* This Week: The Ferris State University football team kicks off its 2009 11-game campaign and 101st season of varsity competition Saturday, Aug. 29, versus the Tiffin Dragons in a 7 p.m. (EDT) non-conference matchup at FSU's Top Taggart Field in Big Rapids, Mich.
* Ticket Information: Tickets will be available at the gate or for more information, contact the FSU Ticket Office at (231) 591-2888. They can also be bought online at www.starticketsplus.com. Tickets are $7 adults or $5 students (K-12), senior citizens and FSU faculty/staff. Ferris students with ID will be admitted free as will children not yet of school age.
* 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.
* Community Football Day: Saturday is "Community Football Day" with a pair of games on tap at Top Taggart Field. Big Rapids High School will open its season by hosting Holton at 2:30 p.m. (EDT). In addition to the BRHS and Ferris games, there will also be a rocket youth football game during halftime activities of the FSU-Tiffin contest.
* Promotions: A number of promotions will take
place during the contest including at Cornhole Tournament at 4 p.m.
(EDT) and a giant slip'n'slide event at halfitme. The game,
which will be part of FSU Welcome Week activities, also includes
in-game promotions such as Ken's Kick Contest, Birkam Football
giveaway, Synder's Certificates and Patterson's Bulldog Sweetheart
of the Game.
* Season Openers: Ferris State will be participating in its 101st season opener since 1900 (no scores available in 1912 & 1916) and has compiled a 42-51-5 (.454 winning pct.) record. The Bulldogs have won 12 of their last 20 season openers to date, which includes five of their last 12 overall. Head coach Jeff Pierce has posted a 7-7-0 career mark in season-opening contests. Ferris recorded a 14-12 non-league triumph over Tiffin in last year's (2008) season opener held at Tiffin, Ohio, and has won three-straight season openers to date.
* Coming Up Next: Ferris continues its season-opening homestand by hosting nationally-ranked Ashland next Saturday, Sept. 5, at Top Taggart Field. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. (EDT) and fireworks will be held after the game. A year ago, the Bulldogs upset the ranked Eagles on their home field in week two by blocking a game-winning field goal attempt as time expired to win 25-24 at AU's Community Stadium.
* 2008 Records: Ferris State 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. Tiffin posted a 1-10-0 overall record last campaign in its first season as a GLIAC member. TU was 1-5 at home, 0-5 on the road, and 0-0 at neutral sites last fall while placing tied for 11th in the GLIAC (1-9 record).
* The Coaches: Ferris State - Jeff
Pierce (Ferris State, 1979), 15th season, 90-64-0 (.584) -
(1-0-0 vs. Tiffin). Pierce has compiled a 46-28-0 (.622)
coaching mark in home encounters and is 2-3-0 (.400) in August
contests to date. Pierce, who played at Ferris (defensive
back) from 1974-77, is the 12th head coach in Ferris State's
Tiffin - Dave Walkosky (Toledo, 1990), 2nd season, 1-10-0 (.090) - (0-1-0 vs. Ferris State). Walkosky took over the Tiffin program last year after serving as an assistant coach at Washington State. He worked as a defensive coach at Toledo from 1996 to 2006 and has also served as defensive coordinator at Tennessee-Martin along with stints at Memphis and Waynesburg (Pa.).
* 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. Ferris has posted an all-time record of 366-408-40 (.474) to date heading into the 2009 campaign.
* Battle At The Ballpark: A highlight of the
Bulldogs' 2009 campaign will come on 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, please visit
the "Battle At The Ballpark" website by clicking on the banner icon
* FSU-Tiffin Series Information: This is the second meeting ever between FSU and Tiffin following last year's (Aug. 30) narrow 14-12 Bulldog victory in the first matchup at TU's Frost-Kalnow Stadium in Tiffin, Ohio. The two teams were not scheduled to play each other in GLIAC action again this season, thus they agreed to a non-league game. This year marks the final year of a two-year home and home scheduling agreement between the two schools. They are tentatively slated to play each other again next year in Big Rapids as part of the GLIAC schedule.
* 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 will be held in
conjunction with FSU's first home tilt versus Tiffin (Aug. 29) with
the annual Fireworks Night and Riverdays Festival coinciding with
game two against Ashland (Sept. 5). The second annual Blues
& BBQ pregame party will take 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.
* Non-Conference Matchups: Ferris is 8-7-0 (.533) in non-league games dating back to 1990 and has won ffive of its last seven outings, including last year's 14-12 triumph at Tiffin. Since 1990, the Bulldogs are 6-6-0 (.500) on the road as 11 of their last 13 non-conference games have been away from home. FSU won its last non-league game at home versus Kentucky State by a 42-19 count in the 2007 season opener (9/1).
* Team Captains: FSU's team captains for the 2009 campaign will be senior right tackle Brad Bammert (Flushing) and senior quarterback Kyle Parrish (Garden Grove, Calif./Santiago) on the offensive side along with senior middle linebacker Nick Butler (Midland) and senior safety Chad Wilson (Howell) on the defensive side.
* Dragon Notes: Tiffin was picked to finish last in the 2009 GLIAC Preseason Coaches Poll. The Dragons were ranked as high as 20th in the American Football Coaches Associationi (AFCA) Division II poll as an independent school two years ago. TU returns 28 letterwinners from last season, including 11 starters with seven on the defensive side of the ball. The Dragons' lone win last campaign was a 34-28 overtime home win over Northern Michigan in week three (Sept. 13).
* Did You Know?: Ferris has had a winning season in 14 of its last 20 seasons and in nine of head coach Jeff Pierce's 14 years at FSU. The Bulldogs won five consecutive conference championship titles from 1992-96 and were league co-champions with Northwood in the 1999 season.
* Training Camp Notes: Ferris' officially
opened fall camp Wednesday, Aug. 5, as the squad's freshmen
reported to campus for the first time. The Bulldogs' returning
veterans reported Thursday, Aug. 6, with the squad's first official
practice held Friday, Aug. 7. Prior to the Tiffin game, FSU will
have held 25 total workouts along with two scrimmages. Ferris'
three-week training camp period not only has featured practices and
scrimmages, but also meetings, lifting, conditioning, testing and
various orientation sessions. FSU's final preseason scrimmage was
held last Friday (Aug. 21) morning. Classes at Ferris State
University won't begin until next Monday (Aug. 31). The Bulldogs
started their usual game-week routine this Sunday (Aug. 23).
* No Running: FSU limited Tiffin to minus three (-3) yards rushing in last year's game, which marked the first time the Bulldogs had held an opponent to a negative rushing yardage figure since Mercyhurst finished with -33 yards rushing against Ferris in 2006 (9/9). The Bulldogs finished second in the GLIAC and 34th nationally in total defense last fall.
* 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 nine games determined by a touchdown or less dating back to a thrilling 44-41 league home win (9/22/07) over Hillsdale. FSU has won sevenstraight such contests and the squad's only setback in games decided by less than seven points over the last two years was a 37-35 homecoming loss to Ashland in 2007 (10/20).
* Shutout Victory: Ferris posted a 14-0 win over Findlay (Sept. 13) in its 2008 home opener at Top Taggart Field, which represented FSU's first shutout dating back 71 games since recording a 35-0 triumph at home over Michigan Tech in 2001. It marked the program's eighth shutout victory since 1990, but only the second in the last 12 seasons along with the 2001 game versus MTU.
* Great Start Last Fall: FSU started the 2008
season with a 3-0 mark prior to a loss at archrival Grand Valley
State (Sept. 20). The 3-0 start was FSU's second such start in the
last 13 years along with the 2006 campaign when they won their
first three outings before losing at Hillsdale in week four
(29-27). Prior to 2006, FSU hadn't won three in a row to open a
season since the 1996 campaign when they made their last trip to
the NCAA-II Playoffs. The 2008 season marked the 10th time in 100
seasons the Bulldogs had started the year with three consecutive
* Top Taggart Field: Ferris State is 87-61-2 (.587) at Top Taggart Field since 1980 and sports a 73-50-2 (.592) conference home ledger during that span. The Bulldogs are 66-34-2 (.657) overall since 1990, which includes a 59-31-2 (.652) league record at home. The facility features a recently-installed Mondo Ecofill playing surface, which is the first of its kind in Michigan and came as part of a $1 million dollar renovation to the facility prior to the 2008 season.
* Under The Lights: Ferris is 33-46-4 (.422) in evening games going back to 1961. The Bulldogs are 12-23-2 (.351) on the road and 21-23-2 (.478) at home during that period.
* Home Openers: Ferris is 41-39-4 (.512) in home openers dating back to 1920, which includes a 11-8-0 mark since 1990. The Bulldogs are 10-6 in their last 16 home-opening encounters and defeated Findlay 14-0 in their first home game last year (9/13/08). The Bulldogs have opened the season at home only once in the last four years, defeating Kentucky State 42-19 in 2007 (9/1).
* Did You Know?: The Bulldogs' 8-3-0 overall mark in 2006 represented the program's best mark since Ferris recorded a 10-2-0 overall record and reached the NCAA-II National Quarterfinals in 1996.
* GLIAC Coaches Poll: Ferris was selected to finish seventh in the 2009 GLIAC Football Coaches Preseason Poll, which was released during the GLIAC's annual football media day luncheon (Oct. 3) at the Doubletree Hotel in Bay City, Mich. The Bulldogs received 66 points in the balloting, which was conducted by the conference's 12 head coaches.
* Tough Go: Ferris holds a 28-41 (.406) all-time record against teams from the state of Ohio in school history. The Bulldogs have played 10 schools from the Buckeye state and have fared the best against those teams now competing in the GLIAC. FSU holds a 10-9 mark versus Findlay and is 9-12 overall against Ashland. The Bulldogs also own four wins (4-6) over Ohio Northern, are unbeaten versus Cedarville (2-0) and have defeated Tiffin, Wilmington and Defiance once each in the program's history. Ferris' worst mark has come against Central State, which owns a 7-0 record against the Bulldogs although the two teams have not met since 1986.
* Gridiron Club Parking: As in the past, all FSU Gridiron Club members will be allowed to park in Lot 35 at Top Taggart Field on a first-come, first-serve basis. Those club members who have reached either the Gold or Champion membership levels ($500-plus) will have reserved parking space in the North Endzone of Top Taggart Field.
* "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. Email reminders can also be set for those wanting
to be reminded of the upcoming chat before it happens. 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.