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2009 Gridiron Classic Preview
Butler will host Northeast Conference champion Central Connecticut in the fourth Gridiron Classic, Dec. 5. The Blue Devils won their third NEC title while posting a school-record tying nine victories in the regular season. It is CCSU’s first postseason appearance as a Division I FCS program. The PFL holds a 2-1 advantage all-time in the Gridiron Classic. However, the NEC won last season’s contest as Albany defeated Jacksonville, 28-0, in Albany.
Butler enters the postseason as the PFL’s top-ranked offensive team – and 22nd nationally – averaging 392.0 yards per game. The Bulldogs also are a steady defensive team, ranking 21st nationally in total defense, allowing just 293.7 yards per game. Butler was held to 14 or fewer points just twice during the regularseason, splitting those two contests.
Sophomore quarterback Andrew Huck made a splash in his first season as the Bulldogs signal caller. He finished the season ranked second among PFL players in total offense (245.3 ypg) and third in pass efficiency rating (130.33). Huck has passed for 2,272 yards and 21 touchdowns this season while rushing for another 481 yards and eight touchdowns. Senior defensive back Spencer Summerville leads the Butler defense with 57 tackles (5.7 pg) while earning first-team All-PFL recognition.
Butler head coach Jeff Voris, the 2009 PFL Coach of the Year, is in his fourth season at Butler and has compiled a 23-21 record at Butler, including a 13-17 record in PFL play.
Central Connecticut led the Northeast Conference in total offense, ranking 24th nationally with 388.0 yards per game. The Blue Devils ground attack ranked seventh nationally averaging an impressive 218.4 yards per game. CCSU’s defense also ranked 23rd nationally, surrendering 298.1 yards per game. Central Connecticut also was held to 14 or fewer points twice during the regular-season, splitting those two contests.
Senior running back James Mallory, the NEC Offensive Player of the Year, leads CCSU’s offense, averaging 113.0 yard per game on the ground. In his four-year career, he has compiled 3,136 yards and 33 touchdowns on the ground. Defensively, junior linebacker Jeff Marino leads the team with 7.7 tackles per game and ranks among the FCS’ top 100 in tackles.
The Blue Devils are coached by Jeff McInerney, the 2009 NEC Coach of the Year who also is in his fourth season and has compiled a 30-14 record, including a 19-9 mark in NEC action.
2009 Gridiron Classic
Saturday, December 5
Central Connecticut (9-2) at Butler (10-1)…… Noon
Location: Indianapolis, Ind. (Butler Bowl)
Series: First Meeting
All Times Eastern.
Gridiron Classic History
Entering its fourth season, the Gridiron Classic matches the champions of the Pioneer Football League and Northeast Conference in an exempted postseason football contest. The inaugural Gridiron Classic took place Dec. 2, 2006 with PFL Champion San Diego traveling to NEC Champion Monmouth, San Diego posting a 27-7 victory in front of a national television audience.
2006 San Diego def. Monmouth, 27-7
2007 Dayton def. Albany, 42-21
2008 Albany def. Jacksonville, 28-0
2009 Central Connecticut at Butler
By Pioneer Football League Sports Information