November 3, 2010

Football Game Notes: Michigan Tech (Nov. 6)

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* This Week:
The Ferris State University football team hosts the Michigan Tech Huskies this Saturday, Nov. 6, in their regular-season home finale at FSU's Top Taggart Field in Big Rapids, Mich.  Kickoff for the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) contest is slated for 2 p.m. (ET).

* 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 scoring via Twitter.  Please visit www.twitter.com/ferrisathletics to follow the tweet-by-tweet coverage with periodic scoring updates.  

* Senior Day 2010: Eleven Ferris State seniors will be making their final career appearance at Top Taggart Field versus MTU – Keenan Bowman, Brian Bush, Leon Curry, Jacob Moreno, Aaron Olman, Matt Ryan, Matt Schuelke, Scott Shattuck, Joe Voiles, Chad Wilson and Chris Wilson. FSU will recognize the 11 seniors prior to the contest.

* FSU Parents Appreciation Day: Saturday's game coincides with FSU Parents Appreciation Day and the Bulldog Family Weekend with all family members earning free admission when accompanied by a Ferris student with identification.  Family members can also purchase tickets for Saturday night's home hockey contest versus nationally top-ranked Miami (Ohio) for only $6 each when accompanied by a student with game ticket.

* Coming Up Next: The Bulldogs will conclude the 2010 campaign by visiting the Northwood Timberwolves on Saturday, Nov. 13, for a 12 p.m. (EDT) league kickoff at NU's Hantz Stadium in Midland, Mich.

* Quick Series Info: MTU leads Ferris in the all-time series' between the two teams by a 32-23-4 count. The Huskies own a current seven-game series' winning streak and beat the Bulldogs 38-6 in last year's (10/3/09) "Battle At The Ballpark" played at Fifth Third Ballpark in Comstock Park.

* The Records: Ferris State is presently 5-4 overall and 5-3 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.
   
Michigan Tech is currently 6-2 overall and in the GLIAC this campaign after upsetting nationally top-ranked Grand Valley State by a 20-17 count this past Saturday (Oct. 30) in Houghton.  The Huskies posted a 2-8 record in 2009 and placed 10th (2-8) in league action.  

* The Coaches: Ferris State  – Jeff Pierce (Ferris State, 1979), 16th season, 96-78-0 (.552) – (6-9-0 vs. MTU).  Pierce is 50-34 (.595) overall in home contests at FSU and he owns a 21-10-0 (.677) record in November contests to date.  Pierce, who played at Ferris (defensive back) from 1974-77, is the 12th head coach in Ferris State's history.
   
Michigan Tech – Tom Kearly (Winona State, 1980), 5th season, 28-22-0 (.560) - (4-0-0 vs. Ferris State).  Kearly spent six seasons at MTU as associate head coach and offensive coordinator prior to becoming head coach.  He previously spent 19 years at Central Michigan, including the last six as associate head coach and the final nine as offensive coordinator.  Kearly is the son of former MTU football coach and athletics director Ted Kearly (1969-72).

* 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 372-422-40 (.470) to date.

* Home Finales: Ferris State has compiled a 16-9-0 (.640) record in its final home regular-season appearance per campaign since 1985. The Bulldogs sport a 12-8-0 (.600) mark since 1990 and have won four of their last nine such outings to date. FSU suffered a 59-14 setback to Hillsdale in its final home game of the 2009 campaign (10/31).

* One More Win: The Bulldogs need a single victory in one of their last two outings to officially record their sixth winning season in the last eight years. FSU has finished with a winning season 14 times in the last 21 campaigns, including nine times in 15 previous seasons under head coach Jeff Pierce. The Bulldogs won five consecutive conference championship titles from 1992-96 and were league co-champions in 1999.

* Key Game Note: FSU's last win over MTU was a 21-14 overtime home win in 2002 (10/12) at Top Taggart Field.

* Interesting Note: The Huskies will be making their first trip to FSU's Top Taggart Field since 2006 when they recorded a 41-7 victory over the Bulldogs (10/7/06).  It will mark only the second time tilt versus MTU in Big Rapids in the last six years as the Bulldogs ventured to Houghton in 2005, 2007 and 2008 prior to the two teams squaring off against each other at a neutral site a year ago during the "Battle At The Ballpark", which was played at Fifth Third Ballpark in Comstock Park.
   
* Last Week's Results: Turnovers plagued Ferris State last week as Indianapolis rallied for an exciting 37-33 GLIAC victory on Saturday (Oct. 30) night at Key Stadium. The Bulldogs fumbled the ball seven times and lost five overall. FSU built a 33-20 lead heading into the fourth quarter, but the Greyhounds rallied with three scores in the final frame. Indy pulled within 33-30 on a six-yard TD toss from Chris Mills to Ryan Forney to finish an 87-yard drive with only 5:28 left in the contest. After forcing FSU to punt, the Greyhounds then drove 67 yards on 10 plays in just over two minutes to score the go-ahead TD with 48 seconds remaining on Paul Corsaro's two-yard touchdown run. Ferris was able to drive to the Indianapolis 37-yard line in the final minute, but a desperation pass in the endzone on the game's final play fell short as Indianapolis' defense preserved the victory. The Greyhounds rolled up 487 yards of total offense and 23 first downs compared to 400 yards and 24 first downs for FSU.
   
* GLIAC Player Of The Week: FSU junior defensive back William Miles (Stockton, Calif./Tokay) was tabbed as this week's recipient of the GLIAC Defensive Player of the Week honor. Miles tied a school record with three interceptions in the Bulldogs' heartbreaking loss at Indianapolis.  The junior college transfer's total included a 70-yard interception return for a touchdown in the second quarter, which was part of a stretch in which FSU scored 27 consecutive points. The 5-11 Miles also intercepted a first half pass in the endzone to take away a Greyhound scoring opportunity.  His final interception came in the second half when he returned the ball to the Indianapolis 24-yard line to setup the Bulldogs' final score of the game.  Miles finished the contest with three tackles to go with his 94 intereception return yards on the three picks.
   
* Common Foes: Ferris and MTU have played six common opponents to date this season - Lake Erie, Ohio Dominican, Indianapolis, Grand Valley State, Saginaw Valley State and Hillsdale.  The Bulldogs have notched a 3-3 mark against the six schools compared to MTU's 4-2 showing.  Both teams lost at Hillsdale with the Huskies' other setback coming on the road at SVSU.  Ferris beat SVSU, but fell to GVSU and Indy in the last two weeks.
   
* November Rain: Ferris holds a 21-10 (.677) all-time mark in November games under head coach Jeff Pierce.  The total includes wins in four of their last seven outings during the month dating back to 2006.

* FSU Connection: Michigan Tech's football team features one former Ferris State student-athlete in junior tight end Bryan LaChappelle, who was a walk-on member of FSU's men's basketball squad during the 2007-08 season before transferring to MTU to play football.  The third-year player from Crystal Falls Forest Park currently ranks fourth on the team with 15 catches for 191 yards (12.7 avg.) and three TD's this season. He caught three passes for 33 yards versus the Bulldogs last year at the "Battle At The Ballpark". LaChappelle played at total of 19 minutes in six games, but didn't score in his lone season playing hoops at FSU.

* GLIAC North Race: Saturday's contest will be for a share of second place in the GLIAC North Division standings.  FSU enters the contest tied for third with Northern Michigan as both hold 5-3 records.  MTU is second at 6-2 behind divisional leader Grand Valley State (7-1) with two games left in regular-season play.

* Polar Opposites: Ferris currently leads the GLIAC with 25 sacks and is 22nd nationally (2.78 pg.).  On the flip side, Michigan Tech is both the conference and national leader in fewest sacks allowed (.25 pg.).

* The Final Three: Ferris has won at least two of its final three games of a year 14 times in the last 20 seasons dating back to 1990, including two of the last four years to date. Prior to last week's game at Indianapolis, which started FSU's final three game stretch, the Bulldogs had won 53% (32-28) of their final three games of a campaign since 1990, but the figure jumped to 62% (37-23) counting regular-season games only and not playoff action.

* Game Number Ten: Saturday's game against Michigan Tech represents FSU's 10th game of the season. The Bulldogs have registered a 12-8 (.600) mark in the 10th game of the year dating back to 1990.

* National Rankings: Ferris State presently ranks 22nd nationally in total sacks (2.78 pg.), among the NCAA Division II leaders (as of Nov. 1).  Senior LB Matt Ryan (Howell) ranks sixth nationally in total tackles (11.2 pg.) while sophomore DE Jordan Morgan (Chicago, Ill./Mt. Carmel) is tied for 21st nationally in total sacks (0.89 pg.).  Junior WR Damien Miller (Elsie/Ovid-Elsie) is listed 27thin punt returns (11.8 ypr.).

* GLIAC Leaders: The Bulldogs currently lead the GLIAC in total sacks (25) this season ......... Sophomore DE Jordan Morgan leads the GLIAC in sacks (8) and is seventh in tackles for loss (10) ...... Senior LB Matt Ryan ranks first in total tackles (11.2 tpg.) anong the league leaders.

* GLIAC Stats Notes: FSU junior defensive back William Miles (Stockton, Calif./Tokay) ranks second in passes defended (1.33 pg.) and tied for sixth in interceptions (4) ......... Junior WR Mike Ryan (Howell) ranks tied for fourth in pass receptions (5.2 pg.) and ninth in receiving yards (59.3 ypg.) ....... Sophomore defensive end Brad Iskow (Bad Axe) is tied for third in tackles for loss (10.5) and tied for ninth in sacks (4) ........ Senior DT Jacob Moreno (Holt) is tied for fourth in sacks (6) and tied for 14th in tackles for loss (8) ....... Junior QB Tom Schneider (Jerome/Addison) is listed fifth in passing efficiency (141.7), eighth in passing yards (164.8 ypg.) and eighth in total offense (196.4 ypg.).  He also ranks second in completions (162) and passing completion percentage (71.7%) along with sixth in total passing yards (1,483) ........ Sophomore cornerback Antwian Windmon (Chicago, Ill./Morgan Park) is fifth in passes defended (1.12 pg.) ........ Junior Shawn Snoor (Diamondale/Holt) is eighth in punting (38.9 avg.).

* More Stats Notes: Ferris senior fullback Leon Curry (Detroit/Warren Fitzgerald) is sixth in the GLIAC in average yards per rush (6.9 avg.) ...... Junior receiver Damien Miller is third among the GLIAC leaders in punt returns (11.8 avg.) ...... Sophomore linebacker Tayo Moss is tied for sixth in the league in total tackles (8.8 pg.) ...... As a team, Ferris ranks fourth in rushing defense (133.1 ypg.) and passing efficiency (139.0) along with fifth in red zone offense (.781).

* One More Block: Ferris sophomore DE Jordan Morgan notched the fourth blocked kick of his career and third of the season in FSU's win at Lake Erie (Oct. 2).  Morgan is one block shy of matching former All-America defensive tackle Jake Visser's career mark of five set from 2004-08.  Visser also owns the single-season mark with four in '08.

* Keeping It Close: Ferris owns a 3-2 mark this year in games determined by 10 points or less.  Overall, Ferris has presently emerged victorious in 11 of its last 15 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).  Three of the victories came this year versus Saginaw Valley State, Ohio Dominican and Lake Erie prior to FSU's most recent stretch of two close setbacks in the last three weeks at Northern Michigan and Indianapolis.

* Close Calls: Two 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 in '08.

* Nice Win Streak: The Bulldogs' five-game winning streak prior to their current three-game skid was their longest overall since winning their final two games of the 2007 season along with their opening three contests of the 2008 campaign for five in a row.  It marked the first time the Bulldogs had won five consecutive games over the course of a single-season since winning five-straight in 2004.

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