Football Game Notes: SVSU (Sept. 10)

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* This Week:
The Ferris State University football team will square off against Saginaw Valley State in its Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) opener and initial road contest of the year on Saturday, Sept. 10, at SVSU's Harvey Randall Wickes Memorial Stadium in University Center, Mich.  Kickoff is at 7 p.m. (ET). This year's game will coincide with the opening of SVSU's renovated Wickes Stadium, which includes new turf, lights and video boards

* Ticket Information: Tickets for the game will be available on gameday at the stadium or for more info, please contact the SVSU Ticket Office at (989) 964-7300.  Tickets can also be purchased online thru the SVSU website at http://athletics.svsu.edu.

* Media Coverage: Saturday's game will be carried live locally by the Bulldog Sports Network and Sunny 97.3 FM with Rob Bentley handling the play-by-play duties and Sandy Gholston offering color commentary.  The broadcast begins with the "Meijer Bulldog Football Pregame Show" starting at 6:30 p.m. (ET).  A live multimedia package with audio, live stats, chat and blog will be available online.  SVSU will also offer a live video webcast of the game. 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 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.

* Red Feather Game: Saturday's contest is being billed as the "Red Feather" gamewhich annually raises money to support Saginaw County youth athletics. This year will mark the fifth time in history and first since 1999 in which the Bulldogs have participated in the "Red Feather" game sponsored by The Fordney Club of Saginaw County. It will be only the second time since the event's inception in 1952 in which the game will take place outside of Saginaw's Arthur Hill Memorial Stadium.

* Coming Up Next: Ferris returns home to face Ohio Dominican as the Panthers make their first-ever trip to Big Rapids next Saturday, Sept. 17, for a 7 p.m. (ET) encounter at FSU's Top Taggart Field.  It is being billed as "Agriculture Day".

* Familiar Foes: Ferris and Saginaw Valley State will meet for the 37th-straight year dating back to 1975 as the two schools have faced either other every season without interruption since the series' originally began.  FSU holds a 19-16-1 all-time edge counting two forfeit victories.  

* The Records: Ferris State is currently 1-0 overall this year after a 20-17 win over preseason nationally-ranked Hillsdale last Friday (Sept. 2). FSU posted a 5-6 overall mark in 2010 and was 5-5 in GLIAC play.  The Bulldogs won five of their initial six games of the campaign and saw a four-game improvement over the 2009 season.

Saginaw Valley State will be playing its first game of the year following a 4-7 overall mark in 2010.  The Cardinals placed 10th in the GLIAC standings with a 4-6 league record.

* The Coaches: Ferris State  – Jeff Pierce (Ferris State, 1979), 17th season, 97-80-0 (.548) – (9-7-0 vs. SVSU).  Pierce is 47-44 (.516) overall in road contests at FSU and he owns a 40-27-0 (.597) 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.
   
Saginaw Valley State – Jim Collins (Wittenberg, 1988), 4th season, 20-13-0 (.606); Career: 18th season, 90-90-0 (.500) – (2-1-0 vs. Ferris State). Collins starts his fourth season at SVSU after spending 11 years at NCAA-III Capital (Ohio) where his team was 44-13 over the final five years. He was a graduate assistant at Central Michigan in 1989-90..

* The 103rd Season: The 2011 campaign represents the Bulldogs' 103rd 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 373-424-40 (.470) to date.

* Week One Win: Ferris State rallied from a 10-point third quarter deficit to beat preseason nationally 18th-ranked Hillsdale by a 20-17 count in the season opener last Friday (Sept. 2) before a "Community Day" crowd of 3,453 fans at FSU's Top Taggart Field.  The Bulldogs took advantage of two Charger turnovers in the second half en route to the win.

* GLIAC Player Of Week: Ferris junior running back Skyler Stoker (Jackson/Grass Lake) reaped the benefits of reaped the benefits of an outstanding performance as he was tabbed as the first GLIAC Offensive Player of the Week Award recipient for the 2011 season. Stoker rambled for a personal career-high 162 yards on 16 carries in the win over Hillsdale. The junior tailback averaged 10.1 yards per carry and scored two touchdowns as FSU rallied from a 17-7 deficit in the second half.  Stoker scored the game's final two TD's.  Nearly 83% (134) of his 162 total rushing yards came in the second half.

* Sunny 97.3: This season marks the debut of a new broadcast partnership between FSU Athletics and Sunny 97.3 FM.  Rob Bentley and Sandy Gholston will call the action starting with the "Meijer Bulldog Football Pregame Show" show at 6:30 p.m.  Sunny 97.3 and the Bulldog Sports Network will carry all home and away football contests with the broadcasts streamed live online at www.FerrisStateBulldogs.com.

* Bulldog Sports Network: Fans can follow all the action of Ferris State football live online via a new Bulldog Sports Network multimedia portal which launched this season.  A live audio and video pay-per-view webcast will be offered for all home games with free audio for all road contests.  The package also includes live stats, live chat and a live blog. Visit www.FerrisStateBulldogs.com for more info.

* Team Captains: FSU's team captains for the 2011 campaign are senior quarterback Tom Schneider (Jerome/Addison) and senior guard Jake Hancock (Big Rapids) on the offensive side of the ball along with senior defensive tackle Muneer Bawayeh (Dearborn/Fordson) and junior defensive end Jordan Morgan (Chicago, Ill./Mt. Carmel) defensively.
   
* Welcome Back: The Bulldogs return 19 starters and more than 40 letterwinners from last season.  Eight of the starters back are on the offensive side of the ball with nine on defense and both specialists.
 
* All-GLIAC Returners: Ferris State returns five players who received GLIAC postseason accolades in 2010.  The list includes senior lineman Jake Hancock, who earned second team offensive honors.  Junior defensive end Jordan Morgan was an All-GLIAC Second Team honoree as well a year ago.  Meanwhile, senior QB Tom Schneider, junior defensive back William Miles (Stockton, Calif./Tokay) , junior defensive end Brad Iskow (Bad Axe) and senior receiver Mike Ryan (Howell) were all honorable mention picks a season ago for the Bulldogs.

* Non-League Win: Ferris improved to 10-8-0 (.556) in non-league games dating back to 1990 with the victory over Hillsdale last week and has now won seven of its last 10 such outings, including a 34-14 home triumph over Tiffin two years ago (8/29/09).  Twelve of Ferris State's last 16 non-conference games have been away from home.

* Opening Day Win: The Bulldogs have now won 14 of their last 23 season openers to date, which includes seven of their last 15 overall after last week's win over Hillsdale.  Head coach Jeff Pierce improved to 9-8-0 in his career in season-opening contests.  Ferris has claimed five of its last six season openers to date as the lone setback in the span was last year's 35-17 setback at Hillsdale (9/3/10).

* Bulldog Win In 2006: The Bulldogs also faced a ranked SVSU team at home in 2006 and Ferris upset the then fifth-ranked Cardinals 26-23 at Top Taggart Field in Big Rapids (9/16/06).  The win lifted the Bulldogs into the national rankings for the first time in 2006 as FSU was listed 14th in the Don Hansen's Football Gazette Division II Top 40 Poll after the surprising upset win. In addition, the win helped the Bulldogs improve to 3-0, which represented the program's best season start since 1996.

* Big Play In 2006: Former FSU All-America defensive tackle Jake Visser, who was then a sophomore, recovered a Saginaw Valley State fumble at FSU's two-yard line with less than 30 seconds remaining in the game to preserve the Bulldogs' upset home victory over the nationally-ranked Cardinals in 2006. Visser notched eight tackles (four solo) in the contest.

* Under The Lights: Ferris is 37-51-4 (.424) in evening games going back to 1961. The Bulldogs are 12-26-2 (.325) on the road and 25-25-2 (.500) at home during that period.

* New Faces On Staff: The Bulldogs have two new faces on the coaching staff this season, but both are familiar with the program. Former Ferris State defensive back Kyle Williams takes over as the DB's coach after previously having served as a student assistant coach at Ferris State each of the last two campaigns.  He fills the shoes left by the departure of former position coach Gary McGraw, who accepted a job as an assistant coach at NCAA Division II Midwestern State (Texas).  Additionally, former Bulldog standout kicker Doc Proctor has joined the staff this year and is working with the FSU kickers and punters.

* Training Camp Notes: Ferris' officially opened fall camp Wednesday, Aug. 10, as the squad's freshmen reported to campus for the first time. The Bulldogs' returning veterans reported Thursday, Aug. 11, with the squad's first official practice held Friday, Aug. 12. 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 Aug. 26. Classes at Ferris State University began Monday (Aug. 29).

* Did You Know?: Ferris has had a winning season in 14 of its last 22 seasons and in nine of head coach Jeff Pierce's 16 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.

* GLIAC Preseason Poll: The Ferris State University football team was selected to finish sixth in the 2011 GLIAC Football Coaches Preseason North Division Poll, which was released in mid-August in conjunction with the launch of the GLIAC Football Media Day website. The Bulldogs received 37 points in the balloting, which was conducted by the conference's 14 head coaches. This year marks the first time the league's preseason gridiron poll has been seperated by divisions.  Grand Valley State and Wayne State were picked as the North and South Division favorites, respectively.

* Bulldog Figures: Senior wide receiver Mike Ryan's 657 receiving yards last year was the 19th-highest seasonal mark in FSU history ...... Senior defensive back William Miles became only the 17th player in Bulldog history to record five or more interceptions in a campaign a year ago ........ Junior defensive end Jordan Morgan's eight sacks last year tied for the 18th-best single-season mark in Bulldog history ....... Morgan has 13 career sacks to date and is three sacks away from tying former FSU defensive line coach Whitney Bell for 15th place on FSU's career leaders list.

* Catching Them: Senior wide receiver Mike Ryan presently has 1,225 career receiving yards and ranks 13th on FSU's all-time career list.  He also has 95 catches and needs only five more to become the 11th player in school history to grab 100 receptions or more in his Bulldog career.

* Passing Up The List: Senior quarterback Tom Schneider's 1,741 passing yards last season represented the 18th-best single season performance in school history.  He came up only 259 yards shy of being only the 13th player in Bulldog history to throw for 2,000 yards or more in a single campaign.

* Pierce Approaching 100th Win: FSU head coach Jeff Pierce registered his 50th career home win at Top Taggart Field last year against Findlay (Oct. 9).  Pierce presently owns a 51-35 (.593) mark in home games played at FSU.  Additionally, he's only three victories shy of notching his 100th win overall as he enters Saturday's contest with a 97-80 (.548) all-time mark.

* Strong In Five: Last year's 4-1 mark after five games represented the 18th time in 100 seasons the Bulldogs had won four of their initial five outings, including the third time in the last five years. Ferris has accomplished the feat seven times under head coach Jeff Pierce and went on to win at least seven games in five of the years under Pierce.

* Passing Leaders: FSU quarterback Tom Schneider surpassed the 2,000 career yards passing figure with 252 yards in the air versus Findlay a season ago (Oct. 9).  He currently has 2,740 career yards and moved past former Bulldog QB C.J. Van Wieren into ninth place on the school's all-time list against Hillsdale.  He's also 10th in total offense with 3,721 yards in his career.

* Return Leaders: Senior receiver Damien Miller (Elsie/Ovid-Elsie) is eighth all-time in career kick return yardage at Ferris State. He has 52 career kick returns for 881 total yards to date heading into the year. Miller is also eighth in punt return yards (243).

* Kicking Leaders: FSU senior kicker Shawn Snoor (Diamondale/Holt) currently ranks tied for 12th in school history with seven made field goals. He's also listed 13th overall with 1,912 career punting yards to date.

* 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 2011 Ferris State University Football Yearbook is available to view as an online publication. The publication features such information as 2011 player rosters, season outlook, player biographies, coaching staff information, 2010 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.

* Red Zone Offense: The Bulldogs ranked near the GLIAC leaders in red zone offense most of last year and converted 31-of-40 (.775) times inside the opponents' 20-yard line.  The total included 26 touchdowns and five field goals.  FSU was perfect inside the red zone over a three-game stretch with a combined 12-of-12 total versus Ohio Dominican, Tiffin and Lake Erie (Sept. 18-Oct. 2) a season ago.

* FSU In The Red Feather Game: This year will mark the fifth time in history and first since 1999 in which the Bulldogs have participated in the "Red Feather" game sponsored by The Fordney Club of Saginaw County. It will be only the second time since the event's inception in 1952 in which the game will take place outside of Saginaw's Arthur Hill Memorial Stadium. The Bulldogs played in their first "Red Feather" game in the 1960 classic and beat Alma College by a 33-0 score.  However, the Scots came back to beat Ferris in both 1971 and 1972 by scores of 7-6 and 12-9, respectively.  In Ferris State's most recent "Red Feather" appearance, the Bulldogs registered an impressive 56-14 win over SVSU in 1999.

* Preseason All-Americans: A trio of Ferris State players received preseason acclaim as three Bulldogs were chosen to the 2011 Consensus Draft Services (CDS) Preseason All-America Teams. Senior center Jake Hancock was tabbed as a 2011 CDS Preseason First Team All-American with junior defensive end Jordan Morgan and senior cornerback William Miles, who was injured this spring, claiming honorable mention status on the preseason All-America team. CDS picked both a first and second team offensive and defensive unit with various honorable mention recipients at each position. The 6-2 Hancock was one of four players from a GLIAC school honored as a first team preseason All-America pick.

* Good Works Team Nominee: Ferris State senior quarterback Tom Schenider is among the nominees for the 2011 American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Good Works Team, which is sponsored by Allstate Insurance Company. The award recognizes the selfless contributions to volunteerism and community service made by college football student-athletes across the nation. This year marks the program's 20th year honoring college football players at all levels of competition who stand out for their "good works" in the community.  Since 1992, selection to the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team has become the gold standard for off-the-field character and leadership for college football players. The honor is widely considered the sport's pre-eminent community service award. The 22 student-athletes named to the 2011 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team will be announced in late September.

* GLIAC Contenders: The Bulldogs were listed as one of the possible contenders in the GLIAC race in the 2011 Sporting News College Football Preview Issue, which hit various news stands nationwide this summer. The annual publication compiled a preseason list of the nation's top 25 teams, which included three from the GLIAC in second-ranked Grand Valley State, number nine Wayne State and Hillsdale, which was listed 19th in the preseason poll. Additionally, the magazine offered a brief conference outlook of each Division II league and included the Bulldogs among the possible contenders in the GLIAC along with Michigan Tech and Ashland. The article, which was written by Greg Dewalt of the Florence (Ala.) TimesDaily, noted "With 19 returning starters, including fourth-year starting QB Tom Schneider, Ferris State could be ready to challenge for the conference title."

* Preseason All-GLIAC: A total of six Ferris State players received preseason All-GLIAC acclaim this year on the JBS D2 Preseason All-Conference listing.  The list was compiled by the Josh Buchanan scouting service (www.jbscounting.com). Senior lineman Jake Hancock was tabbed to the offensive first team with junior defensive end Jordan Morgan pegged as a first-team pick on the defensive side.  Four others were named as Players To Watch, including senior quarterback Tom Schneider, senior receiver Mike Ryan, junior defensive end Brad Iskow and junior cornerback Antwian Windmon (Chicago/Morgan Park).

* Preseason All-Americans: Ferris State senior lineman Jake Hancock earned his second first team preseason honor of the year as he was named to the he 2011 Collegiate Development Football League (CDFL) Preseason All-American Football Team. The selections were made by the CDFL and the D2 vs. NAIA Senior Bowl selection committee. The D2 vs. NAIA Senior Bowl is a postseason game showcasing the talent of senior players from the NCAA Division II and the NAIA levels. It will be played Dec. 3, 2011, in the New York City metro area. Nine GLIAC student-athletes were named to the 2011 CDFL Preseason All-American Football Team, which is a preseason listing of the top potential players who could be asked to play in the D2 vs. NAIA Senior Bowl later this fall.

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