September 22, 2009

Football Weekly Game Notes: NMU (Sept. 26)

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* This Week: The Ferris State University football team ventures to Michigan's Upper Peninsula this Saturday (Sept. 26) to square off against the Northern Michigan Wildcats in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) action at Marquette, Mich. Kickoff inside NMU's Superior Dome is set for 4 p.m. (EDT). Saturday's contest represent's NMU's annual Homecoming tilt.

* Ticket Information: Tickets for the game will be available on gameday at the stadium or by calling (906) 227-1032.  They can also be purchased online at www.nmu.edu/tickets

* Media Coverage: Saturday's game will be carried live locally by WYBR (102.3 FM) with Jason DaDay handling the play-by-play duties. A live video and audio webcast will be available through B2 Networks for a charge of $7 on FSU's Athletics Website at www.ferrisstatebulldogs.com (Click on B2 Networks icon).  Live internet statistics will also be available.

* 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. 

* Upset Falls Short: Ferris State gave nationally number-one ranked archrival Grand Valley State all it could handle in the Anchor-Bone Classic on Saturday (Sept. 19) night at Top Taggart Field, but in the end the Lakers pulled out a hard-fought 17-10 triumph to remain unbeaten. GVSU scored the game-winning touchdown with 4:13 to play on a nine-yard scoring toss from senior quarterback Brad Iciek to Mike Koster to cap a 56-yard drive in eight plays.  The Lakers then stopped FSU on fourth down at its own 44-yard line with 1:51 remaining and ran out the clock to secure the win before a crowd of 4,290 fans in Big Rapids.

* Success In The Dome: The Bulldogs will be making their first trip to NMU's Superior Dome in three years on Saturday.  FSU recorded a 42-24 win over the Wildcats in its last trip to the dome in 2006 (9/30). The Bulldogs  are 4-1 in the last five meetings in Marquette, but have had mixed scoring success.  FSU has twice scored more than 40 points and has twice been held to under 10 points in its last five visits to the Superior Dome. Overall, the Bulldogs own an all-time mark of 6-5 inside the dome and have won six of the last eight matchups in the facility.

* Coming Up Next: The "Battle At The Ballpark" is up next as Ferris takes on the Michigan Tech Huskies at Fifth Third Ballpark next Saturday (Oct. 3) in Comstock Park, Mich. Kickoff on the home field of Minor League Baseball's West Michigan Whitecaps is at 7 p.m. (EDT).

* The Records: Ferris State (1-3, 0-3 GLIAC) 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.  Northern Michigan is presently 2-1 overall after last Saturday's (Sept. 19) 48-16 road win in the Miner's Cup rivalry game at Michigan Tech.  NMU posted a 2-8 overall record in 2008 and finished tied for ninth in GLIAC play (2-8).  The Wildcats are currently 1-0 at home this campaign after a convincing 62-0 triumph over Tiffin (Sept. 12). Last year, Northern Michigan posted a 2-3 mark inside the Superior Dome.

* The Coaches: Ferris State  - Jeff Pierce (Ferris State, 1979), 15th season, 91-67-0 (.576) - (11-3-0 vs. NMU).  Pierce has compiled a 45-36-0 (.556) coaching mark in road encounters and is 36-25-0 (.590) in September contests to date.  Pierce, who played at Ferris (defensive back) from 1974-77, is the 12th head coach in Ferris State's history. Northern Michigan - Bernie Anderson (Northern Michigan, 1978), 4th season, 12-21-0 (.364); Career: 23rd season, 105-117-0 (.473) - (6-14-0 vs. Ferris State). Anderson is the dean of GLIAC football coaches and left Michigan Tech in summer 2006 as the school's all-time winningest coach. He was the 2004 GLIAC Coach of the Year and had a 6-11-0 coaching mark versus Ferris while at MTU.

* Close Contest: The Bulldogs gave nationally top-ranked Grand Valley State its closest outing of the season last Saturday and its most narrow victory since beating Ashland 48-42 at home in regular-season play last campaign (10/25).  The 17 points limited by FSU was the Lakers' fewest in a regular-season game since a 13-0 league road triumph at Findlay (9/2/06), which was 35 regular-season games ago.

* Battle At The Ballpark: A highlight of the Bulldogs' 2009 campaign will come next Saturday, Oct. 3, when FSU takes on Michigan Tech in the "Battle At The Ballpark", which will be played on the home field of Minor League Baseball's West Michigan Whitecaps at Fifth Third Ballpark in Comstock Park, Mich., starting at 7 p.m. (EDT). Ferris State will be the home team for the GLIAC tilt with proceeds from the fundraising game going to help generate additional revenue for the FSU football program.  A variety of pregame events will take place in conjunction with the game.  For more information, including ticket sales in progress, please visit the "Battle At The Ballpark" website by clicking on the banner icon at www.ferrisstatebulldogs.com.

* FSU vs. NMU Series Notes:

Ferris State has won 14 of the last 17 meetings, including nine of the last 11 contests.

Eighteen of the 35 meetings have been determined by 15 points or more and the Bulldogs are 11-7-0 (.611) in those encounters.

In the last nine contests, Ferris State is averaging 26.1 points per game (235 pts.) while Northern Michigan has averaged 19.2 points a contest (173 pts.) for a +6.9 points margin.

Ferris State is 6-5-6 in contests decided by 10 points or less (2-4-3 away) and 10-8-0 in games between 11 or more points (4-4-0 away).

The Bulldogs have twice scored more than 40 points and have twice been held to under 10 points in their last five visits to the Superior Dome in Marquette.  FSU is 4-1 in the last five meetings inside the dome.

Ferris is averaging 381.3 yards in total offense (2,669 yds.) for the last seven matchups.  The Bulldogs have rushed for a 195 yards average (1,365 yds.) and passed for 186.3 yards (1,304 yds.) in those games.

* Success In Week Five: Ferris owns a 15-2-1 overall record in its fifth game of the season dating back to 1990.  FSU has defeated Northern Michigan in game five each of the last three years and owns a current 11-game winning streak in the week five contest. The Bulldogs have not lost in the fifth week of a campaign since 1997.

* Indoor Contests: Ferris sports a 5-5 record in enclosed dome facilities since 1995, but have not played indoors since a 42-24 league road triumph at Northern Michigan in 1996 (9/30).  FSU is 2-1 in its last three dome-type venues following a 17-14 overtime win at NMU in 2004 (10/16) and a 44-7 setback to North Dakota in 2005 (10/8) at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks, N.D.

* Great Success: FSU head coach Jeff Pierce has compiled more wins against Northern Michigan than any other team he's faced in his 15-year head coaching career. The Bulldogs are 11-3 overall to date versus the Wildcats under Pierce and have won nine of the last 11 meetings, including five-straight to date.

* Keep Scoring: Redshirt freshman back Tyler Thomas (Jackson) has scored a touchdown in three of Ferris' first four contests this campaign. 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 in the loss to GVSU.

* Career Long: Sophomore kicker Shawn Snoor (Diamondale/Holt) connected on a career-long 45-yard field goal try against GVSU.  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.  The 45-yarder was the longest made field goal by a Bulldog kicker since Jim Yates connected from the same distance against Northern Michigan in 2007 (9/29) at Big Rapids.

* GVSU Notebook: FSU's Nick Butler (Midland) was chosen as the Bulldogs' Babb Ford Player of the Game for his efforts against GVSU ... The Bulldogs finished only two-of-10 on third down conversions compared to GVSU's seven-of-13 showing ... GVSU was three-of-four in the red zone and Ferris scored on its only trip inside the 20-yard line ... Saturday's game was the first this season the Bulldogs didn't have a punt blocked.

* Parrish Climbing: FSU senior quarterback Kyle Parrish (Garden Grove, Calif./Santiago) surpassed the 1,000-career passing yards mark by throwing for 291 yards on 21-of-32 passing against Ashland (Sept. 5). Parrish currently ranks 15th on the school's all-time passing list with 1,368 career passing yards in only 11 career games to date.

* 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 367-411-40 (.473).

* League Stat Notebook:
FSU ranks first among the GLIAC leaders in kickoff coverage this campaign, with a 44.1 net average ...... Ferris is among the league's least penalized teams to date this year, ranking third in the GLIAC with an average of 28.2 pentalty yards per game ...... 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 Alan Freeman (Westland/Inkster) is third in kickoff returns (23.6 avg.) in the GLIAC ...... Freshman punter Mitchell Voss (Valparaiso, Ind./Wheeler) ranks second in punting average (41.8 avg.) ...... Senior cornerback Angelo Williams (Jackson) comes in second among the league leaders in passes defended (1.25 breakups per game) after three breakups versus GVSU ...... Bulldog senior middle linebacker Nick Butler (Midland) currently ranks tied for fourth among the GLIAC leaders in tackles (9.5 tpg.).

* In The Red Zone: To date this year, the Bulldogs have converted 11-of-13 times (.846) inside the opponents' 20-yard line. FSU has scored eight touchdowns and made three field goals in its scoring trips to the red zone.

* Personal Bests: FSU junior defensive tackle Jacob Moreno (Holt) recorded a personal career-high and game-best nine total tackles against Grand Valley State, including seven solo stops. He added a tackle for loss, pass breakup and quarterback hurry in the outing ..... Redshirt freshman Jonathan Bryant (Detroit/Oak Park) finished with a career-high eight tackles against the Lakers and also forced a fumble.

* Long Pass Play: FSU sophomore receiver Aaron Olman's (Grandville) 74-yard reception from senior quarterback Kyle Parrish versus GVSU represented the longest Bulldog pass play since former wideout Mike Guevara hauled in a 79-yard scoring pass from C.J. Van Wieren in the 2007 season opener (Sept. 1) against Kentucky State at Top Taggart Field.

* No Turnovers: Ferris did not turn the ball over against Grand Valley State, which marks the second time the Bulldogs have accomplished the feat in the last two years and the fifth time dating back to the 2007 season. FSU last had no turnovers in a 19-13 home win over Northwood last fall (10/25/08).

* Few Penalties: FSU's two penalties for eight yards versus GVSU was the squad's fewest of the year and marked the third time in the last 26 games the Bulldogs have had less than 10 penalty yards for a contest. Ferris had a season-low five penalty yards last campaign (10/4/08) at Michigan Tech and also had two penalties for eight yards in ‘07 (10/6) at MTU. Ironically, the Bulldogs have lost all three games in the last three years when they've had less than 10 penalty yards in a contest.

* Scoring Trends: The Bulldogs have outscored their opponents 28-7 in the third quarter of games this fall and have not allowed a third-period score in the last two contests.  On the flip side, however, the Bulldogs have gave up 59 points in the first quarter and only scored seven through four games. FSU also owns a 32-20 edge in second quarter scoring, but trails 32-7 in points scored during the final period of the four outings.

* 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 Saturday's loss to GVSU 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.

* "Bulldog Blitz" Live Chat:  "Bulldog Blitz", a live online weekly chat covering Ferris State University football, will take place each Wednesday evening at 8 p.m. (ET) throughout the 2009 gridiron campaign. The chat, which will be powered by a service called CoverItLive, will be co-hosted by FSU Football SID Rob Bentley and local journalist Sandy Gholston. The chat will take place each Wednesday at 8 p.m. (ET) throughout the season starting on Aug. 26 with a discussion on previous contests and a preview of the week ahead. Each episode 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.

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