Football Game Notes: Hillsdale (Sept. 3)
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* This Week: The Ferris State University football team kicks off its 2010 11-game campaign and 102nd season of varsity competition Friday, Sept. 3, versus the Hillsdale Chargers in a 7 p.m. (EDT) non-conference matchup at HC's Frank "Muddy" Waters Stadium in Hillsdale, Mich.
* Ticket Information: Tickets will be available at the game or for more information, please contact the Hillsdale Athletics Office at (517) 437-7364.
* Media Coverage: Friday'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. It will also be streamed live online. A live video and webcast will be available through B2 Networks along with live statistics. Links for all available media can be found by clicking on the "upcoming events" scoreboard tab on FSU's Athletics Website at www.ferrisstatebulldogs.com.
* Follow On Twitter: In addition to radio and internet coverage, Bulldog fans can also follow Friday's contest and all other FSU games this year with live scoring updates via Twitter. Please visit www.twitter.com/ferrisathletics to follow the tweet-by-tweet coverage with periodic scoring updates.
* Season Openers: Ferris State will be participating in its 102nd season opener since 1900 (no scores available in 1912 & 1916) and has compiled a 43-51-5 (.460 winning pct.) record. The Bulldogs have won 13 of their last 21 season openers to date, which includes six of their last 13 overall. Head coach Jeff Pierce has posted a 8-7-0 career mark in season-opening contests. Ferris recorded a 34-14 non-league triumph over Tiffin in last year's (2009) season opener held at FSU's Top Taggart Field and has won four-straight season openers to date.
* Coming Up Next: Ferris opens Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) play next week with their first home contest of the 2010 season versus Saginaw Valley State on Saturday, Sept. 11. Kickoff for the "Honoring American Heroes" Day tilt is scheduled for 6 p.m. (EDT) with a variety of activities taking place throughout the day.
* Chargers Ranked: This week, the Chargers are listed 16th in the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Division II National Poll. HC was ranked in virtually every published NCAA Division II national poll during the preseason, including being ranked 18th by the AFCA. The Chargers were also listed 19th by Lindy's College Football Magazine, 22nd in the D2football.com rankings along with 25th in the USA Today Division II Top 25 Preseason Poll.
* The Records: Ferris State posted a 1-10 overall mark a season ago and was 0-10 in GLIAC play. The Bulldogs were winless in five tries on the road last campaign. Ferris registered a 6-5-0 overall record in 2008 and placed seventh in the GLIAC with a 5-5 mark.
Hillsdale was 10-3 overall in 2009 and placed tied for second in the GLIAC standings with an 8-2 league mark. The Chargers advanced to the second round of the NCAA Division II Playoffs before falling to eventual national runner-up Grand Valley State.
* The Coaches: Ferris State – Jeff Pierce (Ferris State, 1979), 16th season, 91-74-0 (.552) – (9-6-0 vs. HC). Pierce is 45-40 (.529) overall in road contests at FSU and he owns a 36-26-0 (.581) record 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.
Hillsdale – Keith Otterbein (Hillsdale, 1979), 9th season, 48-42-0 (.533); Career: 17th season, 108-81-3 (.570) – (4-4-0 vs. Ferris State). Otterbein served as head coach at Ferris State for nine seasons (1986-94) and then spent seven years (1995-01) as the recruiting coordinator and running backs coach at NCAA Division I Ball State.
* The 102nd Season: The 2010 campaign represents the Bulldogs' 102nd 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 367-418-40 (.469) to date heading into the 2010 campaign. .
* Non-League Games: Ferris is 9-7-0 (.563) in non-league games dating back to 1990 and has won six of its last eight outings, including last year's 34-14 home triumph over Tiffin. Since 1990, the Bulldogs are 6-6-0 (.500) on the road as 11 of their last 14 non-conference games have been away from home. FSU won its most recent non-league road game with a 14-12 win at Tiffin in 2008.
* Not The First, Nor The Last: This year won't be the first time in recent memory the Bulldogs and Chargers have squared off in a non-conference matchup. The two teams also played a non-league home and home series in 2002 and 2003 with the Bulldogs winning both games. FSU topped HC 33-21 in Big Rapids in '02 (9/7) before beating the Chargers in Hillsdale by a 25-20 count the following year (9/6/03). Both meetings came in the initial contest of the season. The two teams are scheduled to meet again next season for a non-league game to start the campaign in Big Rapids.
* Team Captains: FSU's team captains for the 2010 campaign will be senior right guard Scott Shattuck (Lowell/Ionia) and junior quarterback Tom Schneider (Jerome/Addison) on the offensive side of the ball along with senior safety Chad Wilson (Howell), senior linebacker Matt Ryan (Howell) and senior defensive tackle Jacob Moreno (Holt).
* Home Opener: FSU's home opener is set for next Saturday, Sept. 11, as the Bulldogs open GLIAC play versus Saginaw Valley State. Kickoff for the "Honoring American Heroes" Day tilt is scheduled for 6 p.m. (EDT) with a variety of activities taking place throughout the day. The event is tentatively slated to include a high school afternoon game, two concerts and fireworks among other things. Tickets will be sold at the gate starting two hours prior to kickoff.
* Welcome Back: The Bulldogs return 12 starters and more than 40 letterwinners from last season. Six of the starters back are on the offensive side of the ball with five on defense to go with junior placekicker Shawn Snoor (Diamondale/Holt).
* Key Returnee: Senior linebacker Matt Ryan ranked third among the GLIAC leaders and tied for eighth natioanlly in total tackles (11.3 pg.) last campaign. Ryan tallied a team-high 124 tackles last season, including 54 solo stops en route to earning All-GLIAC Second Team laurels.
* Good Memory: FSU quarterback Robert Banaszak (Rockford) threw the first TD pass of his career with a 16-yard scoring throw to receiver Mike Ryan in the fourth quarter of last year's (10/31/09) home loss to Hillsdale. The scoring reception also gave Ryan his first touchdown of 2009.
* Scoring Output: Ferris' 14 points versus Hillsdale last year at Top Taggart Field were the squad's most after the first two games of the year. FSU was held to 10 points or less in eight of its last nine games a season ago with the exception being the game versus the Chargers when FSU scored twice in the fourth quarter.
* Under The Lights: Ferris is 34-49-4 (.414) in evening games going back to 1961. The Bulldogs are 12-24-2 (.342) on the road and 22-25-2 (.469) at home during that period.
* Solid Pass Defense: Ferris ranked second among the GLIAC leaders and 12th nationally in pass defense last season (148.91 ypg.). Two starters graduated in cornerback Angelo Williams and safety Santino Favot, but the Bulldogs will regain the services of senior safety Chad Wilson, who missed all of last season due to injury after earning GLIAC Honorable Mention kudos in 2008.
* Back Again: FSU junior kicker Shawn Snoor ranked sixth among the GLIAC leaders in PAT's (14-15) and seventh in field goals (6-8) last season. Snoor enters the 2010 season listed 13th among the Bulldogs' all-time field goals leaders with his six made tries from last year.
* Welcome Back: In addition to Matt Ryan, the Bulldogs return three other players who have previously claimed conference recognition. They include a pair of 2009 All-GLIAC Honorable Mention picks in senior defensive tackle Jacob Moreno and sophomore defensive end Jordan Morgan (Chicago, Ill./Mt. Carmel). Additionally, senior safety Chad Wilson was an honorable mention pick in 2008 before missing all of last year due to injury.
* New Faces On Staff: The Bulldogs have two new faces on their full-time coaching staff this season. Former Northern State (S.D.) head coach Chris Boden takes over as FSU's offensive coordinator and will utilize a system similar to the one Mike Leach made famous at Texas Tech. Boden was on the same staff as Leach at Division II powerhouse Valdosta State (Ga.) in the 1990's. Additionally, Gary McGraw fills the role of defensive backs coach after previously serving as the defensive coordinator at Quincy (Ill.). He played defensive back at Oregon where he helped the Ducks win back-to-back Pac-10 Championships in 2000 and 2001.
* Training Camp Notes: Ferris' officially opened fall camp Wednesday, Aug. 11, as the squad's freshmen reported to campus for the first time. The Bulldogs' returning veterans reported Thursday, Aug. 12, with the squad's first official practice held Friday, Aug. 13. Prior to the Hillsdale 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. 27) morning. Classes at Ferris State University began Monday (Aug. 30).
* Did You Know?: Ferris has had a winning season in 14 of its last 21 seasons and in nine of head coach Jeff Pierce's 15 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.
* 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 last year to Grand Valley State (9/19/09).
* Gameday Promotions: Ferris will have special game day promotions for each of its five home contests this season at Top Taggart Field. Honoring American Heroes Day will be held in conjunction with FSU's first home tilt versus Saginaw Valley State (Sept. 11) with Kids Night set for the second home matchup against Tiffin (Sept. 25). Homecoming is set for Oct. 9 when the Bulldogs host Findlay. The annual Anchor-Bone Classic matchup against Grand Valley State (Sept. 19) will also be part of the area's Paint Big Rapids Pink event to support breast cancer research. Finally, FSU's regular season home finale against Michigan Tech (Nov. 6) will serve as the annual Senior Day game and also include a special FSU Parents Appreciation event. Visit the FSU website for more information on game promotions.
* 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 2010 Ferris State University Football Yearbook is available to view as an online publication. The publication features such information as 2010 player rosters, season outlook, player biographies, coaching staff information, 2009 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: A live video and audio webcast is slated to be offered for all 2010 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 icon.
* "Bulldog Blitz" Preseason Chat: The Bulldog Blitz" Season Preview will take place via a live online chat this Wednesday (Sept. 1) evening at 9 p.m. (ET). 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. In addition to comments from the 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. To participate in the live chat, please visit www.ferrisstatebulldogs.com.
* The "Bulldog Beat" Football Show: A special internet talk show on FSU football will air each week this fall as the "Bulldog Beat" Football Show hits the web airwaves on Thursday nights throughout the season. The talk show, which will be powered by a service called Blog Talk Radio, will be co-hosted by FSU Associate Athletics Communications Director/Football SID Rob Bentley and local journalist Sandy Gholston. The approximate 60 to 90-minute show will take place Thursday evenings starting at 9 p.m. (ET) beginning this week (Sept. 2) and can be heard live by visiting: www.blogtalkradio.com/ferrisathletics.
* "Countdown To Kickoff Series": A special FSU Football "Countdown To Kickoff" series began last Friday (Aug. 27) and runs thru Thursday (Sept. 2) with a look at a different position group each day on the official FSU Athletics Website at www.ferrisstatebulldogs.com.