Butler hasn't lost to Highland since 2013 and is looking to put a stamp on their hot start.
EL DORADO —The Butler Grizzlies are riding a wave of momentum that has shot them up the NJCAA Top 20 rankings. They’ll get a tough test in Highland College tonight at BG Products Veterans Sports Complex.
Highland is coming off a shut out of Ellsworth, a 21-0 defensive domination by the Scotties.
Like many of the Kansas State Bill Snyder squads, the Highland Scotties are not going to overwhelm you with talent.
They are going to be sound fundamentally on both sides of the ball and they’re going to capitalize on your mistakes. That’s what they did to Ellsworth. They held them to only 165 yards of total offense and forced three turnovers.
They’re more of a passing team than in year’s past. They’re 14th nationally in passing yards per game (224.0). Compare that to their rushing totals of just 105.5 per game and you can see the stark difference. Don’t mistake that production for their tendencies. They’re quite balanced. They’re running it 51.5 percent of the time.
They’re 1-1 on the season with a 20-16 loss to the surprising Fort Scott Greyhounds. Highland trailed for most of that contest, cutting it to within four with a quarter to go.
It’s unknown who’s going to be the signal caller for the Scotties. They’ve ran two different quarterbacks, with freshman Kenny Mayberry starting the second game.
Their defense is stout and that’s what should be in the back of your mind when thinking about Highland. They’re led by highly recruited Brian George and they’ve forced a slew of turnovers, including three last week.
They’re only giving up 10 points a contest and their 212.5 yards per game ranks them 14th nationally.
In the head-to-head matchups between the two, Butler owns the decisive advantage. Butler leads the series 32-11-1. The Grizzlies own a six-game winning streak over Highland, dating back to 2013 when Highland won 23-21, in El Dorado.
The Scotties are that team in the Jayhawk Conference who aren’t going to really do anything to raise eyebrows. They beat most teams they’re expected to beat and that’s that. They’re not going to wow you with upsets and they hold their place within the conference. Their proximity to Kansas should make them better but it’s still unknown why Highland cannot get the right recruits to turn them into a NJCAA powerhouse as some think they could be.