September 14, 2010

Football Game Notes: ODU (Sept. 18)

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* This Week:
The Ferris State University football team visits Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) newcomer Ohio Dominican on Saturday, Sept. 18, for a 12 p.m. (EDT) league kickoff at ODU's Panther Field in Columbus, Ohio.

* Ticket Information: Tickets will be available at the gate or for more information, please contact the Ohio Dominican Athletics Department at (614) 251-4735.

* 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.  It will also be streamed live online.  A live video webcast will be available thru ODU at www.pressboxproductions.net with live stats via presto sports also offered.  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 Saturday's contest and all other FSU games this year with live Twitter scoring updates.  Visit www.twitter.com/ferrisathletics to follow the tweet-by-tweet coverage with periodic scoring updates.

* Upset Victory: A game-saving interception by sophomore linebacker Tayo Moss with less than a minute left in the contest preserved Ferris State's 21-17 upset victory over nationally 16th-ranked Saginaw Valley State on Saturday (Sept. 11) evening at FSU's Top Taggart Field in Big Rapids, Mich. Moss picked off SVSU quarterback Charles Dowdell's tipped pass with 41 seconds to play on first down as the Cardinals started a drive at the FSU 36-yard line.  The victory snapped an 11-game Bulldog losing streak dating back to the second week of the 2009 campaign and came before a crowd of 3,201 fans on "Honoring American Heroes" Day. It was the 36th consecutive meeting between the two schools.

* Coming Up Next: Ferris returns home to square off against the Tiffin Dragons on Saturday, Sept. 25, at FSU's Top Taggart Field in Big Rapids.  Kickoff for the "Kids Night" league home tilt under the lights is set for 7 p.m. (ET).

* First Meeting Ever: Ferris and Ohio Dominican will meet for the first-time ever on Saturday afternoon.  The Panthers made their GLIAC debut this past Saturday (Sept. 11) and suffered a 28-12 league home loss to Northwood in their season opener.  ODU compiled a 7-3 overall record as an independent school in 2009 and was 4-1 overall at home.  The Panthers are guided by first-year head coach Bill Conley.

* The Records: Ferris State is presently 1-1 overall and 1-0 in the GLIAC after posting a 1-10 overall mark in 2009, including an 0-10 league record.  Ferris previously registered a 6-5-0 overall record in 2008 and placed seventh in the GLIAC with a 5-5 mark.

ODU suffered a 28-12 league home loss to Northwood in their season opener and GLIAC debut last Saturday (Sept. 11).  The Panthers compiled a 7-3 overall record as an independent school in 2009 and were 4-1 overall at home.  

* The Coaches: Ferris State  – Jeff Pierce (Ferris State, 1979), 16th season, 92-75-0 (.551) – (0-0-0 vs. ODU).  Pierce is 45-41 (.523) overall in road contests at FSU and he owns a 37-27-0 (.578) 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.

Ohio Dominican – Bill Conley (Ohio State, 1972), 1st season, 0-1-0 (.000); Career: 1st season, 0-1-0 (.000) – (0-0-0 vs. Ferris State). Conley is the program's second-ever head coach and was regarded as one of the nation's top recruiters in two stints as a 17-year assistant coach at Ohio State.  He also served as a recruiting analyst for ESPN and a motivational speaker prior to taking over the ODU program in the off-season.

* 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 368-419-40 (.469) to date heading into the 2010 campaign.

* GLIAC Player of the Week: FSU sophomore linebacker Tayo Moss was chosen as this week's (Sept. 13) GLIAC Defensive Player of the Week.  He came up big in only his second career start by tallying a game-high 12 tackles and a game-preserving interception with less than a minute to go in FSU's 21-17 upset victory over nationally 16th-ranked Saginaw Valley State.  The 5-11 Moss picked off a tipped SVSU pass at the Ferris 24-yard line on first down as the Bulldogs snapped an 11-game losing streak dating back to week two of the 2009 campaign.  Moss also added a sack, tackle for loss and quarterback hurry as the Bulldog defensive unit combined for a total of five sacks, three turnovers and a blocked kick in the outing while stopping Saginaw Valley State inside the Bulldog 40-yard line on each of the Cardinals' final three possessions.  Presently, Moss ranks as the Bulldogs' leading tackler this campaign with 19 stops in two games.

* Team Captains: FSU's team captains for the 2010 campaign are 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).

* Welcome Back: The Bulldogs return a total of 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 kicker Shawn Snoor (Diamondale/Holt).

* Against Ohio Schools: Ferris holds a 29-43 (.403) 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 10-10 mark versus Findlay and is 9-13 overall against Ashland.  The Bulldogs also own four wins (4-6) over Ohio Northern, are unbeaten versus Cedarville (2-0) and Tiffin (2-0) and have topped both Wilmington along with 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.

* League Honoree: Tayo Moss' selection this week as GLIAC Defensive Player of the Week represents the first time the Bulldogs have had a player honored as a league weekly award recipient since current senior linebacker Kyle Fitzpatrick (Vestaburg) earned the defensive award following Ferris' season-opening 34-14 non-conference home win over Tiffin last campaign, which happened to be the Bulldogs' most recent victory prior to Saturday night. Ironically, Moss moved into the starting lineup this season after Fitzpatrick was lost for the season during preseason camp.

* More On The Panthers: Ohio Dominican's 7-3 overall mark in 2009 included a 5-1 record against Division II member schools and another win against Lake Erie, which also transitioned to Division II this season and is a first-year GLIAC member. Thirteen starters return this year, including eight on offense and five on defense.  The school has an enrollment of 3,100 and is located in Columbus.  The Panthers utilize an offensive spread formation and run a 4-3 defensive scheme.

* Another Ranked Foe: This past Saturday's outing versus Saginaw Valley State represented the fourth consecutive game the Bulldogs had played against a team ranked in the AFCA Division II Top 25 dating back to last season.  Ferris State concluded the 2009 campaign with a 59-14 home setback (10/31/09) against Hillsdale (#22) followed by a 41-7 regular-season finale loss (11/7/09) at Saginaw Valley State (#22).  Hillsdale was listed 16th nationally prior to its season-opening win over the Bulldogs (Sept. 3) and SVSU was also 16th last week before FSU's upset victory.
   
* Scoring Output: Ferris' 21 points against SVSU were its most since scoring 23 against Ashland in week two of the 2009 season.  FSU was held to 10 points or less in eight of its last nine games a season ago.
    
* SVSU Game Notes: FSU's Tayo Moss earned the Bulldog Player of the Game honor sponsored by Babb Ford … FSU's offensive line gave up only one sack despite missing starting center Jake Hancock (Big Rapids) …… FSU and SVSU met for the 36th consecutive season datinb back to 1975 ……. The Bulldogs' most recent win prior to Saturday's upset was a 34-14 season-opening home win over Tiffin in non-league play in 2009 (8/29/09) …… The "Honoring American Heroes" Day event included two concerts, postgame fireworks and more as FSU recognized all first responders, military personnel and veterans during the evening.
    
* Good Streak: Following Saturday's win over SVSU, the Bulldogs have now presently emerged victorious in nine of their last 11 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 nationally top-ranked Grand Valley State (9/19/09).

* No Running: The Bulldogs have allowed only 180 total rushing yards in two contests or an average of 90 yards per game after holding SVSU to 54 yards on 42 attempts.  Last season, the Bulldogs allowed 253.5 yards per game on average rushing.  FSU ranks third in the league to date this season in rushing defense after two games.

* Holding Them Down: The 54 rushing yards allowed by the Bulldogs against SVSU was the fewest by an opponent since Ferris held Tiffin to -3 total rushing yards in the first-ever series' meeting between the two teams in 2008 (8/30/08) at Tiffin, Ohio.

* GLIAC Stats Notes: The Bulldogs are tied for first overall in the GLIAC in total sacks after two games (7) this season ...... FSU sophomore cornerback Antwian Windmon (Chicago/Morgan Park) ranks tied for first in passes defended (2.00 pg.) after two games with three breakups and an interception ....... Junior receiver Mike Ryan (Howell) ranks tied for fifth in the GLIAC in receptions per game (6.0)  ..... Tayo Moss ranks tied for fifth in tackles (9.0 pg.) ....... Sophomore defensive end Jordan Morgan (Chicago/Mt. Carmel) and senior Jacob Moreno are both tied for fifth in sacks (1.00 pg.) ....... Junior defensive back William Miles (Stockton, Calif./Tokay) is tied for seventh in passes defended (1.50 pg.) ........ QB Tom Schneider is listed 10th in total offense (177.5 ypg.) ........ Shawn Snoor is eighth in punting (38.8 avg.) and 10th in scoring (kick) per game (4.0 ppg.) ...... Junior Damien Miller (Elsie/Ovid-Elsie) ranks ninth in kick return average (19.8 ypr.) ....... Sophomore linebacker Mike Elias (Ann Arbor/Huron) and sophomore defensive end Brad Iskow (Bad Axe) are both tied for 10th in tackles for loss (1.25 pg.).

* Good Way To Open At Home: Ferris improved to 43-39-4 (.523) in home openers dating back to 1920 with last week's victory and the total includes a 13-8-0 mark since 1990. The Bulldogs are now 12-6 in their last 18 home-opening encounters and has presently won five consecutive home openers dating back to 2006.

* First Touchdowns: Two Bulldogs scored their first career touchdowns in the win over Saginaw Valley State, including sophomore tight end Kevin Guirand (Antioch, Ill./Lakes Community) and sophomore corner Antwian Windmon.  Guirand caught a one-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter while Windmon provided one of the game's biggest highlights with a 26-yard interception return for a score late in the first half.

* Ranking Upset: This past Saturday's triumph gave FSU its second upset win over a ranked SVSU squad at Top Taggart Field in the last five years as the Bulldogs also recovered a fumble with the Cardinals at the Ferris two-yard line in the final minute to preserve a 26-23 win over then fifth-ranked Saginaw Valley State in 2006 (9/16/06).  The win lifted the Bulldogs into the national rankings and a 3-0 start in the '06 campaign.

* First Of Two: Saturday's trip to Ohio Dominican will be the first of two long trips the Bulldogs make to the state of Ohio to face new GLIAC schools as FSU also ventures to Painesville to meet Lake Erie in two weeks (Oct. 2).

* Key Returnee: Senior linebacker Matt Ryan ranked third among the GLIAC leaders and tied for eighth nationally 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 Day: Ferris junior receiver Mike Ryan tallied a personal career-high eight catches in this year's season opener (Sept. 3) at Hillsdale.  It topped his previous high of six grabs for 91 yards last season at Northern Michigan (9/26/09) and included a 13-yard scoring pass from Tom Schneider for the game's final score.

* Passing The Mark: FSU quarterback Tom Schneider surpassed the 1,000 career yards passing figure with 176 yards in the air at Hillsdale.  He now has 1,257 career yards and ranks 16th on the Bulldogs' all-time career leaders chart.

* First Timers: Nine Bulldog players made their first career starts at Hillsdale.  A total of 18 FSU players saw their first-ever action in a Bulldog uniform during the game, including four transfer players.

* 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 regained the services of senior safety Chad Wilson (Howell), 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 entered 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 this year who have previously claimed conference kudos.  They include a pair of 2009 All-GLIAC Honorable Mention picks in senior defensive tackle Jacob Moreno and sophomore defensive end Jordan Morgan. 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 had held 25 total workouts along with two scrimmages. Ferris' three-week training camp period not only featured practices and scrimmages, but also meetings, lifting, conditioning, testing and various orientation sessions. FSU's final preseason scrimmage was held prior to its media/fans photo day (Aug. 27). Classes at Ferris State University began on 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.

* Yearbook Available Online: The 2010 Ferris State University Football Yearbook is available to view as an online publication. It features 2010 player rosters, season outlook, player biographies, coaching staff information, 2009 season statistics, career and season statistical records, series records, game records, etc.  Visit www.ferrisstatebulldogs.com to find it online.

* 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) and can be heard live by visiting: www.blogtalkradio.com/ferrisathletics.  

* 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.

* Follow The Bulldogs: A live video and audio webcast is slated to be offered for all 2010 Bulldog home football games and selected road games via an agreement with America One (formerly B2).  Visit the FSU Athletics Website (www.ferrisstatebulldogs.com) and click on the B2 icon.

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