October 21, 2009

Football Game Notes: Northwood (Oct. 24)

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* This Week: The Ferris State University football team continues its two-game road swing by visiting the Northwood Timberwolves this Saturday, Oct. 24. The Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) game will kick off at 12 p.m. (EDT) at NU’s Hantz Stadium in Midland, Mich.

* Ticket Information:
Tickets for Saturday’s game will be available at the stadium on gameday or can be obtained by calling the NU Ticket Office at (989) 837-4381.

* Media Coverage:
Saturday’s game will be carried live locally by WYBR (102.3 FM) with Rob Bentley handling the play-by-play duties for the game and Sandy Gholston offering color commentary. 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 and live game audio 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.

* Last Time Out: Wayne State running back Joique Bell proved to be too much for Ferris State as the Warriors rolled to a 45-7 GLIAC victory on Saturday (Oct. 17) afternoon at Adams Field in Detroit, Mich. Bell ran for 263 yards on 34 carries and scored six touchdowns to lead Wayne State to its first home field win over the Bulldogs since 1990, which snapped a seven-game Bulldog series' winning streak in the Motor City. Ferris' only points of the day came with 4:23 to go in the first half on a four-yard scoring pass from senior quarterback Kyle Parrish (Garden Grove, Calif./Santiago) to senior receiver Chris Wilson (Hingsville, Ga./Long County). The short 33-yard march came on the heels' of a Bell fumble. The Warriors rolled up 30 first downs and 510 total yards on 72 plays with 398 yards coming on the ground on 58 carries. FSU finished with 100 total yards and seven first downs as the Bulldogs were limited to -45 yards rushing on 28 attempts as WSU netted 10 quarterback sacks for 95 yards.

* Coming Up Next: The Bulldogs return home for their final home game of the season against the Hillsdale Chargers on Saturday, Oct. 31, at Top Taggart Field in Big Rapids. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. (ET). A number of Halloween activities will take place and the game is also designated as FSU’s Senior Day contest and 10th annual Hall of Fame Game.

* The Records: Ferris State (1-7, 0-7 GLIAC) is currently midst a seven-game losing streak. FSU owns a current 0-3 road mark this season. Ferris 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. Northwood is presently 4-3 overall and in the GLIAC this season after a 42-7 league home win over Tiffin last Saturday (Oct. 17). The Timberwolves are 4-0 at home this campaign. NU recorded a 2-8 overall and league mark in 2008 and placed tied for ninth in the GLIAC.

* The Coaches: Ferris State – Jeff Pierce (Ferris State, 1979), 15th season, 91-71-0 (.562) – (10-4-0 vs. NU). Pierce is 45-38 (.542) overall in road contests at FSU and he owns a 32-29-0 (.525) 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. Northwood – Mike Sullivan (Saginaw Valley State, 1998), 2nd season, 6-11-0 (.353) – (0-1-0 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.

Series Information:

* Saturday’s game will mark FSU’s first trip to Hantz Stadium in three years and only the Bulldogs’ second appearance in Midland since 2004 as three of the last four series’ matchups were played in Big Rapids.

* Ferris State has won 17 of the last 22 games, including 13 of the past 17 contests after NU was victorious in 11 of the previous 13 games.

* Eighteen of the 35 meetings have been determined by 15 points or more and Ferris State is 10-8-0 (.556) in those games – (5-5-0 away & 5-3-0 home).

* Six of the last 12 contests have been decided by 15 points or less, including last year’s 19-13 Bulldog victory at Big Rapids.

* In the last nine meetings, Ferris State is averaging 26.3 points per game (237 pts.) to Northwood’s 28.0 points a contest (252 pts.) for a -1.7 points margin.

* Ferris State is 7-5-0 in contests decided by 10 points or less (5-2-0 home and 2-3 away) and 12-11-0 in games decided between 11 or more points (7-6-0 away and 5-5-0 home).

* Ferris State is averaging 15.7 points per game (47 pts.) in its last three outings versus NU in Midland while Northwood has averaged 32.3 points a contest (97 pts.) for a +16.6 points differential in favor of the Timberwolves during that period.

* The Final Three: FSU has three games left this year. Ferris has won at least two of its final three games of a year 14 times in the last 19 seasons dating back to 1990, including two of the last three years to date. The Bulldogs have won 56% (32-25) of their final three games of a campaign since 1990, but the figure jumps to 65% (37-20) counting regular-season games only and not playoff action.

* Bulldog Bites: Senior quarterback Kyle Parrish is 49 yards away from reaching 2,000 career passing yards. He topped the 1,000 passing yards for the season in Saturday’s loss at Wayne State, marking the 27th-straight year the Bulldogs have had a 1,000-yard passer going back to the 1982 campaign ..... FSU head coach Jeff Pierce owns a current 10-4 career mark against Northwood. The 10 wins are the second-most he’s had against any school in his tenure.

* Welcome Back: Saturday’s game will represent the Bulldogs’ first trip to Midland since the 2006 season. The Bulldogs have won each of the last three series’ contests overall and all three games have been decided by seven points or less. Ferris recorded a 17-14 win over Northwood in its last visit to Hantz Stadium in 2006 (11/4).

* Good Month: The Bulldogs have compiled a 51-30-1 (.628) record in October contests since 1990. FSU is 26-18-0 (.591) on the road and 24-13-1 (.645) at home during that span in the month of October.

* Number Nine: Saturday’s game against Northwood represents FSU’s ninth game of the season. The Bulldogs have registered a 14-5 (.737) mark in the ninth game of the year dating back to 1990.

* Game Prediction: The Ferris-Northwood game will be highlighted this week on The Rocky and Randall Road Show from Panama City Beach, Fla. The show airs from 7-9 a.m. (CST) on Saturday mornings and 10 games are selected each week from the college ranks with the show’s on-air talents making predictions on the winners. The show can be heard at www.beach951.com by clicking on “listen live”. Fans can also call-in during the show to discuss the outcome by phoning (850) 235-2951.

* Quartet Leads The Way: The linebacking quartet of Matt Ryan, senior Nick Butler (Midland), senior Chad Schoen (Woodhaven/Gibraltar Carlson) and junior Kyle Fitzpatrick (Vestaburg) have combined for 246 total tackles or 38% of the squad’s 646 stops to date this season. All four are among the team’s top five tacklers this season.

* Career Day: FSU senior linebacker Matt Ryan tallied a career-high 20 total tackles at Wayne State, which included seven solo stops. He has surpassed his previous career-high in each of the last three games and is averaging 16 tackles per contest in that stretch. His 20 total tackles were the most registered by a Bulldog player since former All-American linebacker Kevin Myers netted 26 stops at Grand Valley State in 2004 (8/28/04). Ryan has a team-high 83 tackles this season after entering the year with only 10 career stops.

* New To All But One: Ferris senior receiver Chris Wilson is the only member of the Bulldog team who played in FSU’s last visit to Hantz Stadium in 2006 (11/4/06) when the Bulldogs posted a 17-13 road victory. Wilson started the game as a freshman wide receiver and caught one pass for six yards. Wilson has caught a touchdown pass in each of FSU’s last two games and accounted for both of the Bulldogs’ touchdowns in the last 16 quarters this season. His 12 catches overall this year tops his previous career-high of 11 grabs during the 2007 season.

* Former Assistant: Former Ferris State assistant coach Ted Egger is in his second season on the Northwood staff. Egger coached defensive backs at Ferris for three seasons from 2005-07 under current FSU head coach Jeff Pierce.

* Parrish On The List: FSU senior quarterback Kyle Parrish currently is listed in 14th place on the school’s all-time passing chart. Parrish currently has thrown for 1,951 yards in his two-year career. He’s twice thrown for more than 300 yards in a game, including a personal career-high 404 yards in last year’s win (10/11/08) at Indianapolis.

* The Other Side: Ferris had two players make the switch to the other side of the ball in Saturday’s loss at Wayne State. Senior Ron Hardy (Grand Rapids/Ottawa Hills) and freshman Alan Freeman (Westland/Inkster), who both have played as wide receivers in the Bulldog offense this season, saw action at defensive back against the Warriors. Hardy played safety and was third on the team with seven tackles in the game and also forced a fumble. Freeman played at cornerback late in the contest and finished with three tackles. Both were moved to help create depth in the secondary where FSU has lost two senior starters for the year due to injuries this season.

* New Look: Ferris changed its offensive system for last week’s game at Wayne State as the Bulldogs shifted from a spread-type offense to a type of “I-pro” formation. The Bulldogs utilized a fullback for the first time this year in addition to multiple tight ends at times and also moved the quarterback under center for the first time.

* Bulldog Milestones: FSU senior linebacker Nick Butler enters Saturday’s game needing 10 tackles to notch his 100th career stop in a Bulldog uniform ...... Senior safety Santino Favot (South Lyon) garnered his 100th career tackle last Saturday at Wayne State ...... Senior Matt Ryan is seven tackles away from his 100th career stop ..... Senior cornerback Angelo Wiliams (Jackson) also made his 100th career tackle at WSU.

* On Single Season List: Ferris sophomore placekicker Shawn Snoor (Diamondale/Holt) moved into a tie for 19th place on the school’s single-season made field goal list by booting two field goals at the “Battle At The Ballpark” (Oct. 3). Snoor currently has converted six of his seven tries this season, including a career-long 45-yarder in FSU’s home game versus then top-ranked Grand Valley State (Sept. 19). With one more make, he would climb into a tie for 14th place on the seasonal chart.

* Freshman Among Leaders: FSU freshman punter Mitchell Voss (Valparaiso, Ind./Wheeler) currently ranks first in the GLIAC in punting average (39.5 avg.) and now ranks 25th nationally this campaign. He booted a career-long 69-yard punt against Michigan Tech three weeks ago (Oct. 3).

* League Stat Notebook: FSU ranks first among the GLIAC’s leaders to date in pass defense this season (139.6 ypg.) and 10th nationally ...... Ferris is also listed third in field goals (.857) and fifth in kickoff coverage (39.9 avg.) on the conference level ........ The Bulldogs have given the opponents only five fourth-down conversions in 15 tries this year (33.3%), which is fourth in the conference ...... Senior cornerback Angelo Williams comes in eighth among the league leaders in passes defended (0.86 breakups per game) ...... Bulldog senior linebacker Matt Ryan currently ranks fourth among the GLIAC leaders in tackles (10.4 tpg.) while fellow senior linebacker Nick Butler is seventh (8.8 tpg.). Ryan is tied for 19th in the nation with Butler tied for 51st nationally in tackles ...... Sophomore Shawn Snoor is listed sixth in field goals (6-7) ....... Senior Kyle Parrish ranks ninth in passing (130.0 ypg.) and 10th in total offense (131.0 ypg.).

* In The Red Zone: To date this year, the Bulldogs have converted 14-of-19 times (.737) inside the opponents’ 20-yard line. FSU has scored nine touchdowns and made five field goals in its scoring trips to the red zone.

* 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 367-415-40 (.471).

* 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.

* 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 home loss this year to Grand Valley State (Sept. 19).

* 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 took place last Saturday (Oct. 10) when the Bulldogs hosted Indianapolis. Finally, the 10th annual Hall of Fame Game will take place Oct. 31 during FSU's regular-season home finale against Hillsdale and it will also mark the annual Senior Day game. Visit the FSU website for more information on game promotions.

* National Honoree: The Ferris State University football program can now boast of having the nation's top scholar-athlete from any sport at the NCAA Division II level for the second time in the last three years. Former Bulldog All-American Jake Visser (Coopersville), who concluded his eligibility as a standout defensive tackle for the Bulldogs last fall, was recently chosen as the male recipient of the Division II Conference Commissioner's Association (CCA) 2008-09 National "Scholar-Athlete of the Year" Award as voted by the D-II Commissioners organization. Visser previously was hoored as the male recipient of the GLIAC Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award for the 2008-09 athletics season and was also chosen as the Midwest Region winner of the Division II award before advancing to the national ballot. He becomes the second Ferris football player in the last three years to attain the Division II CCA National "Scholar-Athlete of the Year" honor following former linebacker Mike Klobucher, who was recognized as the recipient of the same honor for the 2006-07 season. The 6-2 Visser signed a free agent contract and took part in camp this summer with the NFL’s Houston Texans after being a first-team All-American both on the field and in the classroom for the Bulldogs last year.

* 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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