September 22, 2010

Football Game Notes: Tiffin (Sept. 25)

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* This Week:
The Ferris State University football team returns home to host the Tiffin Dragons on Saturday, Sept. 25, at FSU's Top Taggart Field in Big Rapids, Mich.  Kickoff for the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) tilt is set for 7 p.m. (EDT).

* 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 for the game and Sandy Gholston offering color commentary.  It will also be streamed live online.  A live video webcast will be available thru America One (formerly 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 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.

* Game Promotions: Saturday's game is being billed as "Kids Night". As part of the activities, a number of special activities are planned. Every rocket youth football player and cheerleader in a jersey or uniform will receive free admission. Youth football players will have the opportunity to take the field and form a tunnel for FSU players during pregame introductions and they will be able to receive autographs from selected Bulldog players after the contest. A giant slip'n'slide will be available in the endzone as part of the halftime activities on a weather-permitting basis.  Also, an inflatable obstacle course and a jump house on field level behind the back of the endzone will be offered. Face painting and pictures with Brutus will also be part of the evening's activities designed for youth.

* Coming Up Next: Ferris hits the road next week to face Lake Erie for the first-time ever on Saturday, Oct. 2, in Painesville, Ohio.  The league game is scheduled for a 1 p.m. (EDT) kickoff.

* FSU Wins Second-Straight: Ferris built a 22-point advantage and held on for a 34-28 win over Ohio Dominican this past Saturday (Sept. 18) in Columbus, Ohio.  The win was the second-straight victory for the Bulldogs this year and came in the first-ever series' meeting against the GLIAC newcomer.

* The Records: Ferris State is presently 2-1 overall and 2-0 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.

Tiffin dropped a narrow 10-7 conference home setback to rival Findlay last Saturday (Sept. 18).  The Dragons posted a 0-11 mark in 2009 to go with a 0-10 league performance.  

* The Coaches: Ferris State  – Jeff Pierce (Ferris State, 1979), 16th season, 93-75-0 (.554) – (2-0-0 vs. TU).  Pierce is 48-33 (.593) overall in home contests at FSU and he owns a 38-27-0 (.585) 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.

Tiffin – Dave Walkosky (Toledo, 1990), 3rd season, 2-22-0 (.083) - (0-2-0 vs. Ferris State).  Walkosky took over the Tiffin program in 2008 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 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 369-419-40 (.470) to date.

* Good Road Win: Ferris captured its first road victory in nearly two years with last Saturday's triumph at Ohio Dominican. The road win was FSU's first since a 31-24 league victory at Indianapolis two seasons ago (Oct. 11, 2008).

* National Defensive Player of Week: Ferris sophomore linebacker Tayo Moss (South Rockwood/Monroe St. Mary's Catholic) was chosen as last week's D2football.com National Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts in FSU's thrilling 21-17 win over Saginaw Valley State in the Bulldogs' home opener (Sept. 11) at Top Taggart Field.  Moss tallied a game-high 12 tackles and notched a game-preserving interception.

* Two In A Row: Ferris back-to-back victories the last two weeks mark the Bulldogs' first two-game win streak since winning their opening three games to start the 2008 season against three Ohio schools in Tiffin, Ashland and Findlay.  FSU is currently midst a stretch of four-straight games versus schools from the Buckeye state.

* 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 30-43 (.411) all-time record against teams from the state of Ohio in school history. The Bulldogs have played 11 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 and Ohio Dominican 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.

* Lone Win Last Year: Ferris' lone win of the 2009 season came in its opener (Aug. 29) versus Tiffin at FSU's Top Taggart Field as the Bulldogs beat the Dragons 34-14 in a non-league game. A crowd of 3,407 fans braved drizzly conditions throughout the contest to watch the Bulldogs roll to the season-opening win.  FSU scored 20 points in the final 4:24 of the first half to take a 27-7 halftime advantage. The Bulldogs forced four turnovers, including a 65-yard interception return for a touchdown, and totaled 322 yards of total offense in the game.
   
* Good Offensive Showing: Ferris' 412 yards of total offense in last Saturday's victory at Ohio Dominican was its most since registering 550 yards in a 31-24 victory at Indianapolis in 2008 (10/11).  Additionally, the Bulldogs' 34 total points represented their most scoring production since last year's season-opening 34-14 home win over Tiffin (8/29/09) at Top Taggart Field.

* Defensive Stoppers: The Ferris State defensive unit was forced to stop Ohio Dominican twice in the final four minutes to earn the victory last week.  The Bulldogs limited ODU to only 30 rushing yards on 22 attempts and registered three sacks and two interceptions in the game.  Their performance helped offset FSU's three lost fumbles, a blocked punt, two missed field goals, a dropped pass in the endzone and a missed extra point in the game.

* Under The Lights: Ferris is 35-50-4 (.416) in evening games going back to 1961. The Bulldogs are 12-25-2 (.333) on the road and 23-25-2 (.480) at home during that period.
   
* ODU Game Notes: Ferris was a perfect three-of-three in the red zone ..... The Bulldogs held possession for 33:44 compared to 26:16 for the hosts ....... FSU spread the ball around as 10 different offensive players had catches in the game and six different players had at least three rushing attempts apiece ..... Sophomore back Tyler Thomas (Jackson) saw his first action of the season and had 36 rushing yards on eight attempts along with two catches for seven yards ...... The game began a stretch of four consecutive games against Ohio-based schools for the Bulldogs ....... FSU averaged only 19.8 yards per punt on five attempts in the contest at Ohio Dominican.  Sophomore tailback Skyler Stoker (Jackson/Grass Lake) was called upon to punt on Ferris' final attempt late in the fourth quarter with FSU clinging to a six-point lead.
    
* Good Streak: Following last week's win over Ohio Dominican, the Bulldogs have now presently emerged victorious in 10 of their last 12 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).  Two of the victories have came in the last two weeks versus Saginaw Valley State and Ohio Dominican.

* No Running: The Bulldogs have allowed only 210 total rushing yards in three contests or an average of 70 yards per game after holding ODU to 30 yards on 22 attempts.  Last season, the Bulldogs allowed 253.5 yards per game on average rushing.  FSU ranks second in the league to date this season in rushing defense after three games.

* Holding Them Down: The 30 rushing yards allowed by the Bulldogs against Ohio Dominican 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.  FSU gave up only 54 total rushing yards to Saginaw Valley State the week prior as well.

* GLIAC Stats Notes: The Bulldogs are ranked first overall in the GLIAC in total sacks after three games (10) this season ...... Ferris also ranks second in rushing defense (70.0 ypg.) and fourth in red zone offense (7-9) ......... FSU cornerback Antwian Windmon ranks tied for first in passes defended (2.00 pg.) after three games.  He's also tied for second in interceptions (0.67) and tied for 41st in tackles (6.0) ....... Senior Matt Ryan is 15th in total tackles (9.0 pg.) ......... Sophomore linebacker Tayo Moss ranks tied for 21st in tackles (7.3 pg.) ....... Sophomore defensive end Jordan Morgan and senior DT Jacob Moreno are both tied for third in sacks (1.00 pg.) and tied for seventh in tackles for loss (1.33) ....... Junior defensive back William Miles (Stockton, Calif./Tokay) is tied for sixth in passes defended (1.33 pg.) ........ QB Tom Schneider is listed fourth in total plays (115), sixth in passing efficiency (130.4), eighth in total offense (200.3 ypg.) and 10th in passing (165.0 ypg.) ........ Shawn Snoor is tied for first in PAT's (6-6) and ninth in punting (35.6 avg.) ...... Junior John Webster (Richmond, Calif./El Cerrito) ranks 10th in kick return average (17.3 ypr.) ....... Sophomore linebacker Mike Elias (Ann Arbor/Huron) is listed tied for ninth in passes defended (1.00) and tied for 37th in total tackles (6.3 pg.) ........ Sophomore defensive end Brad Iskow (Bad Axe) is tied for 14th in tackles for loss (1.17 pg.).

* Good Way To Open At Home: Ferris improved to 43-39-4 (.523) in home openers dating back to 1920 with its victory over Saginaw Valley State (Sept. 11) 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.

* Good At Close Calls: Both of FSU's victories this season have been decided by seven points or less.  In 2008, five of Ferris' six wins were also 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 in '08 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 two years ago.

* Big Touchdown Return: FSU sophomore linebacker Mike Elias provided one of last Saturday's biggest plays with a 75-yard touchdown return of a blocked Ohio Dominican field goal.  Sophomore defensive end Jordan Morgan was credited with the block as Elias rambled 75 yards to the house to give FSU a 14-6 lead in the second quarter.  The touchdown was the first of his Bulldog career.

* More First TD's: Two other Bulldog players also recorded their first career touchdowns in the win at Ohio Dominican, including junior fullback Aaron Olman (Grandville) and junior receiver Damien Miller (Elsie/Ovid-Elsie).  Miller's came on a diving 17-yard TD pass from Tom Schneider early in the third quarter while Olman scored on a four-yard touchdown run for FSU's final score with 8:40 left in the contest.

* ODU Game Production: FSU's Matt Ryan totaled 13 tackles, one sack, a tackle for loss and forced fumble in spearheading the Bulldog defense at Ohio Dominican ..... Antwian Windmon chipped in with six stops, including five solo hits, and a pass breakup in addition to an interception to seal the victory ....... Mike Elias added an interception, two pass breakups and four tackles to go with his TD return of a blocked kick at Ohio Dominican ........ Jordan Morgan blocked the field goal try that was returned by Elias and also finished with a sack for a loss of 19 yards, a breakup and a tackle for loss ........ Senior DT Jacob Moreno contributed seven stops, two tackles for loss, two breakups and a sack ............ QB Tom Schneider paced the Bulldogs offensively by completing 19 of 28 passes for 208 yards and two scores. He also added 38 rushing yards on nine attempts.

* "Kids Night": Saturday's game is being billed as "Kids Night". As part of the activities, a number of special activities are planned. Every rocket youth football player and cheerleader in a jersey or uniform will receive free admission. Youth football players will have the opportunity to take the field and form a tunnel for FSU players during pregame introductions and they will be able to receive autographs from selected Bulldog players after the contest. A giant slip'n'slide will be available in the endzone as part of the halftime activities on a weather-permitting basis.  Also, an inflatable obstacle course and a jump house on field level behind the back of the endzone will be offered. Face painting and pictures with Brutus will also be part of the evening's activities designed for youth.

* Jersey Sale: The Ferris State cross country teams will hold a jersey sale outside the stadium prior to Saturday's game against Tiffin.  The sale will start at 5 p.m. (ET) and run until kickoff.  It will include various FSU merchandise such as old game jerseys and uniforms.

* Gridiron Club Reception: The FSU Gridiron Club will sponsor a postgame celebration at Buffalo Wild Wings following Saturday's contest.  The event will include drink and food specials with selected members of the FSU staff scheduled to make an appearance.  Membership information will also be available for those wishing to join the club.  Pregame tailgating will begin at 4 p.m. (EDT) on Saturday.

* 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.

* 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.

* 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.

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