Ferris State Football Hosts Walsh In First-Ever Matchup
COMPLETE GAME NOTES (PDF Version)
* This Week: The Ferris State University football team will try to get back in the win column this Saturday (Sept. 22) evening as the Bulldogs host Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) newcomer Walsh University. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. (ET) under the lights in Big Rapids at Top Taggart Field.
* Ticket Information: Tickets for the contest are currently on sale and can be obtained by contacting the FSU Athletics Ticket Office at (231) 591-2888. They can also be bought online at www.startickets.com. The FSU Athletics Ticket Office is located inside the Ewigleben Sports Complex and is open Monday thru Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (ET). Fans can save $2 per ticket by purchasing in advance.
* Ticket Prices: Tickets in advance are only $7 adults or $5 students (age 3 to 12th grade), senior citizens (ages 65+) and FSU faculty/staff. Prices go up to $9 for adults and $7 for students ages 3 to 12th grade, senior citizens and faculty/staff on gameday. Ferris students with ID will be admitted free by showing their student identification cards.
* Media Coverage: Saturday's game will be carried live locally by the Bulldog Sports Network and Sunny 97.3 FM with Rob Bentley handling the play-by-play duties and Sandy Gholston offering color commentary. The contest will also be streamed with free live audio online at FerrisStateBulldogs.com. FSU will offer live statistics along with a pap-per-view video stream. Links for all media coverage will be posted on FSU's official athletics website.
* Follow On Twitter: In addition to radio and internet coverage, Bulldog fans can also follow Saturday's contest and all other FSU games this year with live scoring updates on several social media platforms. Visit www.twitter.com/FerrisFootball to follow the tweet-by-tweet coverage with periodic scoring updates or www.facebook.com/FerrisFootball.
* Paint Big Rapids Pink Kickoff: Ferris State will help "Paint Big Rapids Pink" by kicking off the annual month-long community event that benefits the Susan P. Wheatlake Women's Cancer and Wellness Fund and recognizes Breast Health Awareness Month. Bulldog Volleyball starts the action with a Diggin' on Pink match against another league newcomer in Malone at 3 p.m. (ET). Football tailgating begins at 4 p.m. (ET) and a pregame tailgate show featuring "Your Mom" in concert is set for 5:45 p.m. (ET). Cancer survivors can receive admission to both events and should contact Tom Hogenson at (231) 592-4409 to receive tickets. Halftime activities on Saturday evening will include a "Stiletto Sprint" in addition to other events.
* The Records: Ferris State is currently 2-1 overall this season. FSU posted a 35-24 season-opening win over St. Francis (Ill.) on Aug. 30 prior to a convincing 49-21 victory in the GLIAC opener at Lake Erie (Sept. 8). FSU fell to nationally-ranked Ashland 47-32 last week in its home opener (Sept. 15). Ferris State posted a 6-5 overall mark a season ago and was 5-5 in GLIAC play under former head coach Jeff Pierce.
Walsh is currently 1-2 overall and still searching for its first GLIAC win with an 0-2 conference slate to date. The lone win came over Kentucky Wesleyan by a 40-10 count on the road in the season opener (Aug. 30).
* The Coaches: Ferris State – Tony Annese (Alma, 1993), 1st season, 2-1-0 (.667) – (0-0-0 vs. WU). Annese recorded a 195-41 (.826) mark as a head coach in four stops at the high school level before totaling a 30-4 (.882) record in three years as the head coach at Grand Rapids Community College. His overall career mark is 227-46 (.832) to date and includes three prep state championships and two national JUCO crowns.
Walsh – Jim Dennison (Wooster, 1960), 18th season, 117-71-0 (.622); Career: 31st season, 197-133-2 (.596) - (0-0-0 vs. Ferris State). The dean of Ohio coaches, Dennison embarks on his 31st season as a collegiate head coach this fall. He has directed Walsh to 14 winning seasons in his tenure. Formerly, he served as the head coach at NCAA Division I Akron.
* The 104th Season: The 2012 campaign represents the Bulldogs' 104th season of varsity competition. The program actually began in 1900, but no football was played in 1908-09, 1917-18, 1932 and from 1942-45 for various reasons. Additionally, no scores are available from either the 1912 or 1916 seasons. Ferris has posted an all-time record of 380-430-40 (.471) to date.
* About Walsh: The Cavaliers are midst their first season in the GLIAC as part of a transition to NCAA Division II. They will play a full league schedule this campaign and be eligible for postseason competition in 2013-14. A former NAIA member in the Mid-States Football Association, the Cavaliers posted a 5-6 overall mark a year ago.
* Among The Nation's Best: After three weeks, the Bulldogs are currently ranked third in the nation in rushing (326.7 ypg.) and fourth in total offense (545.0 ypg.) according to the NCAA Division II National Statistical Leaders list. Ferris State leads the GLIAC in both categories. FSU is also tied for 10th nationally in fewest sacks allowed (.33 pg.) and ranks 31st in scoring offense (38.7 ppg.) of more than 150 teams ranked in Division II football.
* First Ever Meeting: Ferris State and Walsh will meet on Saturday night at Top Taggart Field for the first-time ever. The Bulldogs have never faced the Canton, Ohio, based school.
* FSU 19th In Ratings: The Bulldogs are listed 19th this week in the Division II Massey Ratings, which is an online computerized ranking system. FSU is one of seven GLIAC schools found in the top 20 nationally of 167 total Division II schools. Ashland leads the list of GLIAC schools with a number two ranking in the scientific poll.
* Good Production: The Bulldogs' offense is currently averaging 545 yards and 38.7 points per contest this season. FSU has rolled up more than 500 yards of total offense in all three games and is averaging 326.7 rushing yards per outing. Both Ferris State's current averages in total yards and rushing would set school single-season marks if they stand until the end of the year.
* Big Offensive Numbers: The Bulldogs' 665 yards of total offense in their week two win over Lake Erie came only four yards shy of matching the school record of 669 yards recorded against rival Grand Valley State in 1998 (11/14). Also, FSU's 33 first downs were just three away from the school record of 36 also set in the '98 contest versus GVSU.
* Under The Lights: Ferris is 41-54-4 (.434) in evening games going back to 1961. Saturday will represent the Bulldogs' 100th evening game dating back to the '61 season. The Bulldogs are 14-28-2 (.341) on the road and 27-26-2 (.509) at home during that period.
* Gaining Ground: Bulldog senior running back Skyler Stoker (Jackson/Grass Lake) totaled 97 yards on the ground against Ashland and moved into 15th place on FSU's all-time rushing chart as he moved past former Bulldog QB Tom Schneider. Stoker has 1,491 career rushing yards to date and is only nine shy of notching his 1,500th yard. He's currently fourth in the GLIAC and 34th in the nation in rushing this season to date (97.0 ypg.).
* Interesting Fact: Ferris holds a 37-45 (.451) all-time record against teams from the state of Ohio in school history. The Bulldogs have played 12 schools from the Buckeye state and have fared the best against those teams now competing in the GLIAC. FSU holds a 11-11 mark versus Findlay and is 9-14 overall against Ashland. The Bulldogs also own four wins (4-6) over Ohio Northern and Tiffin (4-0) while posting multiple wins versus Cedarville (2-0), Ohio Dominican (2-0) and Lake Erie (3-0). FSU has topped Wilmington and Defiance once each in the program's history. Ferris' worst mark is against Central State, which owns a 7-0 record against the Bulldogs although the two teams have not met '86.
* Ohio Stretch: Saturday's game against Walsh wraps up a three-game stretch for the Bulldogs versus Ohio schools out of the GLIAC South Division. FSU swept four Ohio teams in 2010 and beat three of four in the 2011 campaign. Ferris State is currently 1-1 against the Ohio schools this season with a win over Lake Erie and last week's setback to Ashland.
* Evening Football: Ferris State's first six contests of the 2012 season will be evening games with all scheduled for 7 p.m. (ET) kickoffs. Three of the outings are at home with three on the road. After the opening six-game stretch, the remaining five regular-season games will be afternoon starts at various times.
* Preseason Pick: FSU's Tayo Moss (South Rockwood/Monroe St. Mary's) was tabbed as the GLIAC Preseason Defensive Player of the Year in the annual D2 Football.com Magazine produced by the online source.
* First Field Goal: FSU junior kicker Austin Kantola (Ravenna) notched the first made field goal of his career in Saturday's loss to Ashland when he converted a 26-yard field goal with 40 seconds left in the contest to pull the Bulldogs within eight points.
* Coming Next: The Bulldogs open a two-game road stretch with a league contest at Saginaw Valley State next Saturday (Sept. 29) at 7 p.m. (ET) in Univ. Center. FSU then heads to rival Grand Valley State the following week (Oct. 6) for the Anchor-Bone Classic in Allendale.
* Top Taggart Field: The Bulldogs own an all-time record of 142-118-8 (.545) at Top Taggart Field heading into their first home game of the year and 268th contest in the facility. Last season, FSU posted a 5-1 mark on its home surface. More than 900,000 fans (929,980) have watched Bulldog Football in Big Rapids since the stadium debuted in 1957.
* Preseason All-American: FSU senior linebacker Tayo Moss received preseason All-America recognition by being named to the 2012 USA Football News First Team and the Beyond Sports College Network Division II Second Team. He was also tabbed as one of the top three players to watch in the GLIAC his fall by the Beyond Sports College Network. A 2011 All-GLIAC First Team selection, Moss received all-conference recognition for the first time last fall after finishing the 2011 regular-season campaign as the GLIAC's leading tackler (10.7 tpg.) with 35 solo stops and 85 assisted hits for 118 total tackles. Moss had 10 tackles or more in seven games, including the last three of the season when he twice had 15 stops or more.
* Preseason All-American: FSU senior defensive end Jordan Morgan (Chicago, Ill./Mt. Carmel) also attained preseason All-America honors by being named to the 2012 USA Football News Third Team. Morgan claimed All-GLIAC Second Team laurels for the second year in a row in 2011 as he finished with 75 tackles on 21 solo hits and 54 assists. He's among the school's top 10 overall career sack leaders to date and also holds the school mark for most blocked kicks.
* Key Numbers: The Bulldogs have punted only six times in their three outings to date this year, including only once in the first two contests ..... Senior receiver Kevin Guirand (Lake Villa, Ill./Lakes Community) hauled in two TD grabs versus Ashland in last week's outing ...... Thirteen different players have at least one carry this season and 13 have at least one catch ..... Senior defensive end Jordan Morgan's 21 career sacks now ranks seventh to date in school history among FSU's all-time leaders. Jim Lenz (1990-93) is Ferris State's all-time leader with 33 career sacks ..... Jordan Morgan notched his 200th career tackle versus Ashland last week.
* Key Fact: The 2012 campaign marked only the third time in the last 16 seasons the Bulldogs have opened the year with a 2-0 record. FSU also won its first two games in 2006 en route to an 8-3 overall finish and in 2008 on its way to a 6-5 showing. Prior to the last 16 years, the Bulldogs won at least two games in a row to start each season from 1993 to 1996, but have not won two games to open the year in back-to-back campaigns since that stretch.
* Did You Know?: Ferris has had a winning season in 15 of its last 23 seasons overall. The Bulldogs won five consecutive conference championship titles from 1992-96 and were league co-champions with Northwood in the 1999 season.
* GLIAC Preseason Poll: The Ferris State University football team was selected to finish sixth in the 2012 GLIAC Football Coaches Preseason North Division Poll, which was released in mid-August in conjunction with the launch of the GLIAC Football Media Day website. The Bulldogs received 45 points in the balloting, which was conducted by the conference's 16 head coaches. Grand Valley State and Ashland were picked as the North and South Division favorites, respectively.
* First Offensive Play: During FSU's opening game against St. Francis, the Fighting Saints ran 25 of the first 26 plays of the game. However, FSU grabbed a 7-0 lead as the Bulldogs' lone play in the stretch was a 73-yard touchdown pass from receiver A.J. McEwen (Grand Rapids/East Grand Rapids) to sophomore Jake Lampman (East Lansing/Haslett) on Ferris State's first offensive play of the 2012 campaign.
* Coaching Staff: In addition to a new head coach in Tony Annese, the Bulldogs feature an entirely new coaching staff for the 2012 season. Rob Zeitman, who most recently served as the head coach at Grand Rapids Northview High School, takes over as offensive coordinator for the Bulldogs with Ryan Oshnock serving as the defensive coordinator. He was a graduate assistant under former FSU player and coach Butch Jones at both Central Michigan and the University of Cincinnati following a collegiate playing career at GLIAC member Wayne State University. The other full-time assistants include former Bulldog players Ryan Hodges and Sparky McEwen along with ex-Grand Valley State quarterback Ryan Brady.
* Sunny 97.3: Saturday's game continues the broadcast partnership between FSU Athletics and Sunny 97.3 FM. Rob Bentley and Sandy Gholston will call the action starting with the "Bulldog Pregame" show at 6:30 p.m. Sunny 97.3 and the Bulldog Sports Network will again carry all home and away football contests this campaign with the broadcasts streamed live online at www.FerrisStateBulldogs.com.
* New Uniforms: In addition to a new coaching staff, the Bulldogs also unveiled new uniforms this season as part of a new era. The new uniforms, which are designed by Nike, include both a red and white jersey along with gold and red pants. Additionally, a new red helmet with a matte finish and black facemask displays the official "Bulldog" head logo. The red home jerseys feature gold lettering trimmed in black while the white road uniforms have red numerals outlined in gold. The colors reflect the university's approved "Crimson & Gold" color scheme.
* Home Ticket Information: Season and single-game tickets for the 2012 home campaign are currently on sale now. Fans are encouraged to buy tickets in advance this season for a discount over the normal gameday rates. For more info on ticket sales, please contact the FSU Athletics Ticket Office at (231) 591-2888 or www.FerrisStateBulldogs.com.
* Bulldog Gameday: Complete information on every Bulldog home and road contest this year can be found by visiting the Bulldog Gameday page on the FSU Athletics Website at www.FerrisStateBulldogs.com (click on football and then Gameday). The Gameday information, which will be updated several days prior to each game, includes links to all pertinent notes and statistics for both teams as well as links for the respective broadcast and internet media coverage available for the contest.
* Yearbook Available Online: The 2012 Ferris State University Football Yearbook is available to view as an online publication. The publication features such information as 2012 player rosters, season outlook, player biographies, coaching staff information, 2011 season statistics, career and season statistical records, series records, game records, etc. Visit the FSU athletics website at www.FerrisStateBulldogs.com to find the publication online.
* More Radio Coverage: Ferris State Football will be featured throughout the year as part of the "Bulldog Sports Update", which will air Monday thru Friday at 7:30 a.m. (ET) on Sunny 97.3 FM. Additionally, the football team will also be featured at various times on "Ferris State Friday's", which can be heard at 7:30 a.m. (ET) on Grand Rapids' WBBL as part of the "Bakita & Bentley" morning show.
* Bulldog Sports Network: Fans can follow all the action of Ferris State football live online via the Bulldog Sports Network multimedia portal again this season. A live audio and video pay-per-view webcast will be offered for all home games with free audio for all road contests. The package also includes live stats, live chat and a live blog at select times. Visit www.FerrisStateBulldogs.com for more info.