October 12, 2011

Football Game Notes: NMU (Oct. 15)

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* This Week:
The Ferris State University football team returns home to host the Northern Michigan Wildcats in the 2011 "homecoming" contest this Saturday, Oct. 15, at FSU's Top Taggart Field in Big Rapids, Mich.  Kickoff for the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) game is set for 2 p.m. (EDT).

* 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 1:30 p.m. (ET).  It will also be streamed online and a live pay-per-view video webcast produced by Ferris Television will be available. Links for all available media can be found by clicking on the "upcoming events" scoreboard tab 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.

* Last Week's Rally: A strong first half fueled the University of Findlay to a 43-35 victory over the Ferris State Bulldogs in GLIAC action last Saturday (Oct. 8) afternoon at Donnell Stadium in Findlay, Ohio. The Oilers bolted out to a 22-0 halftime advantage and held off a valiant Bulldog comeback in the fourth quarter to end Ferris' three-game winning streak. Findlay led 36-14 with 13:32 to go in the game before FSU trimmed the margin to a single score with only 30 seconds left on a one-yard scoring run from senior quarterback Tom Schneider (Jerome/Addison).  However, a final onside kick attempt by the Bulldogs was recovered by Findlay as the Oilers preserved the victory.

* Coming Up Next: The Bulldogs hit the road to square off against archrival Grand Valley State in the Anchor-Bone Classic next Saturday (Oct. 22) at GVSU's Lubbers Stadium in Allendale.  Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. (ET).  The game will be available on Comcast in parts of Michigan and also available online at www.gvsulakers.com.

* The Records: Ferris State is currently 4-2 overall and 3-2 in the GLIAC after a 43-35 setback at Findlay last week (Oct. 8).  FSU posted a 5-6 overall mark a season ago 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.
   
Northern Michigan is 3-3 overall and 2-3 in league play after a 42-7 home loss to Grand Valley State last Saturday (Oct. 8).  The Wildcats were also 5-6 overall last year and 5-5 in league play.

* The Coaches: Ferris State – Jeff Pierce (Ferris State, 1979), 17th season, 100-82-0 (.549) – (11-5-0 vs. NMU).  Pierce is 53-34 (.609) overall in home contests at FSU and he owns a 35-35-0 (.500) 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.
   
Northern Michigan – Bernie Anderson (Northern Michigan, 1978), 6th season, 24-33-0 (.421); Career: 24th season, 117-129-0 (.476) - (8-14-0 vs. Ferris State). Anderson is the dean of GLIAC football coaches and left Michigan Tech in summer 2006 as the school's all-time winningest coach. He was the 2004 GLIAC Coach of the Year and had a 6-11-0 coaching mark versus Ferris while at MTU.

* One Common Foe: Ferris and Northern Michigan have played one common opponent this season in Findlay. The Wildcats beat the Oilers 30-23 in double overtime on the road the first week of league play on Sept. 10 (week two of the season) with FSU falling to Findlay 43-35 in this past Saturday's game.

* Success Against NMU: FSU head coach Jeff Pierce has compiled more wins against Northern Michigan than any other team he's faced in his 17-year head coaching career. The Bulldogs are 11-5 overall to date versus the Wildcats under Pierce and have won nine of the last 13 meetings, including five of the last seven to date.

* Homecoming Game: Ferris State is 33-35-2 (.486) in its Homecoming contests dating back to 1931 and has won 14 of its last 21 such encounters. The Bulldogs beat Findlay by a 23-10 count in the homecoming game last year (10/9/10). Ferris had dropped three-straight games on "homecoming" prior to last year's victory over the Oilers.

* Second In North: Ferris State is currently tied for second place in the GLIAC North Division standings with a 3-2 league record.  FSU is tied with Michigan Tech and both trail Saginaw Valley State (4-1) by a game in the division.  The Bulldogs were in a three-way tie for first prior to last week's loss.

* 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 1:30 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.
   
* Pregame Tailgate: The FSU Alumni Association will host a pregame tailgate prior to Friday's hockey game from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in the concourse of the Ewigleben Ice Arena.  Additionally, the alumni welcome tent will be located in Lot 37 at Top Taggart Field starting at 10 a.m. (ET) on Saturday and will feature a live broadcast from 9-11 a.m. (ET) of the "Grillin' Guys" radio show on Grand Rapids' WBBL 107.3 FM with head coach Jeff Pierce slated to be interviewed among other guests. A variety of other organizations will also hold alumni receptions in conjunction with the weekend activities.
   
* 1999 Champs Back: The Bulldogs will honor and welcome back members of the 1999 GLIAC Championship team during Saturday's football contest.  Ferris State led the nation in both scoring offense and total offense at the Division II level in '99 as the Bulldogs rolled up 47.3 points and 534.5 yards per contest.  FSU's 65 touchdowns and 473 points in the 1999 campaign continue to rank as school records.  The league championship was the Bulldogs' last of six GLIAC crowns in the 1990's.
 
* Homecoming vs. NMU: FSU is 2-1-1 all-time against Northern Michigan in its homecoming contest and last faced the Wildcats on the special day in 2005 (10/15) with a 62-42 victory.  The other homecoming matchups versus NMU came in the 1950's.  Ferris won in '53 (7-2), NMU claimed the win in '57 (20-7) and the two teams tied in '51 (7-7).
 
* Homecoming Notes: FSU's longest homecoming winning string is at nine (1981-89) ....... Ferris State posted a 19-6 victory over Albion in its initial Homecoming in 1931 (10/17) .......... Hillsdale (2-6-0) represents the Bulldogs' most common Homecoming opponent while Wayne State (5-2-0) and Michigan Tech (2-4-0) are the second most common foes ....... FSU is 16-9 (.640) all-time against out of state opponents on homecoming.  This year marks the first time the Bulldogs have played an in-state foe on homecoming in five years.
 
* Homecoming Week: A number of special activities and events highlight Ferris' 2011 homecoming slate this weekend.  In addition to the football game, the Bulldog hockey team will play its home-opening series against the RPI Engineers on Friday and Saturday (Oct. 14-15) nights with both games starting at 7:05 p.m. (ET) inside the Ewigleben Ice Arena.  Various student events will take place all week highlighted by the traditional bonfire on Wednesday (Oct. 12) night at 8 p.m. (EDT).  The Homecoming slate also includes alumni reunions for several campus organizations and groups on both Friday and Saturday.  The annual parade will be held in downtown Big Rapids on Saturday starting at 12 p.m. (EDT) prior to the football game and the Alumni & Student Homecoming Social will take place at The Gate from 7-11 p.m. (ET).  For a complete list of events, please visit the Ferris State University homepage at www.ferris.edu and click on the homecoming link.

* Penalty Free: Ferris State did not have any penalties against Lake Erie (Oct. 1), marking the first time since at least 1996 in which the Bulldogs have not had a penalty or yardage in a game.

* Strong Start: This year's 4-1 mark after five games represented 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 54-36-1 (.599) record in October contests since 1990. FSU is 27-22-0 (.551) on the road and 26-15-1 (.631) at home during that span in the month of October.

* Offensive Outburst: Ferris State has rolled up more than 400 yards of total offense in four of its last five contests, including a season-high 617 yards againts Ohio Dominican (Sept. 17).  FSU has ran for more than 250 yards four times and throw for 300-plus yards twice this season.  The Bulldogs just narrowly missed 400 yards with 398 last week at Findlay.

* Comeback Time: While Ferris State's near comeback from a 22-0 deficit at Findlay last week would have been memorable, it wouldn't have been the Bulldogs' largest comeback in school history.  FSU rallied from a 28-0 first-quarter deficit in a 1995 home game (11/11) versus Saginaw Valley State to keep its 39-game regular-season winning streak intact with a 46-42 win in blizzard conditions.  The comeback set an NCAA-II Record for most points overcome to win a game.

* Accounting For All: Senior quarterback Tom Schneider helped accout for all five of FSU's touchdowns last week at Findlay.  The veteran signal caller threw for 258 yards and three TD's while running for two more scores.  Schneider completed 29-of-38 passes for 258 yards and helped engineer the Bulldogs' nearly improbable come from behind win in which the Bulldogs tallied 35 second half points.

* 100 Yard Rusher: Junior back Skyler Stoker (Jackson/Grass Lake) has ran for 100 yards or more in three games.  He just missed posting his fourth 100-plus rushing yard performance of the season as he ran for 98 yards against Tiffin (9/24) on 12 carries (8.2 average).  Stoker had 162 yards in the opener against Hillsdale (9/2), 102 yards versus Ohio Dominican (9/17) and 132 yards against Lake Erie (10/1).

* Close To A Record: Freshman kicker Victor Bodrie (Northville) came up only one field goal away earlier this year from tying the school record of seven consecutive made field goals.  Bodrie connected on his first five career attempts against Ohio Dominican (9/17) and then made his first against Tiffin (9/24) before missing a 47-yarder as time expired in the first half.

* Moving Up The List: FSU quarterback Tom Schneider moved past the 4,000 career passing yards mark last week at Findlay and currently ranks seventh on the school's all-time list with 4,021 yards.  He also topped 5,000 yards in in total offense and is seventh all-time with 5,197 yards in his career.

* Throwing It Well: 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.  Currently, he has 1,365 yards in the air and 12 TD's this fall.

* 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 48-point total at Tiffin (9/24) 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.

* 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 have currently scored 24 of their last 26 times to date in the red zone over the last four games.  This year, Ferris is currently 31-of-36 (.861) inside the 20 this year. FSU was perfect in the red zone this season against Ohio Dominican, Lake Erie and Findlay.  Currently, the Bulldogs are fifth in the league in red zone scoring (86.1%). FSU 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. 

* 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 376-426-40 (.470).

* 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 tallied 11 catches for 97 yards at Findlay last week and is currently ninth in school history with 1,550 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 2,466 career punting yards.

* Pierce Notches 100th Win: Ferris State University head coach Jeff Pierce notched his 100th career coaching victory in FSU's home win over Lake Erie (Oct. 1).  Pierce will enter the NMU contest with an all-time mark of 100-82 (.549), 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.
 
* School Record Holder: FSU junior defensive end Jordan Morgan (Chicago, Ill./Mt. Carmel) blocked the sixth kick of his Bulldog career 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.  Currently, he has seven in his Bulldog career to date after a blocked punt at Findlay last week.

* Near Top Of GLIAC Charts: Ferris State currently leads the GLIAC in first downs (25.8 pg.).  The Bulldogs are second in pass defense (178.7 ypg.) along with third in total offense (461.7 ypg.), rushing offense (224.8 ypg.) and turnover margin (+8). Junior linebacker Tayo Moss is the GLIAC's third-leading tackler (9.5 tpg.) to date while senior Will Frazier is first in punt return average (9.1 pr.).  Senior QB Tom Schneider ranks sixth in passing (227.5 ypg.) and fourth in total offense (269.0 ypg.) with junior tailback Skyler Stoker listed fifth in rushing (97.7 ypg.) and third in all-purpose yards (163.3 ypg.).  Jordan Morgan is third in total sacks (4.5) and Jaime Berrera is tied for sixth in interceptions (2) for the Bulldogs.  Mike Ryan is sixth in receiving (5.5 pg.).  Schneider is also second in total offense plays (239).

* 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).

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