July 25, 2013

Ferris State Football Season Opener To Be Televised Live In HD By ESPN3

Big Rapids, Mich. - Ferris State University football fans unable to make the trek to Fargo to watch the Bulldogs open the 2013 gridiron campaign at two-time defending FCS National Champion North Dakota State on Sept. 7 will have an opportunity to watch the game live nationally.

North Dakota State officially announced its 2013 television package today and the contest will be carried across the country by ESPN3 in high definition (HD) along with regional coverage by the North Dakota NBC Network.

ESPN3 is an online streaming service provided by the ESPN Family of Networks that delivers live streams and replays of global sports events to fans in the U.S. and other countries as part of its WatchESPN platform.

Ferris State begins its 105th season of varsity competition by facing a Bison team that has already received recognition as the preseason number one Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) team in the country.  Kickoff is scheduled for 5 p.m. (ET) on Sept. 7 at Gate City Bank Field inside the Fargodome.

In addition to the live coverage by ESPN3 and the NBC Sports Network, the season opener and all 2013 Ferris State football contests can also be heard live on Sunny 97.3 FM and the Bulldog Sports Network online at FerrisStateBulldogs.com as the veteran play-by-play team of Rob Bentley and Sandy Gholston call the action.

Besides facing one of the nation's top collegiate football programs, the Bulldogs will also take the field in front of one of college football's most passionate fan bases as part of the season-opening challenge.  More than 100,000 fans a year pass through the Fargodome to watch the Bison, ranking North Dakota State in the top 10 nationally for FCS attendance. NDSU's home has become of the most difficult places in the country for opponents to play and can pack in 19,000 fans for football games. 

The week one test will kickoff an 11-game Bulldog football slate in 2013 that features five home contests at Top Taggart Field and a 10-game Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) schedule.  FSU will play its home opener the following week on Sept. 14 as the Bulldogs open league action at home against Lake Erie starting at 7 p.m. (ET).

Expectations are high at Ferris State in year two under head coach Tony Annese.  The Bulldogs posted a 7-4 overall mark in his debut season last fall (2012) and FSU ranked among the nation's top 10 teams in both rushing offense and total offense.

The Bulldogs recorded several impressive wins under Annese's direction a year ago, including beating archrival Grand Valley State in the Anchor-Bone Classic for the first time since 1999, snapping a 10-year losing streak to Michigan Tech and topping defending national runner-up Wayne State for the first time in five years.  FSU also managed to win seven games for only the second time in the past decade despite facing one of the nation's two toughest schedules in Division II football during the regular-season, according to the Massey Ratings.

Ironically, the Bulldogs' most recent contest also took place in a domed venue as the Bulldogs concluded the 2012 campaign in memorable fashion by beating Northern Michigan 32-31 last fall (Nov. 10) as Annese's squad went for the win and successfully completed a two-point conversion with nine seconds remaining in regulation rather than electing to kick an extra point to force overtime at the Superior Dome in Marquette.

Besides putting together an impressive debut season with the Bulldogs, Annese and his staff also recently inked what is considered to be the nation's top incoming recruiting class in Division II football, according to FootballScoop.com.

The Bulldogs begin preseason camp in Big Rapids the second week of August.  Both season and individual game tickets for all 2013 home contests are now on sale and can be purchased thru the FSU Athletics Ticket Office by calling (231) 591-2888 or online at StarTickets.com.

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