COMPLETE GAME NOTES (PDF)
* This Week: The Ferris State University football team will square off against West Michigan rival Grand Valley State in the Anchor-Bone Classic this Saturday, Oct. 6, at GVSU's Lubbers Stadium in Allendale, Mich. Kickoff for the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) rivalry game is set for 7 p.m. (ET).
* Ticket Information: A large crowd is expected for the game at Lubbers Stadium. Tickets for Saturday's Anchor-Bone Classic are now on sale and can be purchased by calling the GVSU Ticket Office at (616) 331-3200 or online at www.gvsulakers.com.
* 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. The Meijer Pregame Show begins at 6:30 p.m. (ET). GVSU will offer live statistics along with a video stream. The game will also be televised by Comcast 900. 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.
* One Of Top Rivalries: A year ago, the Anchor-Bone Classic was featured as one of the "Top 50 Games In October" by the Bleacher Report, which is one of the largest sports destinations on the web with 20 million unique readers each month. The contest was ranked fifth on the list of top 50 games in the month of October and was the only non-Division I matchup featured in the report.
* Ranked Squad: Grand Valley State enters Saturday's tilt ranked third in this week's American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Division II National Poll along with second in the d2football.com rankings. It will mark the third ranked team the Bulldogs have faced this year along with Ashland and Saginaw Valley State, who were ranked 22nd and 16th, respectively, entering their contest with the Bulldogs.
* Anchor-Bone Trophy: The Anchor Bone Trophy, which is sponsored by Huntington Bank, is awarded annually to the winner of the Ferris State-Grand Valley State football game. The trophy debuted in 2002 and GVSU has maintained possession of the trophy the last nine years with five wins in Allendale along with four at FSU's Top Taggart Field in Big Rapids.
* The Records: Ferris State is currently 3-2 overall this season. FSU owns a 2-2 league mark after a 31-24 overtime setback on the road last week (Sept. 29) at Saginaw Valley State. The Bulldogs beat one of the league newcomers in Walsh by a 20-14 margin two weeks ago (Sept. 22) at FSU's Top Taggart Field. Ferris State posted a 6-5 overall mark a season ago and was 5-5 in GLIAC play under former head coach Jeff Pierce.
Grand Valley State is currently 5-0 overall this season and 4-0 in league play after an impressive 51-43 conference road win at Michigan Tech last Saturday (Sept. 29) in Houghton. The Lakers have scored 46 points or more in four of their five contests, including a 83-46 home win in their league opener (Sept. 8) versus Notre Dame (Ohio).
* The Coaches: Ferris State – Tony Annese (Alma, 1993), 1st season, 3-2-0 (.600) – (0-0-0 vs. GVSU). 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 228-47 (.829) to date and includes three prep state championships and two national JUCO crowns.
Grand Valley State – Matt Mitchell (Cornell, 1997), 3rd season, 24-5-0 (.828); Career: 3rd season, 24-5-0 (.828) - (2-0-0 vs. Ferris State). Mitchell took over as the seventh head coach in GVSU history in 2010 and was the first Laker coach to win his first eight games. The former Cornell letterwinner was a six-year Laker assistant, including the final two years as defensive coordinator. He previously was an assistant coach at Wartburg (Iowa).
* 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 381-431-40 (.471) to date.
* Among The Nation's Best: The Bulldogs are currently ranked fifth in the nation in rushing (309.80 ypg.) and 15th in total offense (476.60 ypg.) according to the NCAA Division II National Statistical Leaders list. Ferris State currently leads the GLIAC in rushing and is third in the total offense category. FSU is also tied for 12th nationally in fewest sacks allowed (.60 pg.) of more than 150 teams ranked in Division II football.
* Quick Series Note: GVSU holds a 27-12-1 all-time series' advantage and has won 11 consecutive meetings between the two schools. FSU is making its second consecutive trip to Allendale.
* FSU 32nd In Ratings: The Bulldogs are listed 32nd this week in the Division II Massey Ratings, which is an online computerized ranking system. FSU is one of 10 GLIAC schools found in the top 32 nationally of 167 total Division II schools. Ashland now leads the list of GLIAC schools with a number one ranking in the scientific poll while GVSU is second.
* Big Rush Day: Redshirt freshman quarterback Jason Vander Laan's (Frankfort, Ill./Chicago Christian) 214 yards rushing last week at Saginaw Valley State were the most by a Bulldog player since former back Andrew Terry ran for a school and NCAA Division II single-game record 410 yards against Findlay in 2004 (10/2). It was also the first time a Bulldog topped the 200-yard mark since Shawn Grigg ran for 201 yards at Northern Michigan in 2006 (9/30).
* OT Thriller: Last Saturday's 31-24 overtime setback at nationally-ranked Saginaw Valley State was FSU's first OT game since a 48-41 home win over Northwood in 2007. The setback snapped a six-game FSU win streak in overtime contests as the Bulldogs dropped to 6-2 all-time in extra session affairs.
* School Record: Senior linebacker Tayo Moss (S. Rockwood/Monroe St. Mary's) had a 82-yard fumble return for a score against Walsh (Sept. 22), which set a school record. It also surpassed the Bulldogs' previous season-high total of 78 fumble return yards in a campaign. The return came with the Bulldogs trailing 7-6 early in the fourth and Walsh inside the FSU redzone. On the following offensive play, Moss forced a Walsh fumble that was recovered by the Bulldogs and eventually led to a score.
* Under The Lights: Ferris is 42-55-4 (.436) in evening games going back to 1961. The Walsh game (Sept. 22) represented the Bulldogs' 100th evening game dating back to the '61 season. The Bulldogs are 14-29-2 (.333) on the road and 28-26-2 (.518) at home during that period.
* Interesting Notes: This year marks FSU's second-straight trip to Allendale. Last year, the Bulldogs made their first visit to Lubbers Stadium since 2008. When FSU and GVSU squared off in 2008 in Allendale, it marked the fourth time both teams had been ranked when they played and the first since 1995. The Bulldogs were ranked 24th in the AFCA Division II Coaches Poll and the Lakers were second the week they faced each other in '08. Both teams were also ranked when they played each other from 1993 to 1995 with FSU winning two of those games and the other resulting in a tie (1993).
* Florida Connection: A pair of Bulldog true freshmen, receiver Ryan Taylor and tailback Antonio Agurs, both played prep football at Manatee High School in Bradenton, Fla. Their alma mater is ranked as the nation's top high school team this week by USA Today. Together, the duo helped lead Manatee to the Florida 7A State Championship in 2011. Both have seen limited action this season.
* Preseason Pick: FSU's Tayo Moss was tabbed as the GLIAC Preseason Defensive Player of the Year in the annual D2Football.com Magazine produced by the online source.
* Evening Football: Saturday's game marks the last of six consecutive night games to open the 2012 season for the Bulldogs. After the opening six-game stretch, the remaining five regular-season games will be afternoon starts at various times.
* High Rankings: GVSU was ranked number one nationally in the AFCA Division II poll prior to each of its two meetings versus FSU in 2009 and 2010. In 2009, the Bulldogs nearly upset the top-ranked Lakers in a 17-10 setback at FSU's Top Taggart Field. Neither team was ranked a year ago entering the matchup.
* Pregame Tailgate: The FSU Alumni Association is sponsoring a pregame tailgate event, on GVSU's home turf in Allendale on Saturday from 4 to 7 p.m. in Lot F, adjacent to the fieldhouse on Grand Valley's main campus. The event is free of charge. Contact Amy Packard at (231) 591-2345 or email the office at email@example.com for more info.
* Conference Stat Leaders: Ferris State senior defensive end Jordan Morgan (Chicago, Ill./Mt. Carmel) currently leads the GLIAC in sacks this season (0.90) ...... FSU ranks first in rushing and third in total offense in the league ....... Quarterback Jason Vander Laan is fifth in the league in rushing (101.6 ypg.) ...... Senior Brad Iskow (Bad Axe) is first in the league in tackles for loss (2.10 pg.).
* In The Month: The Bulldogs have compiled a 55-38-1 (.590) record in October contests since 1990. FSU is 27-23-0 (.540) on the road and 27-16-1 (.625) at home during that span in the month of October.
* Next Home Game: Ferris State's next home contest will be on Saturday, Oct. 13, as the Bulldogs host Hillsdale in the annual homecoming game at Top Taggart Field. The Chargers are coached by former FSU head coach Keith Otterbein. Kickoff for FSU's first afternoon game of the year is slated for 2 p.m. (ET) in Big Rapids.
* 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 this 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 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: Thirteen different players have at least one carry this season and 13 have at least one catch ..... Senior defensive end Jordan Morgan's 22.5 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.
* 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 (Aug. 30), 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 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.
* 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.