Drake and Butler have a special kind of rivalry. Both teams claim the bulldog as their mascots.
The two teams have faced off 20 times in Drake football history. Drake has a slight edge over Butler and has won six of the past eight matchups.
Out of the last four games, the team with home field advantage has won, which bodes well for Butler, which hosts this Saturday’s game at 11 a.m. Drake’s last road win against Butler was in 2006. The Drake Bulldogs are traveling to Indianapolis this weekend and are hoping to open the conference season with a win.
Drake has managed to win both of its past two games. Drake finished its 2010 season against Butler with a win at home.
“We finished with Butler here last year in a close game,” head coach Chris Creighton said. “Butler’s a good football team, there’s no question, and we have not beaten them at their place in my tenure here. We’ve played there twice and lost both of them, both really tight games, and one for a championship. This is a huge, huge week for us and I think the guys are probably pretty excited.”
This week is the Pioneer Football League opener for both teams, and both are entering conference play with a record of 2-1.
“Every conference game will be a rivalry game; you can’t take one off,” fifth-year senior running back Patrick Cashmore said. “But Butler’s been very good these past years, and they’ve kind of had our number at home, so we kind of want to come out with a chip on our shoulder, some passion, some emotion. Going into their place, we want to leave with a ‘W’ and a loss won’t be acceptable.”
The Drake Bulldogs are gearing up for a hard week of practice and are correcting their mistakes in the last three games. Drake knows that Butler will bring its ‘A’ game, but Drake is going to be prepared for the dog fight.
“I think our first three games, we’ve just been getting better every game,” senior linebacker Tyler Moorehead said. “After each one I think (we improve)…I think we’re getting there. We obviously need work, but I think we are a force.
“Butler’s always a huge game for us,” Moorehead added. “There’s a little rivalry for us. In practice we’ll just have to really focus and get our fits every single down and have no mental errors. It’s a huge week for us coming up, so we have a lot to look forward to and work for.”
Moorehead had a total of nine tackles and one sack in Drake’s 27-23 win over Missouri S&T last Saturday at Drake Stadium.
Senior quarterback Mike Piatkowski looks to move up into third on the career passing yards list in Drake football history. He only needs 43 passing yards to edge out Gary Yakelski, who had a total of 4,795 career passing yards in 1979-82.
The Bulldog who holds first place on that list is Ira Vandever at 7,868 passing yards. He achieved this during his Bulldog career from 1999 to 2002.
The Drake coaches will wear “Coach to Cure MD” patches at the Butler game to raise awareness and funding for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy research.