"Battle At The Ballpark" Notes: MTU (Oct. 3)
* This Week: The Ferris State University
football team takes on the Michigan Tech Huskies in the "Battle At
The Ballpark" this Saturday (Oct. 3) evening at Fifth Third
Ballpark in Comstock Park, Mich. The game will be played on the
home field of Minor League Baseball's West Michigan Whitecaps with
kickoff for the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference
(GLIAC) contest at 7 p.m. (EDT).
* Ticket Information: General public tickets are $10 with all college students and those is grades K-12 being charged $5 per ticket. The game will be a no-pass event and everyone will be required to purchase a ticket. To purchase tickets in advance to the "Battle At The Ballpark", please stop by the FSU Athletics Ticket Office (cash/check only) or call the West Michigan Whitecaps Ticket Office at (616) 784-4131. Tickets for the "Battle At The Ballpark" can also purchased online. Please visit www.ferris.edu/sports/ballpark for more information.
* Parking: In general, Ferris fans will park in the north lot at Fifth Third Ballpark with Michigan Tech fans parking in the south lot. Parking rates are $4.00 at Fifth Third Ballpark for cars and $7.00 for buses and RV's.
* Game Info: For complete info on the game, please visit www.ferris.edu/sports/ballpark.
* Media Coverage: Saturday's game will be carried live locally by WYBR (102.3 FM) with Jason DaDay handling the play-by-play duties. There will be no live video & audio webcast thru B2 Networks for this game. Live internet statistics and live audio will be available for the game at www.ferrisstatebulldogs.com.
* Series Information: MTU leads Ferris in the all-time series' between the two teams by a 31-23-4 count heading into the "Battle At The Ballpark". The Huskies own a current six-game series' winning streak and beat FSU 21-7 last season (10/4/08) at Sherman Field in Houghton, Mich.
* Last Time Out: An impressive performance on both sides of the ball fueled the Northern Michigan Wildcats to a 34-0 homecoming victory over Ferris State in GLIAC action this past Saturday (Sept. 26) inside the Superior Dome at Marquette, Mich. Northern Michigan bolted out to a 13-0 halftime lead and tallied 21 points in the third period to close the door on the Bulldogs before a crowd of 4,271 fans. The Bulldogs were limited to only 13 rushing yards on 22 attempts and NMU rolled up 389 yards of total offense compared to 319 for the Bulldogs.
* Coming Up Next: The Bulldogs will celebrate their annual homecoming by hosting the Indianapolis Greyhounds on Saturday, Oct. 10, at Top Taggart Field in Big Rapids. The game kicks off at 2 p.m. (EDT).
* The Records: Ferris State (1-4, 0-4â€ˆGLIAC) registered a 6-5-0 overall record in 2008 and placed seventh in the GLIAC with a 5-5 mark. The Bulldogs were 3-2 at home and 3-3 on the road a season ago. Michigan Tech is presently 0-4 both overall and in league play after last Saturday's (Sept. 26) 55-7 setback to nationally top-ranked Grand Valley State in the first-ever night game played at MTU's Sherman Field in Houghton. The Huskies were picked to finish third in the 2009 GLIAC Preseason Coaches Poll and were listed 28th nationally in the American Football Coaches Association Division II Poll. In 2008, MTU recorded an 8-3 overall record and tied for third with a 7-3 league mark.
* The Coaches: Ferris State - Jeff Pierce (Ferris State, 1979), 15th season, 91-68-0 (.572) - (6-8-0 vs. MTU). Saturday's game will be FSU's first neutral site contest under Pierce and he owns a 32-26-0 (.552) record in October contests to date. Pierce, who played at Ferris (defensive back) from 1974-77, is the 12th head coach in Ferris State's history. Michiganâ€ˆTech - Tom Kearly (Winona State, 1980), 4th season, 20-16-0 (.556) - (3-0-0 vs. Ferris State). Kearly spent six seasons at MTU as associate head coach and offensive coordinator prior to becoming head coach three years ago. 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).
* Ferris State has won 15 of the last 23 meetings to date.
* Thirty-three of the 58 meetings have been decided by 15 points or more and Ferris is 13-20-0 (.394) in those games - ( 7-8-0 at home & (6-12-0 away).
* In the last nine encounters, Ferris State is averaging 18.2 points per game (164 pts.) and Michigan Tech has posted 29.1 points a contest (262 pts.) for a 10.9 points differential.
* Ferris State is 6-5-4 in contests decided by 10 points or less (4-3-3 home, 1-2-1 away, 1-0-0 neutral) and 17-26-0 in games decided between 11 or more points (7-10-0 home, 9-16-0 away, 1-0-0 neutral).
* Michigan Tech has currently won the last six series' matchups to date, but Ferris State has won the only two previous neutral site contests between the two schools.
* Common Opponents: Ferris and MTU have played three common opponents in their four respective league games to date this season - Ashland, Northern Michigan & Grand Valley State. Both teams lost to all three teams, including twice each at home. They traded opponents the last two weeks with FSU falling to top-ranked GVSU 17-10 at home (9/19) and at NMU by a 34-0 count (9/26). Meanwhile, the Huskies fell at home to both NMU 48-16 (9/19) and Grand Valley State 55-7 (9/26).
* Fundraising Game: The "Battle At The Ballpark" represents a tremendous fundraising opportunity for the Bulldog Football program. The funds raised from this revenue-producing event will be utilized to help offset the operating costs of maintaining a competitive Division II football program and provide additional opportunities for student-athletes. The partnership between FSU and the West Michigan Whitecaps will be a 50-50 split, meaning the Bulldogs will receive 50% of whatever dollars are raised in the event from ticket, concession and sponsorship sales. For more info, please visit the game's official website at www.ferris.edu/sports/ballpark.
* Worth Noting: The Bulldogs have posted a 12-6-0 overall record in their sixth game of the year dating back to 1990. However, three of those game six losses have come to the Huskies all in the last three years - 41-7 in Big Rapids (10/7/06) along with 40-12 in Houghton (10/6/07) and 21-7 in Houghton (10/4/08).
* Key Figure: Ferris is 20-5-0 (.800) when scoring at least 20 points in a contest against Michigan Tech and conversely is 3-24-4 (.161) when scoring below the 20-points total for a game.
* Not The First Time: Saturday's game won't be the first time FSU and MTU have squared off at a neutral site. The two teams also played each other at a neutral site location as part of the Harbor Springs Boyne Bowl in both 1985 and 1986 with FSU prevailing both times by scores of 21-14 (10/19/85) and 55-41 (10/18/86) in Harbor Springs. The 1986 contest is the last neutral site game the Bulldogs have played as Saturday's outing will be FSU's first neutral site contest under head coach Jeff Pierce.
* Ferris Connection: Michigan Tech's football team features one former Ferris State student-athlete in sophomore 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 redshirt freshman from Crystal Falls Forest Park has caught a TD pass in each of the Huskies' last three outings this season, including the team's lone score of the game with a nine-yard reception in last week's loss to Grand Valley State. He played at total of 19 minutes in six games, but didn't score in his lone season playing hoops at FSU. Presently, he's caught 11 passes for 123 yards (11.2 avg.) and ranks third among MTU's receiving leaders this year.
* Personal Bests: FSU sophomore receiver Mike Ryan (Howell) had a presonal career-high six catches for 91 yards last Saturday at Northern Michigan while senior wide receiver Chris Wilson (Hingsville, Ga./Long County) grabbed a career-best five catches for 91 yards against the Wildcats.
* First Time Punter: Sophomore Shawn Snoor (Diamondale/Holt) punted for the first time in his career last Saturday against NMU. Snoor finished with five punts for 204 yards (40.8 avg.) and a long punt of 49 yards in the game. Snoor, who's in his first season as the Bulldogs' primary placekicker, is currently four-of-five on field goal tries this campaign and has also made four-of-five PAT attempts. He made a career-long 45-yard field goal against Grand Valley State (Sept. 19).
* Parrish Moves Up: FSU senior quarterback Kyle Parrish (Garden Grove, Calif./Santiago) moved into 14th place on the school's all-time passing chart with 306 yards passing against NMU. Parrish currently has thrown for 1,674 yards in his two-year career. The game represented the second time in his career he's thrown for more than 300 yards in a game. Parrish finished only eight completions and nine attempts shy of tying school records by connecting on 29-of-55 passes at NMU.
* League Stat Notebook: FSU ranks third among the GLIAC's leaders to date in pass defense this season (148.4 ypg.) and is also fourth in kickoff coverage (41.6 avg.) ...... The Bulldogs have given the opponents only one fourth-down conversion in eight tries this year (12.5%), which is second-best in the conference ...... Freshman punter Mitchell Voss (Valparaiso, Ind./Wheeler) ranks second in the GLIAC in punting average (41.8 avg.) ...... Senior cornerback Angelo Williams (Jackson) comes in tied for sixth among the league leaders in passes defended (1.20 breakups per game) ...... Bulldog senior middle linebacker Nick Butler (Midland) currently ranks sixth among the GLIAC leaders in tackles (9.2 tpg.) ...... Sophomore Shawn Snoor is listed seventh in field goals (0.80 pg.) ....... Senior Kyle Parrish ranks ninth in passing (152.6 ypg.) and 10th in total offense (166.6 ypg.).
* In The Red Zone: To date this year, the Bulldogs have converted 11-of-15 times (.733) inside the opponents' 20-yard line. FSU has scored eight touchdowns and made three field goals in its scoring trips to the red zone.
* Keep Scoring: Ferris redshirt freshman back Tyler Thomas (Jackson) has scored a touchdown in three of Ferris' first five contests this campaign, all of which came at home. He ran for a 18-yard TD in the season opener versus Tiffin (Aug. 29) and found paydirt from two yards out against Ashland (Sept. 5) before scoring from two yards away versus Grand Valley State (Sept. 19).
* Good Month: The Bulldogs have compiled a 51-28-1 (.644) record in October contests since 1990. FSU is 27-16-0 (.628) on the road and 24-12-1 (.662) at home during that span in the month of October.
* Under The Lights: Ferris is 35-48-4 (.425) in evening games going back to 1961. The Bulldogs are 13-23-2 (.368) on the road and 22-25-2 (.469) at home during that period. Currently, the Bulldogs are 1-2 in evening outings this campaign not counting the late afternoon/early evening outing at NMU.
* The 101st Season: The 2009 campaign represents the Bulldogs' 101st 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. FSU has an all-time record of 367-412-40 (.473).
* Scoring Trends: The Bulldogs have been outscored 66-7 in the first quarter of games to date this season and also trail 32-7 in points scored during the final period. On the flip side, however, the Bulldogs have outscored the opponents' 32-26 in the second quarter and are tied (28-28) in third quarter scoring.
* Keep An Eye On: Bulldog senior cornerback Angelo Williams was among 13 GLIAC players listed as "Others To Watch" in the 2009 D2 Football Preview Magazine published by d2football.com. The first-year magazine included 11 players each named to both the first-team preseason all-conference offensive and defensive teams in addition to three specialists and those listed in the others to watch category.
* Season For Firsts: The Bulldogs had 23 players make their first game appearance in a FSU uniform during the season-opener against Tiffin (Aug. 29). The total included five true freshmen ....... Nine different players started their first games in a Bulldog uniform against Tiffin in week one. The total included five on the defensive side of the ball and four on offense ...... FSU's initial road trip this season to Findlay (Sept. 12) featured 28 players making their first-ever appearance on the team's travel roster.
* Close Calls Last Year: Five of Ferris' six wins last campaign were decided by seven points or less. The Bulldogs scored the go-ahead TD in the final 37 seconds of four of those contests - at Ashland (Sept. 6), vs. Northern Michigan (Sept. 27), at Indianapolis (Oct. 11) and vs. Northwood (Oct. 25). Seven of FSU's 10 outings last season were determined by 14 points or less and the Bulldogs finished 6-1 in those contests. Ferris was 5-0 in games decided by seven points or less.
* Good Streak: The Bulldogs have presently emerged victorious in eight of their last 10 games determined by a touchdown or less dating back to a thrilling 44-41 league home win (9/22/07) over Hillsdale. FSU had won seven-straight such contests prior to its recent home loss to Grand Valley State (Sept. 19) and the squad's only other setback in games decided by less than seven points over the last three years was a 37-35 homecoming loss to Ashland in 2007 (10/20).
* Team Captains: FSU's team captains for the 2009 campaign are senior right tackle Brad Bammert (Flushing) and senior quarterback Kyle Parrish on the offensive side along with senior middle linebacker Nick Butler (Midland) and senior safety Chad Wilson (Howell) on the defensive side.
* Game Day Promotions: Ferris will have special game day promotions for each of its five home contests this season at Top Taggart Field. Community Football Day was held in conjunction with FSU's first home tilt versus Tiffin (Aug. 29) and the annual Fireworks Night and Riverdays Festival coincided with game two against Ashland (Sept. 5). The second annual Blues & BBQ pregame party took place prior to the Anchor-Bone Classic matchup against Grand Valley State (Sept. 19). Homecoming is set for Oct. 10 when the Bulldogs host Indianapolis. Finally, the 10th annual Hall of Fame Game will take place Oct. 31 during FSU's regular-season home finale against Hillsdale. Visit the FSU website for more information on game promotions.
* 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 via Twitter. Please visit www.twitter.com/ferrisathletics to follow the tweet-by-tweet coverage with periodic scoring updates.
* "Battle At The Ballpark" Blitz: This week's live "Bulldog Blitz" online chat covering Ferris State University football, which will take place this Wednesday evening at 8 p.m. (ET), will include a complete preview of the "Battle At The Ballpark". The chat, which is powered by a service called CoverItLive, is co-hosted by FSU Football SID Rob Bentley and local journalist Sandy Gholston. The chat will take place Wednesday at 8 p.m. (ET) and is expected to last at least a half-hour in length. In addition to comments from the show hosts, Bulldog fans will also have the opportunity to ask questions, which will be reviewed for content before they are posted by the site administrator. Fans will also be able to participate in live fan polls during the chat and view photos posted within the discussion. A unique feature of the CoverItLive service is the ability for fans to replay what has been said after the chat is over. To participate in the live chat, please visit www.ferrisstatebulldogs.com and click on the "Bulldog Blitz" banner icon found on the football page.
* 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 Bulldog 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.
* Yearbook Available Online: The 2009 Ferris State University Football Yearbook is available to view online in a PDF format. The 68-page publication features such information as 2009 player rosters, season outlook, player biographies, coaching staff information, 2008 season statistics, career and season statistical records, series records, game records, etc. Visit the FSU athletics website at www.ferrisstatebulldogs.com to find the publication online.
* Follow The Bulldogs: Bulldog fans now have the ability to catch Ferris State in action even when they can't be at the stadium. A live video and audio webcast is slated to be offered for all 2009 Bulldog home football games via an agreement with B2 Networks. In addition, selected road games at B2 partner schools will also be available. For more information, visit the FSU Athletics Website (www.ferrisstatebulldogs.com) and click on the B2 broadcast icon.