November 10, 2010

Football Game Notes: Northwood (Nov. 13)

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* This Week:
The Ferris State University football team wraps up its 2010 campaign by visiting the Northwood Timberwolves this Saturday, Nov. 13. The Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) game will kick off at 12 p.m. (EDT) at NU's Hantz Stadium in Midland, Mich.

* Ticket Information: Tickets for Saturday's game will be available at the stadium on gameday or can be obtained by calling the NU Ticket Office at (989) 837-4381.

* 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 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 made their final career appearance at Top Taggart Field last Saturday (Nov. 6) versus Michigan Tech and will see their final action this week at Northwood – Keenan Bowman, Brian Bush, Leon Curry, Jacob Moreno, Aaron Olman, Matt Ryan, Matt Schuelke, Scott Shattuck, Joe Voiles, Chad Wilson and Chris Wilson. The group was recognized prior to last week's contest.

* Narrow Home Setback: FSU battled to the end in its regular-season home finale versus Michigan Tech last Saturday (Nov. 6) afternoon, but came out on the short end of a 28-16 decision at FSU's Top Taggart Field. The visiting Huskies held a 21-9 edge at halftime. Ferris cut the lead to 21-16 after driving 83 yards in eight plays on the opening drive of the second half.  That score stood up until Michigan Tech sealed the win and kept its postseason playoff hopes alive with a three-yard touchdown run by quarterback Steve Short with only 2:30 left to play in the contest.

* Season Finales: The Bulldogs are 16-10-0 (.615) in regular-season finale contests dating back to 1985, which includes a 11-9-0 (.550) mark since 1990. The Bulldogs have won two of their last four season finales, but fell to Saginaw Valley State by a 41-7 count last year (11/7/09) on the road. Ferris posted back-to-back wins over Wayne State to close 2006 and 2007 before falling to SVSU in its final games of each of the last two seasons (2008 and 2009).

* The Records: Ferris State is presently 5-5 overall and 5-4 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.
   
Northwood is currently 4-6 overall and 4-5 in the GLIAC this year after a 35-21 league road setback this past Saturday (Nov. 6) at Grand Valley State.  The Timberwolves posted a fourth-place 7-3 overall and league record in the GLIAC a year ago.  

* The Coaches: Ferris State  – Jeff Pierce (Ferris State, 1979), 16th season, 96-79-0 (.548) – (10-5-0 vs. NU).  Pierce is 47-43 (.522) overall in road contests at FSU and he owns a 21-11-0 (.656) 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.
   
Northwood – Mike Sullivan (Saginaw Valley State, 1998), 3rd season, 13-17-0 (.433) – (0-2-0 vs. Ferris State). Sullivan became NU's seventh head coach prior to the 2008 campaign after serving six seasons as the squad's Associate Head Coach along with eight years as the program's offensive line coach. Prior to that, he was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at fellow GLIAC rival Saginaw Valley 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 372-423-40 (.469) to date.

* One More Win: The Bulldogs need a win on Saturday 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: Saturday's game will mark FSU's second consecutive trip to Hantz Stadium, but only the Bulldogs' third appearance in Midland since 2004 as three of the last five series' matchups were played in Big Rapids.

* Important Game Fact: Saturday's game against Northwood represents FSU's 11th game of the 2010 campaign. The Bulldogs have registered a 9-7 (.563) mark in the 11th game of the year dating all the way back to 1990.

* GLIAC Player Of The Week: FSU junior defensive back William Miles (Stockton, Calif./Tokay) was tabbed as last 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 (Oct. 30).  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.

* November Rain: Ferris holds a 21-11 (.656) all-time mark in November games under head coach Jeff Pierce.  The total includes wins in four of their last eight outings during the month dating back to 2006.

* Long Scoring Drives: The Ferris State offense had its two longest scoring drives of the season in last week's setback versus Michigan Tech and both were capped by touchdown runs from junior quarterback Tom Schneider (Jerome/Addison).  He scored from 29 yards away to cap an 84-yard drive in the first period and then finished an 83-yard march with a one-yard TD run in the third frame.

* Fun Fact:
Last Satuday's game against Michigan Tech marked the 175th game in the head coaching career of 16th-year Bulldog head coach Jeff Pierce.

* Back To Midland: Saturday's game will mark the return of Bulldog sophomore placekicker Catlin Porter (Midland) to his hometown of Midland.  Porter has been FSU's primary placekicker for much of the year and converted 18-of-22 PAT's along with four-of-six (.667) field goals.

* Passing Up The List: Ferris junior quarterback Tom Schneider's current 1,686 passing yards this season represents the 19th-best single season performance in school history.  He would need 314 yards to become only the 13th player in Bulldog history to throw for 2,000 yards or more in a single campaign.

* Former Assistant: Former Ferris State assistant coach Ted Egger is in his third season on the Northwood staff. Egger coached defensive backs at Ferris for three seasons from 2005-07 under current FSU head coach Jeff Pierce.

* Catching Them: Ferris junior wide receiver Mike Ryan (Howell) presently has 1,176 career receiving yards and ranks 14th on FSU's all-time career list.  He also has 90 catches and needs only 10 more to become the 11th player in school history to grab 100 receptions or more in his Bulldog career.

* Bulldog Figures: Wide receiver Mike Ryan's 631 receiving yards to date this year is the 20th-highest seasonal mark in FSU history ...... Junior defensive back William Miles (Stockton, Calif./Tokay) became only the 17th player in Bulldog history to record five or more interceptions in a campaign when he picked off his fifth of the year versus Michigan Tech ........ Senior linebacker Matt Ryan (Howell) has 116 tackles to date this year and is 14 shy of tying for 20th place on the school's seasonal listing. Ryan notched the 250th stop of his Bulldog career against Michigan Tech last week ....... Sophomore defensive end Jordan Morgan's (Chicago, Ill./Mt. Carmel) eight sacks to date this year is tied for the 18th-best single-season mark in Bulldog history ....... Morgan has 12 career sacks to date and is four sacks away from tying current FSU defensive line coach Whitney Bell for 15th place on FSU's career leaders list.

* National Rankings:
Ferris State presently ranks 28th nationally in total sacks (2.60 pg.), among the NCAA Division II leaders (as of Nov. 8).  Senior LB Matt Ryan ranks fifth nationally in total tackles (11.6 pg.) while sophomore DE Jordan Morgan is tied for 25th nationally in total sacks (0.80 pg.).  Junior CB William Miles is tied for 24th in interceptions (0.50 pg.).

* GLIAC Leaders: The Bulldogs currently lead the GLIAC in total sacks (26) this season ......... Senior LB Matt Ryan ranks first in total tackles (11.6 tpg.) among the league leaders who have played eight games or more to date.

* GLIAC Stats Notes: FSU's Jordan Morgan is second in sacks (8) and seventh in tackles for loss (10.5) ....... Junior defensive back William Miles ranks second in passes defended (1.30 pg.) and is tied for the second-most interceptions (5) ......... Junior WR Mike Ryan ranks fourth in pass receptions (5.5 pg.) and eighth in receiving yards (63.1 ypg.) ....... Sophomore defensive end Brad Iskow (Bad Axe) is sixth in tackles for loss (11.5) and tied for 12th in sacks (4) ........ Senior DT Jacob Moreno (Holt) is tied for third in sacks (7) and tied for 10th in tackles for loss (9) ....... Junior QB Tom Schneider is listed fourth in passing efficiency (138.9), fifth in total offense (199.5 ypg.) and sixth in passing yards (168.6 ypg.).  He also ranks second in completions (179) and passing completion percentage (70.2%) along with tied for seventh in total offensive TD's (17) ........ Sophomore cornerback Antwian Windmon (Chicago, Ill./Morgan Park) is fifth in passes defended (1.12 pg.) ........ Junior Shawn Snoor (Diamondale/Holt) is fifth in punting (39.4 avg.).

* More Stats Notes:
Ferris senior fullback Leon Curry (Detroit/Warren Fitzgerald) is sixth in the GLIAC in average yards per rush (6.8 avg.) ...... Junior receiver Damien Miller (Elsie/Ovid-Elsie) is third among the GLIAC leaders in punt returns (11.8 avg.) ...... Sophomore linebacker Tayo Moss (South Rockwood/Monroe St. Mary's) is tied for sixth in the league in total tackles (8.6 pg.) ...... As a team, Ferris ranks fourth in passing efficiency (136.7 effic.) and fifth in rushing defense (149.9 ypg.).

* 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 month 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 four-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.

* Football Banquet: The Ferris State football team will hold its annual postseason awards banquet on Sunday, Nov. 14, at the Holiday Inn Hotel and Conference Center in Big Rapids, Mich. Festivities will begin at 12:30 p.m. (ET) with lunch to be served at 1 p.m. (ET) and the awards program set to start at 2 p.m. All Bulldog fans and parents are invited and encouraged to attend the annual event. The cost is $20 per person and payment will be accepted at the door on the day of the banquet. However, parents and fans are also asked to please RSVP by e-mail to Assistant Coach Joe Hensel (henselj1@ferris.edu) or call Athletics Department Secretary Lisa Weiler at (231) 591-2860. The annual FSU football banquet is a special event that gives the Bulldogs an opportunity to bring the entire Ferris football family together. A number of team awards will be presented, including the squad's prestigious 2010 MVP Award.

* 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.

* 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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