Football Game Notes: Findlay (Oct. 8)
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* This Week: The Ferris State University football team hits the road to face the Findlay Oilers in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) play on Saturday, Oct. 8, at Donnell Stadium in Findlay, Ohio. Kickoff is slated for 12 p.m. (ET).
* Home Ticket Information: Tickets for Saturday afternoon's contest at Findlay will be sold at the stadium on gameday. Reserved seats are $9, adult general admission are $7 and student general admission seating is $5. For more information, please call the Findlay Athletics Ticket Office at (419) 434-6684.
* 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 11:30 a.m. (ET). It will also be streamed online. Findlay will provide a live audio/video pay-per-view 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.
* FSU Beats Lake Erie: FSU bolted out to a big first half lead and cruised to its third consecutive victory with a dominating 38-14 GLIAC win over visiting Lake Erie on Saturday (Oct. 1) night at FSU's Top Taggart Field. The Bulldogs scored the first 24 points of the contest and rolled up 500 yards of total offense. Ferris State spoiled Lake Erie's first-ever visit to Big Rapids as senior quarterback Tom Schneider (Jerome/Addison) threw for 227 yards and three scores while junior running back Skyler Stoker (Jackson/Grass Lake) rambled for 132 yards.
* Pierce Notches 100th Win: Ferris State University head coach Jeff Pierce notched his 100th career coaching victory in last Saturday's (Oct. 1) home win over Lake Erie. Pierce will enter the Findlay contest with an all-time mark of 100-81 (.552), which includes a 53-34 (.609) record in home contests at FSU's Top Taggart Field. His 100 wins to date make him the all-time winningest coach in Bulldog football history. Pierce is nine wins shy of posting his 100th victory in conference play.
* Penalty Free: Ferris State did not have any penalties last week against Lake Erie, marking the first time since at least 1996 in which the Bulldogs have not had a penalty or yardage in a game.
* The Records: Ferris State is currently 4-1 overall and 3-1 in the GLIAC after a 38-14 home win over last Saturday (Oct. 1). 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.
Findlay is 2-3 overall and 2-2 in league play following a 45-28 league road loss at Indianapolis last Saturday (Oct. 1). The Oilers compiled a 1-10 overall mark in 2010 and were 1-9 in conference competition.
* The Coaches: Ferris State – Jeff Pierce (Ferris State, 1979), 17th season, 100-81-0 (.552) – (8-3-0 vs. Findlay). Pierce is 48-45 (.516) overall in road contests at FSU and he owns a 35-34-0 (.507) record in October contests to date. Pierce, who played at Ferris (defensive back) from 1974-77, is the 12th head coach in Ferris State's history.
Findlay – Rob Keys (West Virginia, 1996), 1st season, 2-3-0 (.400) - (0-0-0 vs. Ferris State). Keys is in his first season at Findlay, but was an Oiler assistant from 2000-04. He's spent time in various coaching roles at New Hampshire, Slippery Rock (Pa.), Indiana State and West Virginia, where he played collegiately.
* One Common Foe: Ferris and Findlay have played one common opponent already this season in Tiffin with the scores being similar. The Oilers beat the Dragons 50-27 at home on Sept. 17 in league action. The following week (Sept. 24), the Bulldogs topped Tiffin by a 48-13 score at TU's Frost-Kalnow Stadium in Tiffin, Ohio.
* Scouting The Oilers: Findlay's win total includes an impressive 26-20 league road win at defending conference champion Grand Valley State on Sept. 24 at GVSU's Lubbers Stadium in Allendale. The Oilers have won two of their last three contests overall after dropping their first two games of the year. They suffered a 14-10 non-league loss to conference foe Northwood in the season opener (Sept. 3).
* Tied Division Lead: Ferris State is currently in a three-way tie for the lead in the GLIAC North Division with a 3-1 conference mark. Both Michigan Tech and Saginaw Valley State also own 3-1 league records in the North and will face each other this week in Houghton. Hillsdale and Wayne State share the South Division lead at 4-0 in the GLIAC.
* Coming Up Next: The Bulldogs are back in Big Rapids for their annual homecoming contest next Saturday, Oct. 15, as Northern Michigan visits Top Taggart Field. Kickoff for FSU's first afternoon home game of the year is set for 2 p.m. (ET).
* 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 11:30 a.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.
* FSU Receiving Votes: The Bulldogs are listed among other team's receiving votes in this week's American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) National Poll with six points. Wayne State is ranked sixth and Hillsdale 22nd from the GLIAC while Michigan Tech and Ashland also earned votes.
* Among Nation's Best: Ferris State presently ranks 11th in the nation in rushing offense (241.8 ypg.) with junior back Skyler Stoker listed 15th individually (112.20 ypg.). The Bulldogs are 14th nationally in total offense (474.40) this week. Stoker is ranked 11th in all-purpose yardage (178.8 ypg.).
* Conference Leaders: Ferris currently leads the GLIAC in total offense (474.40 ypg.) along with rushing offense (241.8 ypg.) and turnover margin (1.60). Skyler Stoker is second in all-purpose yardage (178.8 ypg.) while Tom Schneider is third in total offense (268.0 ypg.) and Stoker fourth in rushing (112.2 ypg.). Junior linebacker Tayo Moss (S. Rockwood/Monroe St. Mary's) is the GLIAC's second-leading tackler (10.2 tpg.) to date this year.
* School Record Holder: FSU junior defensive end Jordan Morgan (Chicago, Ill./Mt. Carmel) blocked the sixth kick of his Bulldog career two weeks ago at Tiffin (Sept. 24) and is now the school's all-time career leader in blocks. He entered the contest tied with former standout defensive tackle Jake Visser. Morgan had a single-season record tying four blocks a year ago.
* Odds & Ends: Ferris State is 4-of-4 (100%) on fourth down this year while the Bulldog opponents have yet to convert in six attempts on fourth down this campaign ....... FSU has outscored its opponents 40-14 in the opening quarter and 40-10 in the third quarter of contests this season ..... FSU has scored more points overall in the second quarter (55) than any other this year.
* Against Ohio Schools: Ferris holds a 36-43 (.456) 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 and Tiffin (4-0) while posting multiple wins versus Cedarville (2-0), Ohio Dominican (2-0) and Lake Erie (2-0). FSU has topped Wilmington and Defiance once each in the program's history. Ferris' worst mark is against Central State, which owns a 7-0 record against FSU although the two teams have not met '86.
* The Ohio Stretch: Saturday's game against Findlay is the final of four in a row for the Bulldogs versus Ohio schools. FSU swept the same four teams (ODU, Tiffin, Lake Erie & Findlay) in 2010 and has defeated both Ohio Dominican, Tiffin and Lake Erie the last three weeks to open the stretch.
* From Week To Week: Ferris improved to 17-3-1 overall since 1990 in game five of a season following last Saturday's win at Lake Erie. The mark is FSU's best in any given week of a season going back to the '90 season. Ferris enters this week's sixth contest of the year holding a 13-7-0 mark in game six over the same period of time.
* Strong In Five: This year's 4-1 mark after five games represents the 19th time in 100 seasons the Bulldogs have won four of their initial five outings, including the fourth time in the last six years and second-straight to date. Ferris has accomplished the feat eight times under head coach Jeff Pierce and went on to win at least seven games in five of the years under Pierce.
* Bulldogs In October: The Bulldogs have compiled a 54-35-1 (.606) record in October contests since 1990. FSU is 27-21-0 (.563) on the road and 26-15-1 (.631) at home during that span in the month of October.
* Big Offensive Numbers: Ferris State has rolled up more than 400 yards of total offense in each of its last four contests, including a season-high 617 yards againts Ohio Dominican (Sept. 17). The Bulldogs totaled an even 500 yards of offense against Lake Erie last week. FSU has ran for more than 250 yards four times and throw for 300-plus yards twice this season.
* Tight End Target: 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 (Jerome/Addison) in the third quarter of FSU's loss at Saginaw Valley State (Sept. 10). Heneveld added another touchdown catch in a win over Ohio Dominican (Sept. 17).
* Good Way To Start: Redshirt freshman running back Jamaal Jackson (St. Joseph) scored the first touchdown of his Bulldog career by catching an 18-yard scoring pass from Tom Schneider in the win over Tiffin (Sept. 24). He added a five-yard TD run in the third quarter and finished the contest with 68 yards on eight carries (8.5 average). The touchdown reception came on the first catch of his collegiate career.
* 100 Yard Rusher: Junior running back Skyler Stoker (Jackson/Grass Lake) has ran for 100 yards or more in three games this campaign. He just missed posting his fourth 100-plus rushing yard performance of the season as he ran for 98 yards against Tiffin on 12 carries (8.2 average). Stoker had 162 yards in the opener against Hillsdale and also ran for 102 yards versus Ohio Dominican before his 132 yards against Lake Erie.
* Close To A Record: Freshman kicker Victor Bodrie (Northville) came up only one field goal away from tying the school record of seven consecutive made field goals. Bodrie connected on his first five career attempts against Ohio Dominican and then made his first against Tiffin before missing a 47-yarder as time expired in the first half.
* Moving Up The List: FSU quarterback Tom Schneider currently has 3,763 career passing yards and moved into seventh place on the school's all-time list against Tiffin. He's also climbed into seventh place in total offense with 4,920 yards in his 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.
* Putting Up The Points: This year marked the second consecutive season in which the Bulldogs have scored at least 48 points against Tiffin. FSU's 52-point scoring output versus Tiffin a year ago in Big Rapids was its highest production since a 62-42 home win over Northern Michigan in 2005. This year's total at Tiffin marked only the third time in the last five years the Bulldogs have scored 45 points or more in a game.
* 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.
* GLIAC Weekly Award: Freshman kicker Victor Bodrie was named the GLIAC Special Teams Player of the Week after kicking a school-record tying five field goals in his collegiate debut versus Ohio Dominican (Sept. 17). He connected from 25, 20, 22, 22 and 28 yards.
* 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. This year, Ferris is currently 26-of-31 (.839) inside the 20 this year and scored 13-straight times to date, including 8-of-8 against ODU two weeks ago and 5-of-5 against Lake Erie.
* 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 376-425-40 (.471).
* Team Captains: FSU's team captains for the 2011 campaign are senior quarterback Tom Schneider 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 defensively.
* 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.
* Up The List We Go: Bulldog senior receiver Mike Ryan (Howell) tallied his 100th career catch in FSU's setback at Saginaw Valley State (Sept. 10), becoming only the 11th player in school history to reach the mark. He moved up to ninth place all-time in school history last week and now has 1,453 career receiving yards.
* Among 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 11th overall with 2,344 career punting yards.
* Near Top Of GLIAC Charts: Ferris State currently leads the GLIAC in first downs (25.4 pg.), total offense (474.4 pg.), rushing offense (241.8 ypg.), turnover margin (+1.60) and fourth down conversions (4-4). The Bulldogs are fourth in total defense (336.4 ypg.) and third in kickoff coverage (40.8). Junior linebacker Tayo Moss is the GLIAC's second-leading tackler (10.2 tpg.) to date while senior Will Frazier is first in punt return average (9.1 pr.). Senior QB Tom Schneider ranks fourth in passing (221.4 ypg.) and second in total offense (268.0 ypg.) with junior tailback Skyler Stoker listed fourth in rushing (112.2 ypg.) and second in all-purpose yards (178.8 ypg.). Jordan Morgan is tied for sixth in sacks (0.60 pg.) and Jaime Berrera is tied for third in interceptions (0.50 pg.) for the Bulldogs. Mike Ryan is ninth in receiving (55.4 ypg.).
* 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.
* 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).