October 20, 2011

Football Game Notes: GVSU (Oct. 22)

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* This Week:
The Ferris State University football team will visit archrival Grand Valley State for the Anchor-Bone Classic this Saturday (Oct. 22) evening at GVSU's Lubbers Stadium in Allendale, Mich. A large crowd is expected for the game with the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) contest between the two West Michigan rivals set to kickoff at 7 p.m. (EDT).

* Ticket Information: Tickets for Saturday's Anchor-Bone Classic are now on sale and can be purchased by calling the GVSU Ticket Office at (616) 331-3200 or online at www.gvsutickets.com.

* 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) and is online at www.FerrisStateBulldogs.com. The contest will also be televised on Comcast 900 in parts of Michigan and can also be viewed online at www.gvsulakers.com.  A complete listing of all avaiable media links can be found 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.

* One Of Nation's Top 50: Saturday's showdown was recently featured as one of the "Top 50 Games In October" by the Bleacher Report, which is one of the largest sports destinations on the web with 20 million unique readers each month. The contest was ranked fifth on the list of top 50 games this month and was the only non-Division I matchup featured in the report writted by columnist David Luther.

* First In North: The Bulldogs head into Saturday night's contest with a 5-2 record and a 4-2 league mark.  FSU has won four of its last five contests to date and is presently tied for first place in the GLIAC North Division standings along with Saginaw Valley State and Indianapolis.  All three teams have four games remaining on the schedule.  Grand Valley State is just one game back at 3-3 in league play.

* Series Quick Note: GVSU holds a 26-12-1 all-time series' advantage entering Saturday's showdown and has won 10 consecutive meetings between the two schools.  The Bulldogs will be making their first trip to Allendale since the 2008 campaign as the Lakers visited FSU each of the last two years.

* The Records: Ferris State is currently 5-2 overall and 4-2 in the GLIAC after a 35-6 homecoming win over Northern Michigan last Saturday (Oct. 15) in Big Rapids.  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.
   
Grand Valley State is 4-3 overall and 3-3 in league play following a 61-31 triumph at Lake Erie last week (Oct. 15).  The Lakers have won three-straight games.  A year ago, GVSU won the league title with a 9-1 conference mark and finished 11-2 overall.

* The Coaches: Ferris State  – Jeff Pierce (Ferris State, 1979), 17th season, 101-82-0 (.552) – (2-13-0 vs. GVSU).  Pierce is 48-46 (.511) overall in road contests at FSU and he owns a 36-35-0 (.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.
   
Grand Valley State – Matt Mitchell (Cornell, 1997), 2nd season, 15-5-0 (.750); Career: 2nd season, 15-5-0 (.750) - (1-0-0 vs. Ferris State). Mitchell took over as the seventh head coach in GVSU history last fall and was the first Laker coach to win his first eight games. The former Cornell letterwinner was a six-year Laker assistant, including the final two years as defensive coordinator.  He previously was an assistant coach at Wartburg (Iowa).

* Anchor-Bone Classic: The Anchor Bone Trophy, which is sponsored by Huntington Bank, is awarded annually to the winner of the Ferris State-Grand Valley State football game. The trophy debuted in 2002 and GVSU has maintained possession of the trophy the last eight years with four wins in Allendale along with four at FSU's Top Taggart Field in Big Rapids.

* Interesting Note: This year marks FSU's first trip to Allendale since 2008. When FSU and GVSU squared off in 2008 at Lubbers Stadium, it marked the fourth time both teams had been ranked when they played and the first since 1995.  The Bulldogs were ranked 24th in the AFCA Division II Coaches Poll and the Lakers were second the week they faced each other in '08.  Both teams were also ranked when they played each other from 1993 to 1995 with FSU winning two of those games and the other resulting in a tie (1993).

* Different Year: GVSU was ranked number one nationally in the AFCA Division II poll prior to each of the last two meetings versus FSU.  In 2009, the Bulldogs nearly upset the top-ranked Lakers in a 17-10 setback at FSU's Top Taggart Field.  Neither team is currently ranked.

* 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.
   
* Pregame Tailgate: The FSU Alumni Association is sponsoring "Tailgate '11 – Sink the Lakers", a pregame tailgate event, on GVSU's home turf in Allendale on Saturday from 4 to 7 p.m. in Lot F, adjacent to the fieldhouse on Grand Valley's main campus. The event is free of charge. The tailgating event will feature Ferris alumni, friends, tunes from Bulldog Radio and snacks before the contest. Contact Amy Packard at (231) 591-2345 or email the office at alumni_office@ferris.edu for more info.
   
* 1999 Champs Back: Ferris State honored members of its 1999 GLIAC Championship team during last Saturday's homecoming game versus Northern Michigan. The 1999 team was the last Bulldog team to beat Grand Valley State as the Bulldogs recorded a 48-23 win in Allendale that season. 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.   
   
* The Final Five: Last Saturday's contest against Northern Michigan was the first of FSU's final five games this season. Ferris has registered a 62-44-1 (.584) record in its final five regular-season contests per season since 1990. However, the Bulldogs posted a 0-5 overall record in 2009 and 2010 over the last five-game stretch.  FSU was 2-3 in the last five games of the 2008 season and posted a 3-2 such record in the last five games of the 2007 campaign. FSU compiled a 4-1 mark over the final five games of the 2006 season.
   
* Red Zone Offense: The Bulldogs have currently scored 29 of their last 31 times to date in the red zone over the last five games, including 15-straight times.  This year, Ferris is currently 36-of-41 (.878) inside the 20 this year.

* Homecoming Victory: Ferris State posted a decisive 35-6 homecoming win over Northern Michigan last Saturday (Oct. 15) afternoon at Top Taggart Field.  Senior QB Tom Schneider completed 22-of-30 passes for 202 yards and a TD under windy conditions.  He also was the Bulldogs' leading rusher on the ground with 77 yards on 13 carries to go with a nine-yard TD run and a 5.9 average.  Schneider's offensive performance helped the Bulldogs roll up 32 first downs and 554 yards of total offense despite the fact he did not play most of the fourth quarter. A week after giving up 43 points in an eight-point loss at Findlay, the Bulldog defense also responded by limiting the Wildcats to 222 yards of total offense and no touchdowns in earning the win.

* The Upper Hand: Ferris State has won four of its last five contests in convincing fashion with the average score in those victories being 39 to 12.  The lone loss was a 43-35 setback at Findlay (Oct. 8) in which FSU trailed 22-0 at halftime before nearly coming back to win the game.

* 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 55-36-1 (.603) record in October contests since 1990. FSU is 27-22-0 (.551) on the road and 27-15-1 (.640) 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 five of its last six 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 at Findlay (Oct. 8).

* Comeback Time: The Bulldogs nearly overcame a 22-0 halftime deficit two weeks ago at Findlay (Oct. 8) in a 43-35 setback.  While Ferris State's near comeback 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 at Findlay (Oct. 8).  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.

* Out For The Year: Junior back Skyler Stoker (Jackson/Grass Lake) did not play last week and will miss the rest of the season due to injury.  Stoker had 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).  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 currently ranks seventh on the school's all-time career passing list with 4,223 yards.  He also has topped 5,000 yards in in total offense and is seventh all-time with 5,476 yards in his career.

* Throwing It Well: Senior quarterback Tom Schneider's 1,741 passing yards in 2010 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 1,567 yards in the air and 13 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.

* 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 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 (Oct. 8) and had eight grabs for 90 yards versus NMU (Oct. 15).  He's currently ninth in school history with 1,640 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 2,649 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 GVSU contest with an all-time mark of 101-82 (.552), which includes a 54-34 (.614) record in home contests at FSU's Top Taggart Field.  His 101 wins to date make him the all-time winningest coach in Bulldog football history.  Pierce is eight 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 seventh kick of his Bulldog career versus Findlay (Oct. 8) and is the school's all-time career leader in blocks.  He surpassed the previous mark of six held by former FSU standout Jake Visser.  Morgan had a single-season record tying four blocks a year ago and currently has three this campaign.

* 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).

* GLIAC Leaderboard: Ferris State currently leads the GLIAC in total offense (474.9 ypg.), pass defense (163.6 ypg.), first downs (26.7 pg.) and fourth down conversions (4-6).  The Bulldogs are second in rushing offense (227.3 ypg.) along with third in scoring defense (19.4 ppg.), passing offense (247.6 ypg.) and turnover margin (+9). Junior linebacker Tayo Moss is the GLIAC's second-leading tackler (9.9 tpg.) to date.  Senior QB Tom Schneider ranks third in total offense (270.4 ypg.) and fourth in passing (223.9 ypg.) with junior tailback Skyler Stoker listed third in all-purpose yards (163.3 ypg.) and fourth in rushing (97.7 ypg.).  Jordan Morgan is fourth in total sacks (4.5).  Mike Ryan is fifth in receiving (5.9 pg.).  Schneider is also first in pass completion percentage (72.2%) and second in total offense plays (282).

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