What you need to know about the Butler vs. Hutchinson rivalry football game
EL DORADO — To say the defense on Saturday against Independence was inefficient, would be putting it nicely.
Butler gave up over 550 yards of offense and let the Pirates drop a 50-point performance on their home field and a lot of it had to do with not getting the Pirates off the field on third down.
"Until we figured out how to get people off the field," Butler head coach Tim Schaffner said. "I mean it's going to be basketball scores and that's not good for anybody."
The writing was on the wall to start the game when Independence created a highlight of the month on a 3rd-and-30, scoring on the play.
In all, Independence was 6 of 12 on third downs. If you remove the possessions played by reserves, they were 6 of 10 on the night.It doesn't feel like much has changed on Butler's defense since last season, where they ended the year giving up 52 points to Garden City. The Broncbusters were 7 of 13 that night.
It's the first time Butler has allowed back-to-back 50-point games since 1988, when they gave up back-to-back 60-point performances to end the season. That Butler team finished 5-5.
"We just had to figure out a way to stop people," Schaffner said. "This is the same scenario as in the last season."
The offense was rarely in question on Saturday but when your defense can't get off the field, it forces your offense to fight for perfection in a sport where perfection is never reached.
"His team's rallied around him [freshman QB Jake Wolff]," Schaffner said. It was just unfortunate that we couldn't, couldn't stop anybody."
Fixing third-down issues before the game against Hutchinson
Butler will have to figure out something soon as they travel to Hutchinson (0-1) on Saturday for a rare night kickoff at Gowans Stadium. While the defending national champions may have seen their winning streak come to an end, they still have the mental edge over Butler, after they beat them 41-10 at BG Products Veterans Sports Complex last season.
Butler, who went 1-2 on the road last season and are 3-5 in true road games over the last two seasons (spring 2021 and fall 2019) will have to figure out how to win away form El Dorado. They had their hearts broken in a last play loss to Coffeyville and were on the doorstep against Independence.
The Blue Dragons are coming off a 17-10 loss where they turned the ball over numerous times and struggled to convert on their third downs, going 5 of 16 in the loss.
This will be like most rivalry games where you can throw the record books out the window, including the two-game losing streak at Gowans Stadium. Both teams will be hungry and looking to prove they are better than their Week 1 performance.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
What time is the Butler vs. Hutchinson game, and how to watch
Who: Butler (0-1, 0-1 KJCCC) at No. 10 Hutchinson (0-1, 0-1 KJCCC)
When: Saturday, Sept. 11 at 7 p.m.
Where: Gowans Stadium — Hutchinson, Kansas.
Watch: KJCCC Network
Series: Hutchinson leads 49-48-1