October 27, 2011

Football Game Notes: Indianapolis (Oct. 29)

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* This Week:
The Ferris State University football team will host the Indianapolis Greyhounds this Saturday, Oct. 29, at FSU's Top Taggart Field in Big Rapids.  Kickoff is set for 2 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 1:30 p.m. (ET) and is online at www.FerrisStateBulldogs.com. A complete listing of all available media links can be found on the "upcoming events" scoreboard tab on the FSU website.

* 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.

* Saturday Is Kids Day: Saturday is "Kids Day" and all kids in grades K-12 will be admitted free compliments of Huntington Bank. A number of kid-friendly activities will take place in conjunction with the contest. Children can wear their Halloween costumes and will be introduced at halftime just like the FSU players.  Additionally, several raffles will take place with proceeds going to benefit Angels of Action.  Kids will have an opportunity to win a variety of special activites such as serving as the guest trainer, guest equipment manager, an opportunity to run on the field with head coach Jeff Pierce, take part in the coin toss, serve as a water boy, be a guest coach in warmups, be interviewed on the radio and more..

* A Close Race: Indianapolis is tied for first in the GLIAC North Division standings with FSU only a game behind in a tie for second place heading into Saturday's action.  Presently, five teams are within a game of each other at the top of the divisional standings with only three contests left in the regular-season.

* Coming Up Next: FSU hits the road next week and will visit the Michigan Tech Huskies on Saturday, Nov. 5, for a 1 p.m. (ET) league tilt at MTU's Sherman Field in Houghton, Mich.

* The Records: Ferris State is currently 5-3 overall and 4-3 in the GLIAC after a 57-10 setback at archrival Grand Valley State in the Anchor-Bone Classic last Saturday (Oct. 22) night in Allendale.  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.
   
Indianapolis is 6-2 overall and 5-2 in league play after a 38-31 home win over Northern Michigan.  The Greyhounds were 6-5 overall last year and 5-5 in league pla..

* The Coaches: Ferris State – Jeff Pierce (Ferris State, 1979), 17th season, 101-83-0 (.549) – (6-6-0 vs. Indy).  Pierce is 54-34 (.614) overall in home contests at FSU and he owns a 36-36-0 (.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.
   
Indianapolis – Bob Bartolomeo (Butler), 2nd season, 11-7-0 (.611); Career: 4th season, 25-14-1 (.638) - (1-3-0 vs. Ferris State). The former six-year Indianapolis defensive coordinator is midst his first season as the program's head coach, but has more than 35 years of experience as a coach at every level in Indiana.  He was the head coach at Butler from 1990-92.

* Last League Meeting: Saturday's contest will represent the last official conference matchup between the two teams as Indianapolis departs from the GLIAC to the newly-formed Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) football division next fall.

* Offensive Output: Ferris State has rolled up more than 400 yards of total offense in five of its last seven contests, including a season-high 617 yards againts Ohio Dominican (Sept. 17).  FSU has ran for more than 250 yards four times and thrown for 300-plus yards twice this season.  The Bulldogs just narrowly missed 400 yards with 398 at Findlay (Oct. 8).

* The Upper Hand: Prior to last Saturday's setback at Grand Valley State, the Bulldogs had won four of their previous five contests in convincing fashion with the average score in those victories being 39 to 12.  The lone loss in the five-game stretch 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.

* Red Zone Attack: The Bulldogs have currently scored 31 of their last 36 times to date in the red zone over the last six games, including 15-straight times prior to last Saturday's showing at Grand Valley State.  This year, Ferris is currently 38-of-46 (.826) inside the 20 this year.

* 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.
   
* Familiar Foe: Second-year Indianapolis head coach Bob Bartolomeo posted a 14-7-1 record as Butler's head coach from 1990-92 while in the same league as the Bulldogs.  He led Butler to a share of the Midwest Intercollegiate Football Conference (MIFC) crown in 1992 and a number five national ranking.  However, Bartolomeo was winless (0-3) against Ferris State.
   
* Key Series Note: The Bulldogs and Greyounds will meet again on Saturday for the fourth-straight year after not squaring off against each other in either 2006 or 2007 due to the GLIAC's scheduling system.  Ferris won three years ago (10/11/08) by a 31-24 count at Indianapolis, Ind.  However, the Greyhounds responded with a 34-7 victory in Big Rapids the following year (10/10/09) and then topped FSU by a 37-33 count in a close contest last year (10/30/10) in Indianapolis.  The two teams split the six series' meetings held from 2000 to 2005.   
   
* Back To Back Weeks: Ferris and Indianapolis both faced Northern Michigan in back-to-back weeks with different results.  FSU topped NMU by a decisive 35-6 score two weeks ago (Oct. 15) with the Greyhounds beating the Wildcats by a narrow 38-31 score this past Saturday (Oct. 22).
   
* Opposite Results: Besides Northern Michigan, the Bulldogs and Indianapolis have played three other common foes this year with opposite results.  FSU fell to Saginaw Valley State, Findlay and Grand Valley State.  Meanwhile, the Greyhounds went 3-0 against those same three schools with all three victories coming at home.
   
* The Final Three: FSU has three games left this year. Ferris has won at least two of its final three games of a year 14 times in the last 21 seasons dating back to 1990, including two of the last five years to date. The Bulldogs have won 51% (32-31) of their final three games of a campaign since 1990, but the figure jumps to 59% (37-26) counting regular-season games only and not playoff action.

* Homecoming Victory: Ferris State posted a decisive 35-6 homecoming win over Northern Michigan two weeks ago (Oct. 15) 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.

* Game Number Nine: Saturday's game against Indianapolis represents FSU's ninth game of the season. The Bulldogs have registered a 14-7 (.667) mark in the ninth game of the year dating back to 1990.

* Change Of Pace: Ferris State senior receiver Mike Ryan (Howell) threw the first touchdown pass of his Bulldog career last Saturday at Grand Valley State.  Ryan hit senior quarterback Tom Schneider on a 15-yard throwback pass late in the first half for FSU's first points of the night. It was the second receiveing score of Schneider's career as he also caught one in 2009 when playing receiver due to injury.

* 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 55-37-1 (.597) record in October contests since 1990. FSU is 27-23-0 (.540) on the road and 27-15-1 (.640) at home during that span in the month of October.

* Comeback Time: The Bulldogs nearly overcame a 22-0 halftime deficit three 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) will miss the rest of the season due to injury.  Stoker had ran for 100 yards or more in three games this season.  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 4,379 yards.  He also has topped 5,000 yards in in total offense and is seventh all-time with 5,704 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 1,723 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.

* 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 377-427-40 (.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 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 1,675 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 2,794 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 Indy contest with an all-time mark of 101-83 (.549), 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 was 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).

* Preseason All-American: 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.

* GLIAC Leaderboard: Ferris State currently leads the GLIAC in first downs (26.1 pg.) and ranks second in total offense (461.6 ypg.).  FSU is tied for third in turnover margin (+8) and fourth in both rush offense (220.2 ypg.) and passing offense (241.4 ypg.). Junior linebacker Tayo Moss is the GLIAC's third-leading tackler (9.5 tpg.) to date.  Senior QB Tom Schneider ranks third in total offense (265.1 ypg.) and fifth in passing (215.4 ypg.) with junior tailback Skyler Stoker listed third in all-purpose yards (163.3 ypg.) and fifth in rushing (97.7 ypg.).  Jordan Morgan is tied for second in sacks (0.75 pg).  Mike Ryan is sixth in receiving (5.6 pg.).  Also, freshman kicker Victor Bodrie ranks third in the GLIAC in scoring (9.2 ppg.) and is first among kickers. He's also first in field goals (1.83 pg.).

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