Ferris State Football Hosts Michigan Tech On Saturday
COMPLETE GAME NOTES (PDF)
* This Week: The Ferris State University football team will host the Michigan Tech Huskies for "Dog Day" this Saturday, Oct. 20, at Top Taggart Field in Big Rapids, Mich. Kickoff for the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) game is set for 1 p.m. (ET).
* Ticket Information: Tickets for Saturday's game 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 will be open inside the Ewigleben Sports Complex Monday thru Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (ET). Fans can save $2 per ticket by purchasing in advance. Additionally, the gameday ticket office located at Top Taggart Field will open on Saturday at 10 a.m. (ET).
* Ticket Information: 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 and pay-per-view video with live internet statistics online at FerrisStateBulldogs.com. 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.
* Another Ranked Opponent: Michigan Tech will represent the fifth ranked team the Bulldogs have faced this campaign, including the fourth in a row as the Huskies are listed 22nd in this week's American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Division II National Poll. FSU defeated then third-ranked Grand Valley State two weeks ago (Oct. 6) and has also faced currently sixth-ranked Ashland along with Saginaw Valley State and Hillsdale this season.
* Special Victory: FSU's 40-24 victory over Grand Valley State in Allendale on Oct. 6 helped the Bulldogs win the Anchor-Bone Trophy for the first time since it was established in 2002. The victory snapped an 11-game series' skid and was FSU's first over the Lakers since 1999, ending a 13-year drought against the Bulldogs' archrival.
* The Records: Ferris State is currently 4-3 overall this season. FSU ended an 11-game series' losing streak to rival Grand Valley State with a 40-24 win over the third-ranked Lakers in the Anchor-Bone Classic two weeks ago (Oct. 6) in Allendale before a narrow 30-20 home setback to nationally-ranked Hillsdale last week (Oct. 13). Ferris State posted a 6-5 overall mark a season ago and was 5-5 in GLIAC play.
Michigan Tech is currently 5-1 overall this season and in league play. The Huskies' lone loss was a 51-43 home setback to Grand Valley State on Sept. 29 in Houghton. MTU is coming off a close 28-21 victory over Northwood in their homecoming game last week (Oct. 13) at Sherman Field.
* The Coaches: Ferris State – Tony Annese (Alma, 1993), 1st season, 4-3-0 (.571) – (0-0-0 vs. MTU). 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 229-48 (.827) to date and includes three prep state championships and two national JUCO crowns.
Michigan Tech – Tom Kearly (Winona State, 1980), 7th season, 41-27-0 (.603) - (6-0-0 vs. Ferris State). Kearly spent six seasons at MTU as associate head coach and offensive coordinator prior to becoming head coach. He previously spent 19 years at Central Michigan, including the last six as associate head coach and the final nine as offensive coordinator. Kearly is the son of former MTU football coach and athletics director Ted Kearly (1969-72).
* 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 382-432-40 (.471) to date.
* Fourth In Nation: The Bulldogs are currently fourth this week in the nation in rushing offense at 315.7 yards per contest. FSU also leads the league in rushing and is now second in the conference in total offense at 4867.1 yards an outing. That figure is 16th-best in Division II to date this season.
* Series Quick Note: MTU leads Ferris in the all-time series' between the two teams by a 34-23-4 count. The Huskies own a current nine-game series' winning streak and beat the Bulldogs 41-14 in last year's matchup (11/5/11) at MTU's Sherman Field in Houghton.
* Dog Day In Big Rapids: In recognition of the "Bulldogs" versus the "Huskies", Huntington Bank will present "Dog Day" in Big Rapids for Saturday's contest. Fans can bring their dog to the game as FSU Athletics teams up to help support local animals. All funds raised during the day will directly support the new "Brutus" Dog Park in Big Rapids. All dogs should be leashed and fans are asked to bring a folding chair or blanket. Seating for dogs and their owners will be on the grass knoll in the south end of the stadium. Fans are encouraged to dress their dogs in spirited Bulldog colors for the "dog parade" at halftime.
* Pregame Info: Tailgating will be permitted starting on Saturday at 10 a.m. (ET). The gates to the stadium open 90 minutes prior to kickoff at 11:30 a.m. (ET). The Bulldog "Player Parade" will take place at 11:30 with The Gate sponsoring a pregame tailgate concert by the band "Stereo Deluxe" beginning at 11:45 a.m. (ET).
* FSU 20th In Ratings: The Bulldogs are still 20th 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 35 nationally of 167 total Division II schools. Ashland leads the list of GLIAC schools with a number one ranking in the scientific poll. Michigan Tech enters Saturday's game 10th in the country.
* Strength Of Schedule: According to the Massey Ratings, the Bulldogs' schedule is currently rated as the seventh-toughest in the nation to date this season.
* School Record Night: The Bulldogs rolled up 457 total yards rushing two weeks ago at Grand Valley State, which topped a nearly 30-year old school record. The previous school mark of 417 rushing yards in a game was established back in 1973 (10/19) in a 58-0 romp over Illinois-Chicago on the road. The 457 total yards on the ground represented the fourth time this season in which the Bulldogs have ran for more than 360 yards in a single game.
* Defense Of Week: The Bulldogs' defensive unit was tabbed as last week's Division II Defense of the Week by the Beyond Sports Network for their efforts against GVSU. Ferris State held the Lakers' potent offense scoreless in the second half and allowed only seven points after an early 17-0 deficit aided by two turnovers and a short punt.
* Key Game Note: FSU's last win over MTU was a 21-14 overtime home win in 2002 (10/12) at Top Taggart Field in Big Rapids.
* Getting Close: Ferris State has gained 2,210 yards on the ground in six outings to date this season and is only 328 yards shy of surpassing the school single-season record of 2,538 rushing yards in a campaign, which was established in 1995.
* Two More Wins: The Bulldogs need two more wins to officially record their seventh winning season in the last 10 years. FSU has finished with a winning season 15 times in the last 23 campaigns, including 10 times in the last 17 years. The Bulldogs won five consecutive conference championship titles from 1992-96 and were league co-champions in 1999.
* Looking Back: The Bulldogs made their first trip to MTU's Sherman Field since 2008 a year ago, but were handed a 41-14 defeat (11/5/11). Ferris State made the trip to Houghton three times from 2005 to 2008 before hosting the Huskies in the 2009 "Battle At The Ballpark", which was played at Fifth Third Ballpark in Comstock Park. This year's matchup in Big Rapids is only the second since 2006 at Top Taggart Field.
* Former Student-Athlete: Michigan Tech's football team features one former Ferris State student-athlete in senior tight end Bryan LaChappelle, who was a walk-on member of FSU's men's basketball squad during the 2007-08 season before transferring to MTU to play football. The fifth-year player from Crystal Falls Forest Park currently ranks second on the team with 27 catches for 375 yards and three TD's this season. LaChappelle played a total of 19 minutes in six games, but didn't score in his lone season playing hoops for the Bulldogs.
* Conference Stat Leaders: Ferris State senior defensive end Jordan Morgan (Chicago, Ill./Mt. Carmel) currently leads the GLIAC in sacks this season (0.93) ...... FSU ranks first in rushing and second in total offense in the league ....... Quarterback Jason Vander Laan ranks as the GLIAC's third-leading rusher this season as he is averaging 117.4 yards rushing, which includes games of 185 yards or more against two nationally-ranked opponents. He's also seventh in total offense in the conference at 219.3 yards per contest....... Senior Brad Iskow (Bad Axe) is first in the league in tackles for loss (1.57 pg.).
* Rookie Leader: Currently, Bulldog QB Jason Vander Laan is the league's third-leading rusher at 117.4 yards an outing and is 21st in the country. Three weeks ago, he established new school records for most yards rushing by a quarterback in a single-game and most yards ever gained in a contest by a freshman with 214 yards on the ground at Saginaw Valley State. Vander Laan is also currently third in the league and 19th in the nation in scoring this week at 9.14 points per game.
* The Final Five: Last Saturday's contest against Hillsdale was the first of FSU's final five games this season. Ferris has registered a 63-47-1 (.572) record in its final five regular-season contests per season since 1990. However, the Bulldogs posted a 0-5 overall record in 2009 and 2010 over the last five-game stretch to go with a 2-3 mark a year ago. FSU was also 2-3 in the last five games of the 2008 season.
* Preseason Pick: FSU's Tayo Moss was tabbed as the GLIAC Preseason Defensive Player of the Year in the annual D2 Football.com Magazine produced by the online source.
* In The Month: The Bulldogs have compiled a 56-39-1 (.589) record in October contests since 1990. FSU is 28-23-0 (.549) on the road and 27-17-1 (.611) at home during that span in the month of October.
* Coming Next Week: The Bulldogs are back on the road as they visit defending national runner-up Wayne State on Saturday, Oct. 27, for a 12 p.m. (ET) league tilt in the Motor City of Detroit.
* 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 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 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.
* 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.
* 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.