Posted: Nov 05, 2019
|Ferris State vs. Grand Valley State|
|Saturday, Nov. 9 - 12:07 p.m. (ET)|
|Video:||Fox Sports Detroit|
|Radio:||97.3 FM WDEE|
|Tickets:||Info | (231) 591-2888|
|Social Media:||Facebook | Twitter | Instagram|
|Game Notes (PDF)|
|Team Video Center|
This Week's Action
The nationally second-ranked Ferris State University Bulldogs host archrival Grand Valley State in the Anchor-Bone Classic on Saturday (Nov. 9) at Top Taggart Field in Big Rapids. Kickoff for the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) showdown is set for 12:07 p.m. (ET). The game will be televised live across the country by Fox Sports Detroit as part of "Football Week In Michigan" and also carried live nationally by Fox College Sports. The game will be presented by the Schuberg Insurance Agency and Auto Owners Insurance.
What's At Stake
Saturday's game will have major conference and postseason implications. Currently, the 9-0 Bulldogs have claimed at least a share of the GLIAC Championship and can win the outright league crown with a victory. Meanwhile, GVSU can stay in the mix for at least a share of the title with a win on Saturday. FSU is ranked first in Super Region Three with the Lakers sixth and the top seven teams at the end of the year earn playoff berths.
The Bulldog Streak
FSU has won 27 consecutive regular-season games to date and can match a school-record by winning its 28th-straight regular-season tilt. FSU has also won its last 22 consecutive GLIAC matchups.
The Bulldogs reached the NCAA Division II National Championship game for the first time in school history last fall, matching an all-time NCAA record with 15 victories (15-1). FSU also claimed the GLIAC and Super Region Three titles. The Bulldogs returned nearly 60 letterwinners and 18 starters from last year's team that reached the D2 National Championship game. FSU is currently 9-0 overall this year following a dominating 52-0 road shutout over Michigan Tech in snowy Houghton last Saturday.
Saturday's game will also be aired live by the Bulldog Sports Network and Sunny 97.3 FM with the veteran broadcast team of Rob Bentley (play-by-play) and Sandy Gholston (color) calling the action. Pregame coverage gets underway at 11:30 a.m. (ET). Visit FerrisStateBulldogs.com for a complete listing of links.
Second-Straight GLIAC Title
Ferris State secured at least a share of the program's 11th GLIAC Championship by beating Michigan Tech last week. The Bulldogs are looking to go unbeaten in conference action for the fourth time in the last six seasons this year. The Bulldogs can claim the outright league championship by beating GVSU. FSU has won its last 22 GLIAC games in a row dating back to 2017.
Current Bulldog Streaks
FSU has won 27 consecutive regular-season games. The Bulldogs set a school record with 28-straight regular-season wins from 2013-16. FSU also previously won 27 consecutive regular-season outings in a row from Oct. 23, 1993 to Sept. 14, 1996 ... Ferris State has also presently won 16 consecutive games played on the road and not at a neutral site. FSU's last true "road" & regular-season loss was a 20-3 setback at Ashland back in 2017 (9/23). The road stretch includes three road wins in the NCAA Division II Playoffs.
Ferris State officially secured at least a share of the program's 11th GLIAC Championship this season. With a win Saturday, the Bulldogs wlll have gone unbeaten in conference action for the fourth time in the last six seasons. Overall, FSU has won 11 games or more six times in school history, including five-straight years prior to this year.
Memorable Bulldog Run
Over the last five seasons at Ferris State, the Bulldogs have compiled a 69-8 overall record and claimed four conference championships, posted three unbeaten regular-seasons, captured two regional titles and reached the national quarterfinals three times. Ferris State has also accumulated three Harlon Hill National Player of the Year trophies, twice had a student-athlete tabbed as the nation's National Scholar-Athlete of the Year and won 10 postseason games.
Preseason Top Two Team
Ferris State was a consensus top two team nationally in virtually every preseason Division II national poll, including as high as #1 by the Massey Ratings and CompughterRatings.com. FSU was also picked second by Street & Smith's, Lindy's, College Football America, D2Sports Football and the American Football Coaches Association.
National Power & State's Best
Now in the eighth season under head coach Tony Annese, the Bulldogs have become a national power on the Division II level. FSU has posted a 84-15 overall mark in his tenure and the Bulldogs have also posted the best winning percentage of all 21 collegiate programs in the state of Michigan along with the GLIAC since his arrival. Overall, Annese has won 85% of his games as a head coach on the collegiate and prep levels and owns 309 wins to date, which is the most of any current GLIAC member head coach at all levels.
The Head Coaches
Ferris State – Tony Annese (Alma, 1983), 8th season, 84-15-0 (.848) – 7-2 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 at all levels is 309-60 (.837) to date and includes three prep state championships and two national JUCO crowns. He claimed his 300th win last season with the national semifinal victory at Minnesota State.
Grand Valley State - Matt Mitchell (Cornell, 1997), 10th season, 95-26 (.785); Career: 10th season, 95-26 (.785) - (4-7-0 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 Anchor-Bone Trophy
The Anchor Bone Trophy is awarded annually to the winner of the Ferris State-Grand Valley State football game. The trophy debuted in 2002 and GVSU won the first nine matchups before FSU maintained possession of the trophy four consecutive years from 2012-15. The Lakers reclaimed the trophy in the regular-season in 2016 before the Bulldogs won a thrilling 28-27 decision at Top Taggart Field in 2017 in the NCAA Division II National Game of the Week. FSU held onto the trophy with a memorable 35-31 win last year in 2018 at Lubbers Stadium in Allendale. GVSU holds a 29-19-1 all-time series' advantage entering Saturday's 50th showdown in the historic rivalry. FSU has held onto the trophy six of the last seven years to date.
Both teams head into Saturday's contest ranked among the top 15 teams in the nation and it will represent the 11th time in series' history in which both squads have been ranked in the major D2 national poll at kickoff. Saturday's game will mark the fifth-straight year in which both teams have been ranked among the top 15 nationally at kickoff time and the seventh consecutive time, including postseason games in both 2015 and 2016. Four years ago, when the Bulldogs notched a decisive 61-24 regular-season victory in 2015 in Allendale, it represented the first time both teams had been in the top 15 in 20 years since a 30-21 FSU victory over the Lakers on Sept. 30, 1995, in Big Rapids.
More Rankings History
Overall, the two squads have both been found in the national rankings at kickoff time in the regular-season in 1993, 1994, 1995, 2008, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 along with postseason matchups in both 2015 and 2016. FSU owns a 5-3-1 mark all-time against the Lakers when both squads are nationally-ranked.
The Recent Matchups
Ferris State has captured six of the last seven regular-season matchups between the two West Michigan rivals. The two teams have both also squared off in the NCAA Division II Playoffs twice in the last four years with GVSU winning in 2015 in Big Rapids before FSU returned the favor with a 47-32 triumph over the Lakers in 2016 in Allendale in the Super Region Four Championship game. Bulldog head coach Tony Annese, a two-time Football Gazette Super Region Coach of the Year, owns an overall 7-2 mark against GVSU in his career.
Tony Annese vs GVSU
Ferris State had won the first four regular-seson matchups between the two West Michigan rivals under head coach Tony Annese prior to a 35-23 regular-season setback three years ago in Allendale. In his first season at FSU in 2012, Annese guided the Bulldogs to a 40-24 road win at GVSU's Lubbers Stadium, which represented Ferris State's first win over the Lakers in the series since 1999 and snapped a 12-game series' skid. Overall, Annese currently is 7-2 against the Lakers in his Bulldog tenure as Ferris State also recorded wins of 54-44 and 42-17 over GVSU in Big Rapids in 2013 and 2014, respectively, along with a decisive 61-24 regular-season triumph in Allendale in 2015 before a 28-27 home win in 2017 and a 35-31 road win in 2018. The two teams recently split two playoff games with each winning on the road, including GVSU in 2015 (38-34) and FSU in 2016 (47-32).
Huge Playoff Road Victory
FSU's 2016 road victory in its national playoff quarterfinal game against Grand Valley State came in only the second-ever postseason matchup between the two longtime West Michigan rivals, but it was also the second year in a row as FSU avenged a 38-34 victory in round two in 2015 at home. The victory over the Lakers in the 2016 D2 Playoffs also gave the Bulldogs their first-ever postseason road win as Ferris State had been 0-3 on the road in the playoffs all-time. Ferris State won another playoff road game in 2017 in round two at top-seeded Fort Hays State (Kan.) before posting a pair of road wins in the 2018 Playoffs. Prior to the '15 and '16 matchups, FSU and GVSU had not both competed in the playoffs in the same year since 1994. The Bulldogs' 2016 playoff visit to GVSU's Lubbers Stadium marked the Bulldogs' first postseason road game since Dec. 2, 1995, when FSU fell at North Alabama 45-7 in the national semifinals.
Anchor-Bone Home Victory
In the most recent Anchor-Bone game played in Big Rapids, Ferris State kept its NCAA Playoff hopes and league title aspirations alive in 2017 with a thrilling 28-27 comeback victory over archrival Grand Valley State in the Anchor-Bone Classic at FSU's Top Taggart Field. The Bulldogs trailed 14-3 at halftime, but scored with 15 seconds remaining to earn the win before a crowd of nearly 8,000 fans in Big Rapids.
The 100th Game Under Annese
Saturday will represent the Bulldogs' 100th game under head coach Tony Annese dating back to his initial season in 2012. Prior to Annese's tenure, the Bulldogs had went 35-45 (.438 ) in their previous 80 contests, but they have now registered a 84-15 (.848) since his arrival.
Anchor-Bone Tickets In Hot Demand
Tickets are moving fast for the Anchor-Bone Classic and fans are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance and arrive early. Demand for tickets is high and extra bleacher seating has been added to help accommodate the large crowd expected. Fans without tickets to the game are advised to purchase in advance as the Bulldogs are expected to be near capacity by Saturday and those with tickets are also encouraged to arrive early to avoid potential long lines at the will-call pickup window the morning of the game. Tailgate lots on Saturday will open at 8 a.m. (ET) with the Wheeler Pavilion Gameday Ticket Office opening up early at 9 a.m. (ET) for those needing to pick up tickets at will-call or those looking to walk-up and purchase tickets if they are still available.
Ticket & Game Information
Game tickets for the premium game are on sale now and can be purchased online at StarTickets.com until Thursday. Tickets are $18 for all adults along with $10 for students age 5-17. For additional information, please contact the FSU Athletics Ticket Office by calling (231) 591-2888 or visit FerrisStateBulldogs.com. Parking in lots near Top Taggart Field will be $10 per available car or $25 per oversized vehicle (bus, motor coach, motorhome, trailer, etc.) on a first-come, first-served basis. Complete ticket and gameday information can be found online at FerrisStateBulldogs.com.
Special Pregame Tailgate
Fans are also invited to a special pregame football tailgate event on Saturday prior to the Anchor-Bone Classic rivalry game. The pregame tailgate spread will run from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday morning prior to the noon kickoff. The tailgate event, hosted by FOX Sports Detroit and Ferris State Athletics in Lot 35, has a cash-only $5 entry fee, which includes food and drink (brats, Detroit Coney dogs, Bulldog beans, potato salad, homemade chips, water, coffee and hot chocolate). Beer will also be included for those 21 and older with proof of ID, while it lasts. Children under the age of 10 will be admitted free.
During the tailgate event, Fox Sports Detroit will be on site with former Detroit Lions players Herman Moore and Joique Bell, a photo booth, great giveaways and the "Football Week In Michigan" bus. The tailgate will also feature music, merchandise and Ferris State's three Harlon Hill Trophies.
The Broadcast Crew
In addition to being broadcast on Fox Sports Detroit, the game will also air nationally on Fox College Sports across the country. Fox Sports Detroit's Matt Shepard will call the play-by-play action for the game alongside former Michigan standout Devin Gardner with Brooke Fletcher as the sideline reporter. They will also be on hand to sign autographs and take pictures during the pregame tailgate event.
Football Week In Michigan
FOX Sports Detroit's Football Week in Michigan concept has developed into a landmark initiative highlighting high school championship and all-star games, as well as college and professional gridiron action in November. Last year, it featured more than 55 hours of original football programming, including 19 games airing across Fox Sports Networks. Football Week in Michigan is presented by Kroger.
FOX Sports Detroit delivers more than 350 live local events each calendar year to more than 3 million households throughout Michigan and portions of Northwest Ohio and Northern Indiana. For more information or a complete schedule of game broadcasts, visit www.FOXSportsDetroit.com.
The 111th Season
The 2019 campaign represents the Bulldogs' 111th 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 an all-time mark of 462-444-40.
Big Win Seasons
Last year marked only the seventh time in school history in which the Bulldogs had won at least 11 games in a campaign, but also the fifth year in a row. In 2016, FSU matched the school-record of 12 wins set in 1995 (12-1) and the Bulldogs topped the feat last year (15-1). The last five years marks the first time FSU has won 11 games in a row for five-straight years. The Bulldogs are two wins shy of claiming yet another 11-win season in 2019.
Nation's Top Coach
Bulldog head coach Tony Annese is currently the winningest (.848) active coach among all FBS, FCS & D2 schools in the country, according to the NCAA based on a minimum of five years as a coach, topping names such as Dabo Swinney, Nick Saban & Chris Peterson in the top 10. Overall, among all levels including NCAA Division III, he's listed fourth among active coaches at all NCAA levels in winning percentage (.848) for more than five years and second among those who have been a head coach for more than seven years. Those listed ahead of him are all NCAA D3 coaches.
FSU is ranked first again this week in the second set of NCAA Division II Super Region Three Rankings. The top seven teams at the end of the regular-season will advance to the Division II Playoffs with the top team earning a first-round playoff bye. The top four teams at the end of the year will all host at least one home playoff game with the #1 team earning a first-round bye and teams #2, #3 and #4 hosting first-round action. The super region rankings will be unveiled again next Monday before the final NCAA Playoff selections are announced on Sunday, Nov. 17. The Bulldogs have a bye in week 11 on Nov. 16 and could potentially end up with two weeks off if they hold onto the number one seed in the region.
FSU's Jayru Campbell ranks third among all active D2 quarterbacks in career total offense (296.7 ypg.). He's also second among active players in career passing effiency (170.43) ... Senior Jackson Dieterle has made 120 of his 123 PAT attempts in his collegiate career for the Bulldogs and is the nation's #1 active player in percentage (.976) in D2 football ... The Bulldogs currently have won 22-straight conference games and 27 consecutive regular-season games overall dating back to the 2017 campaign. Overall, FSU is 33-2 (.943) in its last 35 outings to date counting playoff action.
Road Shutout Victory
Ferris State rolled to a dominating 52-0 road shutout win over Michigan Tech under snowy conditions this past Saturday (Nov. 2) at Sherman Field in Houghton. Senior quarterback Travis Russell (Grand Rapids/West Catholic) earned the start at QB in place of an injured Jayru Campbell (Detroit/Cass Tech) and threw for 323 yards on 13-of-19 passing while accounting for three TD's. The Bulldogs rolled up 615 yards of total offense and allowed only 120 total yards in posting the decisive win. The shutout was the Bulldogs' first since a 26-0 road triumph at Davenport a little over two years ago in late October of 2017.
Only Team In The Nation
With last year's run to the national championship game, the Bulldogs became the nation's only team to reach the NCAA Division II National Quarterfinals each of the past three seasons. Ferris State claimed the Super Region Championship in 2016 with a decisive road win at rival Grand Valley State in the quarterfinals to reach the national semifinals for the second time in school history. In 2017, the Bulldogs also made it back to the national quarterfinals, but fell to Harding on a game-ending field goal at home in Big Rapids.
300 Career Victories
Ferris State head coach Tony Annese notched his 300th career victory at all levels with last year's NCAA Semifinal win over Minnesota State. Annese took over the Bulldog program following three impressive years as the head coach at Grand Rapids Community College, which came on the heels of a highly successful 25-season stint at the prep level. Annese has won championships at every level, including three high school state championships and two national titles on the junior college level. He is 309-60 (.837) at all levels in his head coaching career.
Great Road Record
In seven plus seasons under head coach Tony Annese, the Bulldogs have been a dominant road team. Presently, the Bulldogs are 43-7 (.860) under his direction in games played away from Top Taggart Field over the course of his seven seasons at the helm. Ferris State's mark is even better outside of his first two seasons as the Bulldogs own a 34-4 mark since the start of the 2014 season away from Big Rapids.
A region-best total of six Ferris State University football standouts earned acclaim by being named to the 2018 Division II Conference Commissioners Association (D2CCA) All-Super Region Three squad last year. The Bulldogs had four first-team honorees, including quarterback Jayru Campbell (Detroit/Cass Tech), who was also chosen as the D2CCA Super Region Three Offensive Player of the Year. The other first-team picks included a pair of senior offensive linemen in tackle Devon Johnson (Aurora, Ill.) and guard Nic Sawyer (Ann Arbor/Saline) along with defensive back Delon Stephenson (Sayreville, NJ). Meanwhile, defensive end Austin Edwards (Lansing) and defensive back Adrian Green (Ellenwood, Ga.) both garnered all-region second team accolades. All but Johnson and Sawyer return.
Cliff Harris Award Honorees
A pair of returnees, defensive end Austin Edwards (Lansing) and defensive back Delon Stephenson (Sayreville, N.J.) were chosen as two of the national nominees last fall for the 2018 Cliff Harris Award, which is presented to the nation's top small college defensive player. The Cliff Harris Award is presented by The Little Rock Touchdown Club and is given to the nation's top small college defensive player representing more than 5,000 defensive players from almost 500 NCAA Division II, III and NAIA colleges and universities.
Senior Day Saturday
Saturday will be Senior Day with the Bulldogs' slated to honor 21 oustanding seniors prior to their final regular-season home games in a special ceremony starting at approximately 11:40 a.m. The group has led FSU to an NCAA Playoff berth each season to date in their respective careers.
Best In The Country
Since the start of the 2014 season, the Bulldogs have the most wins of any NCAA Division II team in the country. The Bulldogs recorded back-to-back 11-1 seasons in 2014 and 2015 before a 12-3 mark in 2016 followed by an 11-2 showing in 2017 and a 15-1 mark last year for a cumulative 69-8 record including this season. Under head coach Tony Annese, the Bulldogs have lost only three regular-season games over the past five years dating back to mid-October of 2013. The Bulldogs now own a 65-3 (.956) regular-season mark since closing the 2013 season by winning their final four games.
GLIAC Players Of The Week
Ferris State senior quarterback Travis Russell was honored this week as the GLIAC Offensive Player of the Week while senior kicker Jackson Dieterle claimed the Special Teams honor after the win over Michigan Tech. Russell got the start in place of the injured Jayru Campbell and completed 13-of-19 passes for 323 yards while accounting for three scores in the win at Sherman Field. Russell tossed a pair of long touchdowns with a 78-yarder in the first half and a 73-yard toss in the third period. Meanwhile, Dieterle accounted for 10 total points in the win and was perfect on the day despite the weather. Dieterle made all seven of his PAT tries, extending his national #1 ranking among active D2 players in extra point percentage, while also converting a 32-yard field goal into the snow late in the first half to increase FSU's lead to 24-0 at the break. He also kicked off nine times for 537 total yards, averaging 59.7 yards a kick with two touchbacks on the day. It marked the second-straight week in which Dieterle earned the honor while it was also the second week in a row a Bulldog QB earned the offensive honor as Jayru Campbell claimed the distinction the week before after a win over Saginaw Valley State.
Lindy's Sports tabbed three Bulldogs as Preseason All-Americans this year, including senior defensive end Austin Edwards (Lansing/Waverly) on the first team along with senior quarterback Jayru Campbell (Detroit/Cass Tech) and senior defensive back Delon Stephenson (Sayreville, N.J.). Campbell was chosen as the publication's Preseason National Offensive Player of the Year. FSU had three of the four players from the GLIAC on the magazine's Preseason All-America list. Campbell was also tabbed as the first team All-America quarterback by Street & Smith's and featured on the cover of the College Football America Division II section where he was highlighted as a member of the publication's "Starting Lineup" as a Preseason First Team All-America choice along with junior linebacker Sam Heyboer (Grand Rapids/South Christian).
Harlon Hill Trophy Winner
As a junior last year, Ferris State quarterback Jayru Campbell was the recipient of the Harlon Hill Trophy as the nation's top player after leading FSU to the NCAA Division II National Championship game for the first time in school history . He joined former FSU QB Jason Vander Laan (2014-15) as as the second-ever Ferris State athlete to claim the Harlon Hill Trophy as the nation's top player. He also became only the fourth-ever GLIAC player to win the honor. A consensus first-team All-American and the National Offensive Player of the Year, Campbell topped all NCAA Division II quarterbacks in rushing with 1,460 yards while throwing for 2,931 with 27 touchdowns. The GLIAC Player of the Year accounted for a national-best 49 touchdowns.
Michigan's Best Team
Ferris State was chosen this past year by SB Nation as the state of Michigan's best college football team of 2018 last fall, regardless of division. It came on the heels of a similar recognition the year prior by Hero Sports as the state of Michigan's best college football team, regardless of division. Hero Sports unveiled its top team from every state, regardless of division, and the Bulldogs were chosen tops among the 21 collegiate programs in Michigan. The award is the result of an equation created to level the playing field across all divisions of college football using specialized criteria.
Top Rushing QB
FSU QB Jayru Campbell lead all QB's in the country in rushing (1,460 yards) last fall. The Bulldogs had the nation's leading rushing quarterback in D2 football six of the past seven years prior to this season. In 2016, former quarterback Reggie Bell's 1,081 yards on the ground in the regular-season were the most of any QB in the country. Previously, two-time Harlon Hill Trophy winning QB Jason Vander Laan led all quarterbacks in rushing in D2 football each of his four years from 2012-15.
AFCA Good Works Team Nominee
Ferris State senior quarterback Travis Russell (Grand Rapids/West Catholic) was chosen as one of the nominees for the 2019 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, one of the most prestigious off-the-field honors in college football. It marks the second consecutive year in which he's been a candidate for the honor. Russell was the NCAA Elite 90 Award winner last fall for holding the highest grade point average of any player in the national title game.
Did You Know?
Ferris State has been the last GLIAC school standing in the NCAA Division II Playoffs each of the past three seasons. The Bulldogs reached the national semifinals in 2016 and the quarterfinals in 2017. Last year, FSU avenged a setback to Harding in the 2017 Super Region Three Championship Game by beating the Bisons 21-19 at home in round one of the postseason on Nov. 17. FSU eventually went on to reach the national championship game for the first time in school history.
Big Home Stretch
The Bulldogs have won 39 of their last 44 home games overall at Top Taggart Field dating back to the 2013 season. Last season, in 2018, the Bulldogs went a perfect 7-0 at home in Big Rapids. In each of the previous five years, the Bulldogs lost a single game on their home field, posting records of 4-1 (2013), 5-1 (2014), 6-1 (2015), 7-1 (2016) and 6-1 (2017) including regular-season and playoff action. FSU is 4-0 at home this year.
This Year's Numbers
The Bulldogs rank among the nation's top teams in several statistical categories this season, including first in the country in team passing efficiency defense (80.42). The Bulldogs are currently fifth nationally in total defense (250.0) along with seventh in total offense (512.0). FSU is also seventh in scoring defense (13.4) and 11th in rushing offense (259.9) in addition to 13th in net punting (38.09). FSU has two of the country's top five receivers in yards per catch as Xavier Wade (Holland/West Ottawa) is second (26.4) and Sy Barnett (Williamston) is fifth (24.9).
FSU Matches School Record
With a national semifinal win at Minnesota State last year, FSU tied the school-record of 15 consecutive victories, which was also recorded in 2013 and 2014. The Bulldogs won their final four games in 2013 under head coach Tony Annese before reeling off a perfect 11-0 regular-season in 2014 prior to a playoff setback. FSU's 15-game streak last year represented the longest streak inside of a single-season in school history. The Bulldogs had a 28-game regular-season winning streak from 2013-16 and owned a 42-game regular-season unbeaten (40-0-2) streak from 1992-96.
Road Win Streak
Ferris State had won its last 13 games in a row away from Top Taggart Field prior to the setback to Valdosta State in the national championship game last year. The most recent true road loss for FSU was a 20-3 setback at league foe Ashland in September of 2017. FSU closed its 2017 campaign by winning its last four road tilts, including a playoff win at Fort Hays State, and won eight games away from Big Rapids last year. Last season's victory total included a decisive neutral site win over Michigan Tech in the "Battle At The Ballpark" played at the home field of Minor League Baseball's West Michigan Whitecaps at Fifth Third Ballpark in Comstock Park. The longest road winning streak in school history is 15 in a row set from 2013-15.
Football Week In Michigan Broadcast
One of college football's greatest rivalries will be showcased to a live national television audience as Fox Sports Detroit airs Ferris State University's home football game versus Grand Valley State on Nov. 9 as the kickoff event to its annual "Football Week In Michigan" promotion. The Bulldogs' GLIAC home showdown against the Lakers will be televised live across the country on Fox Sports Detroit. FOX Sports Detroit's Football Week in Michigan concept has developed into a landmark initiative highlighting high school championship and all-star games, as well as college and professional gridiron action in November. Last year, it featured more than 55 hours of original football programming, including 19 games airing across Fox Sports Networks. Football Week in Michigan is presented by Kroger.
Bulldog Graduates On The Field
A pair of Bulldog players, senior quarterback Travis Russell (Grand Rapids) and senior slot receiver Dion Earls (Chicago), are included in a group of collegiate standouts announced by the National Football Foundation (NFF) who have already completed their degree requirements and are playing as graduates this fall on the college football level.
This season, a total of 11 different ball carriers scored touchdowns on the ground for the Bulldogs, including a team-high 8 by quarterback Evan Cummins. Meanwhile, a total of 17 different players have touched the ball and own at least one carry for FSU this season. Additionally, on the receiving end a total of 8 different players also caught at least one TD pass with 17 different receivers hauling in at least one catch this campaign. The Bulldogs have utilized four different throwers in the passing game, including slot receiver Jevon Shaw. Last year, he threw a game-opening 71-yard throw to receiver Sy Barnett in the playoffs against Northwest Missouri State and opened the national championship game with a 80-yard scoring strike to receiver Keyondre Craig.
FSU Keeps The Anchor-Bone
With last year's win over rival Grand Valley State, Ferris State held onto the Anchor Bone Trophy awarded annually to the winner of the Ferris State-GVSU football game. The trophy debuted in 2002 and GVSU won the first nine matchups before FSU maintained possession of the trophy four consecutive years from 2012-15. The Lakers reclaimed the trophy in the regular-season in 2016, but the Bulldogs have now won the last two regular-season matchups. Head Coach Tony Annese improved to 7-2 versus GVSU with the win and is now 4-1 at Lubbers Stadium.
Great Road Record
In eight seasons under head coach Tony Annese, the Bulldogs have been a dominant road team. Presently, the Bulldogs are 43-7 (.860) under his direction in games played away from Top Taggart Field over the course of his seven seasons at the helm. Ferris State's mark is even better outside of his first two seasons as the Bulldogs own a 34-4 mark since the start of the 2014 season away from Big Rapids.
Fred Mitchell Watch List
Bulldog kicker Jackson Dieterle is listed among the nation's top performers for the 2019 Fred Mitchell Award presented to the nation's most outstanding kicker and is featured on this season's watch list for the honor. The announcement was made by the Fred Mitchell Award Committee and the award is presented to the top placekicker on the Football Championship Subdivision, Division II, Division III, NAIA and NJCAA level who excels on and off the football field. This year's award recipient will be named in December.
National Game Of The Week
The Bulldogs' road tilt at Central Washington (Sept. 14) was televised via ESPN3 and the ESPN app across the country as part of the NCAA Division II National TV Showcase "Game of the Week". This year marked the fifth consecutive year in which the Bulldogs have participated in the Division II National Showcase. Last year, FSU hosted a D2 National Game of the Week at Top Taggart Field for the fourth-straight year when they hosted Ashland and it marked the third consecutive year in which FSU's outing against the Eagles was the D2 National Game of the Week. The trip to Central Washington represented the longest trip in school history for the Bulldogs.
Among The Best In The Nation
The Bulldogs began their 111th season of varsity competition this fall with their sights set on making a sixth consecutive trip to the NCAA Division II Playoffs. FSU has now made three-straight NCAA Division II National Quarterfinal appearances and is one of only four teams in all of college football to win at least 11 games each of the past five years. The Bulldogs along with Northwest Missouri State are the only programs in Division II football to make the playoffs each of the past five seasons.
Former Bulldogs In The NFL
The Bulldogs have had 10 different players in NFL rookie or training camps over the past two years. Former DB Tavierre Thomas has been on the Cleveland Browns' 53-man roster the last two years and recently defensive tackle Zach Sieler was called up to the Baltimore Ravens' active lineup. Four others are presently still on NFL practice squads - LB Brady Sheldon (Cincinnati), WR Malik Taylor (Green Bay), DT Justin Zimmer (Atlanta) and TE Jason Vander Laan (New Orleans). Sieler became FSU's first-ever NFL Draft pick when he was chosen by the Ravens in 2018 in the seventh round. Thomas blocked a field goal for the Browns in Monday Night Football action earlier this year against San Francisco.
The Bulldogs finished with six All-Americans a year ago, including Harlon Hill Trophy winning QB Jayru Campbell along with left tackle Devon Johnson, guard Nic Sawyer, defensive end Austin Edwards, linebacker Sam Heyboer and defensive back Delon Stephenson. All but Sawyer and Johnson are back this season.
School Record 15 Victories
Ferris State topped a school all-time record by winning 15 games last season and eclipsed the previous mark of 12 wins. The Bulldogs won 12 games in both 1995 and 2016 en route to national semifinal appearances both years. Ferris State won its 450th game in program history with the round one playoff win over Harding. Last season, the Bulldogs beat six teams ranked in the top 25 at one point in the AFCA poll.
100th Collegiate Victory
Ferris State head coach Tony Annese posted his 100th collegiate coaching victory with the win over Davenport on Nov. 3 of last year in Big Rapids. Annese owns a 84-15 mark to date at the Bulldog helm and also posted 30 victories on the junior college level at Grand Rapids CC following a highly-decorated prep coaching career in Michigan.
Best Stretch In School History
Ferris State's 60 wins in the last five years prior to this season (2014-18) marked the Bulldogs' best five-year stretch in school history. In addition, the 68 wins in the past six seasons (68-10) from 2013-18 topped the 1991-96 era for the most wins over a six-year span in program history. FSU went 52-8-2 while capturing five-straight Michigan Intercollegiate Football Conference (MIFC) crowns from '92-96.
First In School History
Ferris State quarterback Jayru Campbell became the first player in the 111-year history of Bulldog Football to run, catch and throw for a score in the same game in last year's rivalry win over against Grand Valley State. Campbell made his first FSU reception on a key fourth down throwback pass for a 31-yard score with 3:11 remaining against the Lakers. The play, which included slot Jevon Shaw throwing the ball, was the NCAA.com National Play of the Week.
Five Touchdown Quarterbacks
With his performance against Findlay early last year, FSU QB Jayru Campbell became the fifth different starting quarterback under Tony Annese at Ferris State to account for five touchdowns or more in a single game. Every QB who has started a game at FSU under Annese's direction now has at least a four TD game. Campbell accomplished the feat again at Northern Michigan and in a victory against Wayne State for the third time last season before doing so against the Warriors again this year.
Thanksgiving Weekend Action
Last year represented the fifth year in a row in which the Bulldogs played on Thanksgiving weekend by reaching at least the second round in the playoffs, including a first-round bye in 2014. The five-straight seasons of playing on Turkey Day weekend is the best in the country.
Under head coach Tony Annese, the Bulldogs have lost only three regular-season games over the past five years dating back to mid-October of 2013. Two of the setbacks came in 2016 when the Bulldogs eventually made their deepest postseason run prior to last year with a trip to the NCAA-II National Semifinals. Since the middle part of the 2013 season, FSU has only lost once to Grand Valley State and twice to Ashland in regular-season action. The Bulldogs own a 65-3 (.956) regular-season mark since closing the 2013 season by winning their final four games.
Nation's Top Rushing QB
FSU QB Jayru Campbell led all QB's in the country in rushing (1,460 yards) last season. The Bulldogs have had the nation's leading rushing quarterback in D2 football six of the past seven years prior to this season. In 2016, former quarterback Reggie Bell's 1,081 yards on the ground in the regular-season were the most of any QB in the country. Previously, two-time Harlon Hill Trophy winning QB Jason Vander Laan led all quarterbacks in rushing in D2 football each of his four years from 2012-15.
Nation's Winningest Active Coach
Ferris State head coach Tony Annese currently ranks as NCAA Division II's winningest active head coach, based on a minimum of four seasons, with a 84-15 (.848) overall record in eight years. His current mark tops Colorado State-Pueblo head coach John Wristen, who is in second with a 114-26 (.814) mark according to the NCAA.
Consensus Top Team In the Country
Ferris State is a consensus top three team in the country in every Division II poll this week, including as high as #2 in the current American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) National Rankings and the D2Football.com media poll along with #1 by the Massey Online Computer Ratings.
Home Of College Football's Greatest Rushing QB
Former FSU signal caller Jason Vander Laan, who was recently signed by the New Orleans Saints, finished his Bulldog Football career from 2012-15 with 5,953 career rushing yards, becoming the all-time record holder for most rushing yards by any QB at any level. He topped the previous career record of 5,128 yards held by Wofford's Shawn Graves from 1989-92. Vander Laan eventually finished as a two-time recipient of the Harlon Hill Trophy presented to Division II's top player, becoming the first GLIAC player to ever win the award twice. He also was the first player in NCAA history at any level to both rush and pass for 1,000 yards for four consecutive seasons.
The All-GLIAC List
Ninteen Bulldogs were named to the 2018 All-GLIAC team last season and the Bulldogs had three major award recipients as announced by the league office. FSU head coach Tony Annese garnered GLIAC Coach of the Year accolades after leading FSU to the conference championship while quarterback Jayru Campbell (Detroit/Cass Tech) was tabbed as the GLIAC Player of the Year. FSU offensive tackle Devon Johnson (Aurora, Ill.) received the GLIAC's Offensive Lineman of the Year honor.
The Bulldogs had seven individuals named to the All-GLIAC First Team, including both Campbell and Johnson. The others included wide receiver Sy Barnett (Williamston), offensive guard Nic Sawyer (Ann Arbor), defensive end Austin Edwards (Lansing), defensive back Delon Stephenson (Sayreville, N.J.) and linebacker Sam Heyboer (Grand Rapids.).
FSU also had six others receive All-GLIAC Second Team recognition in tailback Marvin Campbell (Detroit), offensive guard Tyler Allison (Clinton Township), defensive tackle Jamil Pollard (West Deptford, N.J.), defensive back Adrian Green (Ellenwood, Ga.), inebacker Avonte Bell (Lansing) and returner Dion Earls (Chicago).
Six other Bulldogs earned All-GLIAC Honorable Mention recognition in center Jake Boonstra (Grand Rapids) along with defensive tackle Sam Girodat (Jackson), receiver Keyondre Craig (Muskegon), defensive back Cyntell Williams (Battle Creek), slot Jevon Shaw (Farmington Hills) and running back Derrick Portis (Lompoc, Calif.).
Highest AFCA National Ranking
FSU's #2 national ranking in the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Rankings the past two years matches the Bulldogs' second-place standing late in the 2015 regular season and early in the 2017 campaign for the school's highest ranking ever in the history of the coaches' poll that dates back to 2000. Previously, FSU was ranked as high as 1st nationally in 2015 by D2Football.com along with the Division II Power Rankings, but has never been #1 in the current coaches poll. Ferris State was ranked #1 for two weeks back in 1996 when the NCAA Football Committee produced the weekly rankings prior to the creation of the head coaches' poll. The Bulldogs have been #2 each week this season to date in the AFCA poll.
A Winning Season
Ferris State has officially clinched its 14th winning season in the last 17 years this season. FSU has now finished with a winning season 22 times in the last 30 campaigns, including 17 times in the last 24 years and all eight seasons under current head coach Tony Annese. The Bulldogs won five consecutive conference championship titles from 1992-96 and were league co-champions in 1999 prior to back-to-back conference crowns in 2014 and 2015 in addition to the 2018 league title.
Deepest Previous Postseason Run
Ferris State had its deepest previous NCAA Playoff run in 21 years in 2016 since reaching the NCAA Division II National Semifinals in 1995, which had represented the highest finish in school history before last year's run to the national championship game. The Bulldogs also made the postseason in 1996 along with 2014 and 2015, but did not make it past the second round. Before the last three seasons, the only other time FSU played in the final month of the year took place on Dec. 2,1995, when FSU fell 45-7 in the national semfinals on the road at North Alabama.
Home Field Edge
Last year not only represented the Bulldogs' fifth-straight NCAA Playoff appearance, but itwas also the fifth year in a row in which FSU played host to at least one playoff game at Top Taggart Field. In 2014, the Bulldogs hosted a playoff game for the first time in 18 years, falling to league rival Ohio Dominican 46-33 while making their first postseason berth since 1996. In 2015, FSU topped Texas A&M Commerce 48-30 in the first round at home before suffering a 38-34 setback to GLIAC rival Grand Valley State in the second round at Top Taggart Field. In 2016, FSU beat Midwestern State (65-34) and Colorado Mines (38-17) in the first rwo rounds before topping rival Grand Valley State on the road (47-32) prior to a national semifinal setback at NW Missouri State (35-20). In 2017, FSU hosted both Ouachita Baptist and Harding in home playoff action before also hosting Harding and Northwest Missouri State in 2018.
GLIAC Preseason Poll
The Bulldogs were picked again to finish at the top of the league as the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) unveiled its 2019 GLIAC Football Preseason Poll with the Bulldogs first overall. Ferris State picked up 64 total points and eight of a possible nine first-place votes. Behind FSU was Ashland in second place with 55 points followed by Grand Valley State, which totaled 51 points and the other first-place mention.
AFCA Good Works Team Nominee
Ferris State junior quarterback Travis Russell (Grand Rapids/West Catholic) was chosen as one of the nominees for the 2019 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, one of the most prestigious off-the-field honors in college football. The list of 137 nominees was announced by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA). It marks the second consecutive year in which Russell has been a nominee for the honor. Two years ago, former teammate and three-time All-America center Jake Daugherty (Big Rapids) was eventually chosen as one of the members of the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team and invited to be honored at the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans.
Ferris State linebacker Delon Stephenson (Sayreville, N.J.) had five interceptions in a three-game span last year for the Bulldogs. Overall last year, the standout had two "pick six" interception returns for scores. He received the GLIAC Defensive Player of the Week honor following a win at Grand Valley State when he picked off two passes in the game with both coming at key times in the contest. He added another INT in the playoff win over Northwest Missouri State.
NFF Hampshire Honor Society
For the fifth consecutive year, Ferris State ranked as one of the top GLIAC members and in-state NCAA Division I and II schools with five student-athletes chosen to the 2019 National Football Foundation (NFF) Hampshire Honor Society for their work both on the field and in the classroom. The NFF Hampshire Honor Society is comprised of college football senior players from all divisions of play who each maintained a cumulative 3.2 GPA or better throughout in their college career.
Did You Know?
This year marks the fourth time in the past five years the Bulldogs were tabbed as one of the country's top three teams in at least one preseason national ranking.
Follow On Twitter
In addition to radio and internet coverage, Bulldog fans can also follow Saturday's contest with live scoring updates on several official social media platforms. Visit www.twitter.com/FerrisFootball to follow the tweet-by-tweet coverage with periodic scoring updates or visit www.facebook.com/FerrisFootball.