Bulldog Football Hosts Northwood For Senior Day
COMPLETE GAME NOTES (PDF)
* This Week: The Ferris State University football team hosts Northwood in its 2012 regular-season home finale on Saturday, Nov. 3, at FSU's Top Taggart Field. Kickoff for the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) game is set for 1 p.m. (ET).
* Kids Day: Saturday will also be "Kids Day" presented by Schuberg Insurance and Auto Owners Insurance. A variety of events will take place in conjunction with "Kids Day". A raffle begins at noon and children will have an opportunity to win guest positions such as a serving as a water boy, trainer, equipment manager, radio personality, warmup coach and more. All proceeds from the event will go to support Angels of Action and the fun event will include inflatables and more.
* 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).
* 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 be streamed with live audio at FerrisStateBulldogs.com. A live pay-per-view video webcast and live internet statistics will also be available. Visit FerrisStateBulldogs.com for all links.
* 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.
* Toughest In Nation: The Bulldogs have currently faced the nation's toughest schedule to date in Division II football, according to the Massey Ratings, an online computerized ranking system. FSU moved up to 10th in the country in the rankings by the online source this week following the win over Wayne State last week.
* Senior Day Saturday: Seventeen Ferris State seniors will be making their final career appearance at Top Taggart Field versus NU and will be recognized prior to the contest. The large group includes Jaime Barrera, Alex Brajak, Mike Davis, Mike Elias, Cody Groulx, Kevin Guirand, Brad Iskow, Will Miles, Jordan Morgan, Tayo Moss, Taylor Phillips, Zach Rosman, Jamar Slade, Trevor Smolinski, Skyler Stoker, Tyler Uekman and Dwayne Williams.
* FSU vs. Northwood: Ferris State leads the all-time series against Northwood by a 20-18-0 count. FSU has won four of the last six games, including a season-ending 30-14 home win over the Timberwolves in 2011 (11/12) at FSU's Top Taggart Field. Northwood had won the previous two games prior to last year's Bulldog victory in Big Rapids.
* The Records: Ferris State is currently 6-3 overall this season and 5-3 in the GLIAC. The Bulldogs have won three of their last four contests to date this season and beat Wayne State 35-24 last Saturday (Oct. 27) on the road in Detroit. Ferris State posted a 6-5 overall mark a season ago.
Northwood is currently 4-5 overall this year and 3-5 in the GLIAC. The Timberwolves won their first four games of the season, but have lost their last five in a row to date.
* The Coaches: Ferris State – Tony Annese (Alma, 1993), 1st season, 6-3-0 (.667) – (0-0-0 vs. NU). 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 231-48 (.830) to date and includes three prep state championships and two national JUCO crowns.
Northwood – Mike Sullivan (Saginaw Valley State, 1998), 5th season, 20-31-0 (.392) – (1-3-0 vs. Ferris State). Sullivan became NU's seventh head coach prior to the 2008 campaign after serving six seasons as the squad's Associate Head Coach along with eight years as the program's offensive line coach. Prior to that, he was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at fellow GLIAC rival Saginaw Valley State.
* 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 384-432-40 (.472) to date.
* School Record Mark: Ferris State surpassed the previous school record of 2,538 rushing yards in a season with 409 yards on the ground last week. The Bulldogs have currently compiled 2,863 yards on the ground in nine outings to date this season. The previous school record was established in 1995 during FSU's run to the NCAA Division II Semifinals.
* Among The Nation's Best: The Bulldogs are currently fifth this week in the nation in rushing offense at 318.11 yards per contest. FSU also leads the league in rushing and is second in the conference in total offense at 483.89 yards an outing. That figure is 10th-best in Division II to date this season. Additionally, FSU is tied for sixth (0.67) nationally in fewest sacks allowed. Individually, redshirt freshman quarterback Jason Vander Laan is ranked 14th nationally in scoring (9.78 ppg.) along with 15th in rushing (126.44 ypg.).
* FSU Climbing: The Bulldogs moved up to 10th this week in the Division II Massey Ratings, which is an online computerized ranking system. FSU is one of five GLIAC schools found in the top 12 nationally of 167 total Division II schools. Ashland leads the list of GLIAC schools with a number one ranking in the scientific poll. Saginaw Valley State is eighth this week in front of FSU among the league schools.
* Coming Up Next: The Bulldogs wrap up the 2012 regular-season by traveling to Marquette to face the Northern Michigan Wildcats next Saturday, Nov. 11, inside the Superior Dome. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. (ET).
* A Winning Season: The Bulldogs officially notched their seventh winning season in the last 10 years with last week's victory in the Motor City. FSU has finished with a winning season 16 times in the last 24 campaigns, including 11 times in the last 18 years. The Bulldogs won five consecutive conference championship titles from 1992-96 and were league co-champions in 1999.
* The Final Three Games: FSU is midst its final three-game stretch of the regular-season. Ferris has won at least two of its final three games of a year 14 times in the last 22 seasons dating back to 1990, but only two of the last six years to date. The Bulldogs have won 51% (34-33) of their final three games of a campaign since 1990, but the figure jumps to 58% (39-28) counting regular-season games only and not playoff action.
* Comeback Time: The Bulldogs overcame a 21-0 deficit in last week's 35-24 victory over Wayne State. While Ferris State's comeback was memorable, it wasn't the Bulldogs' largest comeback in school history. FSU rallied from a 28-0 first-quarter deficit in a 1995 home game (11/11) versus Saginaw Valley State to keep its 39-game regular-season winning streak intact with a 46-42 win in blizzard conditions. The comeback set an NCAA-II Record for most points overcome to win a game.
* Interesting Twist: Northwood University head coach Mike Sullivan played prep football for Montrose High School during his high school career and his head coach at the time was current FSU head coach Tony Annese. Additionally, Sullivan's staff this season includes former Bulldog head coach Jeff Pierce, who coaches the defensive backs following a 17-year tenure at the FSU helm.
* Closing In On Mark: Ferris State redshirt freshman quarterback Jason Vander Laan is currently within striking distance of setting a new GLIAC single-season record for rushing yardage by a quarterback. The rookie signal caller has ran for 1,138 total yards this season with 1,035 coming in eight league games to date this year. The league mark for most rushing yards by a QB in conference games ONLY is 1,128 yards by Saginaw Valley State's Jeff Klopf in 1997, which means Vander Laan needs 93 more yards in his final two games this season. Ironically, Klopf played prep football under FSU's Tony Annese prior to his collegiate career. Vander Laan's current totals are already the most ever by a FSU QB in a single-year and 10th on the school's seasonal rushing chart.
* Football Banquet: The Ferris State football team will hold its annual postseason awards banquet on Sunday, Nov. 11, at the Holiday Inn Hotel and Conference Center in Big Rapids, Mich. Festivities will begin at 12:30 p.m. (ET) with lunch to be served at 1:30 p.m. (ET) and the awards program to follow. All Bulldog fans and parents are invited and encouraged to attend the annual event. For more info, please contact Assistant Coach Brad Corpe at email@example.com.
* Offensive Firepower: FSU's 56-point scoring output versus Michigan Tech in its last home contest two weeks ago (Oct. 20) was its highest production since a 62-42 home win over Northern Michigan in 2005. It marked only the fifth time in the last seven years the Bulldogs had scored 45 points or more in a game, but was the second time this season following 49 points at Lake Erie (9/8). Ferris scored eight offensive touchdowns and rolled up 601 yards of total offense in the win over the Huskies.
* November Games: Ferris holds a 22-13 (.629) mark in its last 35 games held during the month of November. The total includes wins in five of its last 11 outings during the month dating back to 2006. FSU was 1-1 in November contests last campaign.
* Game Number Ten: Saturday's game against Northwood represents FSU's 10th game of the season. The Bulldogs have registered a 12-10 (.545) mark in the 10th game of the year dating back to 1990.
* Scoring Trends: The Bulldogs have been outscored 55-40 in the first quarter of games to date this season and also trail 83-67 in points scored during the final period. FSU has dominated the middle periods with a 100-83 edge in the second and a 104-36 margin in the third.
* Conference Stat Leaders: Ferris State senior defensive end Jordan Morgan (Chicago, Ill./Mt. Carmel) currently leads the GLIAC in sacks this season (0.83) ...... 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 126.4 yards rushing, which includes games of 185 yards or more against three nationally-ranked opponents. He's also third in scoring (9.8 ppg.) and fifth in total offense in the conference at 253.7 yards per contest....... Senior Brad Iskow (Bad Axe) is first in the league in tackles for loss (1.50 pg.).
* Rookie Leader: Currently, Bulldog QB Jason Vander Laan is the league's third-leading rusher at 126.4 yards an outing and is 15th in the country. He broke his own 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 244 yards on the ground at Wayne State. Vander Laan is also currently third in the league and 14th in the nation in scoring this week at 9.8 points per game.
* Close To Rookie Record: Bulldog freshman QB Jason Vander Laan currently needs 89 more yards to set a new school record for most rushing yards in a single-season by any Bulldog freshman. Former tailback Derek Fudge owns the current mark with 1,227 yards during the 2000 campaign.
* Defense Of Week: The Bulldogs' defensive unit was tabbed as the Division II Defense of the Week by the Beyond Sports Network for their efforts against Grand Valley State on Oct. 6. 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.
* 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 the GLIAC Preseason Defensive Player of the Year in the annual D2 Football.com Magazine and 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 blocks.
* 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.