6)
Turnover Margin: 0.9 (9, 1)
Sacks: 1.92 (66, 9)
Sacks Allowed: 0.92 (14, 1)

Recent Playoff Appearances:
No Playoff History

*all team stats through 11/16


Playoff Central