The Marist Red Foxes looked to rebound from their loss to Dayton at Tenney Stadium last weekend, but instead, it was more of the same, as they lost 31-10 to the Butler Bulldogs in Indianapolis.
The Marist first-team offense got shut out last week (the only score came by way of backups) so it was interesting to see how they would fare against a Butler defense who shut out the very Dayton team that Marist played last week.
It looked to be a promising start for the Red Foxes, as they marched down 70 yards after a fourth down stop by graduate student safety Teddy Wright. The nearly six-minute drive ended with a six-yard touchdown pass from true sophomore quarterback Brock Bagozzi to redshirt sophomore running back Amin Woods.
That was a great start for a youthful Red Fox offense – however, that was the only touchdown that they would score in this game.
This inconsistency on offense is what has plagued their season to this point. Their first few weeks against nonconference opponents were awful, but to be expected with much greater talent. Then, at the beginning of PFL play, they had an uptick in offensive performance, as was noted in Center Field’s fall sports midseason roundtable. But in their past two games, they have regressed.
Even though this was the case, the Red Foxes were in this game for much of the contest, despite what the final score reads.
After their touchdown, the Red Foxes gave up 10 unanswered points from the Bulldogs in the second quarter. These were two drives where Butler showcased their dominance in the rushing game, led by redshirt sophomore running back Joey Sucha, who gave the Bulldogs a 10-7 lead after a 12-yard touchdown run.
Sucha had his fingerprints all over key moments in this game, accumulating 104 total yards and three total touchdowns during the contest.
It wasn’t just Sucha either for Butler – they were methodically running down the Red Foxes’ throats throughout. The Bulldogs rushed for 222 yards, and to put that into perspective, the Red Foxes only accounted for 69 total rushing yards.
Marist would tie the game at 10 to end the first half after a 31-yard Luke Paladino field goal, but the visitors wouldn’t score any more than this.
The Red Fox defense hung in and kept Marist in the game for the entirety of the third quarter, but after a 55-yard completion from Butler redshirt junior quarterback Bret Bushka to redshirt junior tight end Jared Suchevits, it all fell apart.
From that point on, the Bulldogs went on to score 21 unanswered points over the next 10 minutes of game time, putting the finishing touches on a Marist team who are now looking for some self-confidence on offense once again.
Bagozzi finished with over 200 yards passing once again, which is good, but Marist needs the full compliment from both their passing and running games to succeed. Sixty-nine total rushing yards isn’t going to cut it, and that will be a talking point for head coach Jim Parady this week.
With the loss, Marist falls to 2-5 overall and 2-3 in the PFL, dropping from fourth to seventh in the PFL standings. Marist will come back home on Oct. 29 for their matchup against Presbyterian, who is the worst team record-wise in the PFL with a 1-7 overall record and 0-5 conference record. If there was ever a game to bounce back, it would be this one.
That game takes place during Marist Homecoming Weekend, so expect a larger crowd. Kick-off is scheduled for noon.
Edited by Jonathan Kinane
Photo from Kira Crutcher