Football Game Notes: Ohio Dominican (9/17)
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* This Week: The Ferris State University football team returns home to host Ohio Dominican in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) play on Saturday, Sept. 17, at FSU's Top Taggart Field in Big Rapids, Mich. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. (ET).
* Ticket Information: Single-game and season tickets for all FSU home contests are now on sale and can be purchased by calling the FSU Athletics Ticket Office at (231) 591-2888. Adult single-game general admission tickets can also be bought via Star Tickets and are only $7 while seniors (ages 65-plus), FSU Faculty/Staff and students in grades K-12 are just $5. Ferris State students are admitted free with a valid student ID card. Visit www.FerrisStateBulldogs.com for more ticket information.
* 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, video, live stats, chat and blog will be available online. 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.
* Agriculture Day: Saturday is being billed as "Agriculture Day" with a number of special activities in conjunction with the "Football and Farming: An American Tradition" theme, which is sponsored by the Michigan Farm Bureau Family of Companies. The fun starts at 4 p.m. (ET) and will include a kids area complete with a straw maze, agricultural trivia, face tattoos, vegetable decorating and giveaways. Additional events will feature a hospitality tent open to everyone with water, potato chips and string cheese in addition to an equipment area with both new and antique equipment. Fans will also have an opportunity to interact with farmers and learn more about an important part of the community and how food is grown.
* Coming Up Next: The Bulldogs hit the road once more next week as they visit Tiffin on Saturday, Sept. 24, for a 1:30 p.m. (ET) GLIAC game at Frost-Kalnow Stadium in Tiffin, Ohio. Ferris then returns home the next week on Oct. 1 to host Lake Erie at 7 p.m. (ET) in the final night game of the year at Top Taggart Field.
* The Records: Ferris State is currently 1-1 overall this year after a close 30-27 loss in its GLIAC opener at Saginaw Valley State last Saturday (Sept. 10). 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.
Ohio Dominican is currently unbeaten at 2-0 overall and 1-0 in the GLIAC this campaign. ODU finished 2010 with a 2-8 overall mark.
* The Coaches: Ferris State – Jeff Pierce (Ferris State, 1979), 17th season, 97-81-0 (.545) – (1-0-0 vs. ODU). Pierce is 51-34 (.600) overall in home contests at FSU and he owns a 40-28-0 (.588) 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), 2nd season, 4-8-0 (.333); Career: 2nd season, 4-8-0 (.333) – (0-1-0 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.
* Second Meeting Ever: Ferris and Ohio Dominican will meet for the second-time ever on Saturday. The Bulldogs pulled out a 34-28 win a year ago in the first game at Columbus, Ohio. ODU posted its first-ever win in the state of Michigan with a 44-30 triumph over Northwood last Saturday (Sept. 10). The trip to Big Rapids represents the Panthers' longest road trip of the season. ODU compiled a 7-3 overall record as an independent school in 2009 before recording a 2-8 record last fall.
* Against Ohio Schools: Ferris holds a 33-43 (.434) all-time record against teams from the state of Ohio in school history. The Bulldogs have played 12 schools from the Buckeye state and have fared the best against those teams now competing in the GLIAC. FSU holds a 11-10 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 (3-0) and have topped Wilmington, Lake Erie, Ohio Dominican along with Defiance once each in the program's history. Ferris' worst mark is against Central State, which owns a 7-0 record against the Bulldogs although the two teams have not met since '86.
* Ohio Slate: Saturday's game against ODU is the first of four in a row for the Bulldogs versus Ohio schools. FSU swept the same four teams (ODU, Tiffin, Lake Erie & Findlay) last season.
* 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.
* 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 on 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.
* Week Two Setback: The Bulldogs suffered a heartbreaking 30-27 loss in their GLIAC opener at Saginaw Valley State last Saturday (Sept. 10) at Wickes Memorial Stadium in the "Red Feather" Classic. FSU took a 27-24 lead in the fourth quarter before SVSU drove 55 yards in 10 plays to score with only 4:25 left in the game to earn the victory. It was the first night game played in stadium history before 8,173 fans.
* More On The Panthers: Ohio Dominican is currently midst its second season as a GLIAC member. ODU'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 and joined the GLIAC last campaign. 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.
* Big Catch Mike: Bulldog senior receiver Mike Ryan (Howell) tallied his 100th career catch in last Saturday night's setback at Saginaw Valley State, becoming only the 11th player in school history to reach the mark. He had five catches for 63 yards in the contest and currently ranks 11th all-time in school history with 1,288 career receiving yards at Ferris State.
* First Touchdown: Bulldog sophomore tight end Jace Heneveld (Zeeland/East) notched the first touchdown of his collegiate career by catching a four-yard scoring toss from quarterback Tom Schneider in the third quarter of Saturday's lost at Saginaw Valley State. Heneveld had two grabs for 15 yards in the game.
* Climbing The Chart: 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 3,055 career yards and moved into eighth place on the school's all-time list against Saginaw Valley State last week. He's also ninth in total offense with 4,083 yards in his career and topped the 4,000 career yards mark a week ago.
* 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.
* 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 ..... Junior linebacker Tayo Moss (South Rockwood/Monroe St. Mary's Catholic) has been the Bulldogs' leading tackler and reached a double-digit total in both of the first two games.
* 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.
* 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.
* 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. 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 12th overall with 2,086 career punting yards.
* GLIAC Player Of Week: Ferris junior running back Skyler Stoker (Jackson/Grass Lake) 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 a week ago following a season-opening win over Hillsdale at Top Taggart Field. Stoker rambled for a personal career-high 162 yards on 16 carries in the win over the Chargers on Sept. 2. 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.
* 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.
* Career Day For Schneider: Ferris State senior quarterback Tom Schneider threw for a personal career-high 315 yards in the loss at Saginaw Valley State last week on 28-of-34 passing. He had two touchdown tosses in the outing.
* Limiting Turnovers: The Bulldogs' offense has yet to turn the ball over thru two games to date this year. Ferris State's lone turnover came on a punt return in the final minute of the game at Saginaw Valley State when the officials ruled the ball bounced off an up-man on the punt return try, which would have given the Bulldogs one final chance with the football to score in the last minute.
* Pick Two: FSU junior defensive back Jaime Berrera (Fremont, Calif./Washington) has had an interception in both of the Bulldogs' first two games of the 2011 campaign. He's in his first season on the field at Ferris after missing all of last year due to injury following a JUCO stint.
* Non-League Win: Ferris improved to 10-8-0 (.556) in non-league games dating back to 1990 with the victory over Hillsdale in week one (Sept. 2) 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 this year'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).
* Red Feather Game: Last Saturday's contest at Saginaw Valley State was billed as the "Red Feather" Classic, which annually raises money to support Saginaw County youth athletics. This year marked the fifth time in history and first since 1999 in which the Bulldogs had participated in the "Red Feather" game sponsored by The Fordney Club of Saginaw County. It was only the second time since the event's inception in 1952 in which the game took place outside of Saginaw's Arthur Hill Memorial Stadium.
* Longtime Foes: Ferris and Saginaw Valley State met 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 still holds a 19-17-1 all-time edge counting two forfeit victories.
* 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).