November 3, 2011

Football Game Notes: Michigan Tech (Nov. 5)

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* This Week:
The Ferris State University football team travels to Michigan's Upper Peninsula this week to face the Michigan Tech Huskies on Saturday, Nov. 5, at MTU's Sherman Field in Houghton, Mich.  Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. (ET).  For ticket info, please visit the MTU Athletics Website at www.michigantechhuskies.com.

* Home 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 12:30 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.

* Quick Series Note: MTU leads Ferris in the all-time series' between the two teams by a 33-23-4 count. The Huskies own a current eight-game series' winning streak and beat the Bulldogs 28-16 in last year's matchup (11/6/10) at FSU's Top Taggart Field.

* Key Game Note: FSU's last win over MTU was a 21-14 overtime home win in 2002 (10/12) at Top Taggart Field in Big Rapids.

* Identical Marks: Ferris State and Michigan Tech both have identical records heading into Saturday's matchup as both teams are presently 5-4 overall and 4-4 in conference action.  They are tied in the GLIAC North Division standings behind Indianapolis (6-2), Saginaw Valley State (6-2) and Grand Valley State (5-3).

* Coming Up Next: FSU returns home for its 2011 season finale next Saturday, Nov. 12, as the Bulldogs host the Northwood Timberwolves in a 2 p.m. (ET) league tilt at Top Taggart Field in Big Rapids.  It will be "Dog Day" with fans encouraged to bring their dog to the game and serve as FSU's Senior Day contest.

* The Records: Ferris State is currently 5-4 overall and 4-4 in the GLIAC after a narrow 24-17 home loss to divisional leader Indianapolis last Saturday (Oct. 29).  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.
   
Michigan Tech is 5-4 overall and 4-4 in league play to date this year following a close 24-20 setback at Grand Valley State last Saturday (Oct. 29) evening.  MTU was 8-2 both overall and in the GLIAC during the 2010 campaign.

* The Coaches: Ferris State – Jeff Pierce (Ferris State, 1979), 17th season, 101-84-0 (.546) – (6-10-0 vs. MTU).  Pierce is 48-47 (.505) overall in road contests at FSU and he owns a 21-12-0 (.636) record in November contests to date.  Pierce, who played at Ferris (defensive back) from 1974-77, is the 12th head coach in Ferris State's history.
   
Michigan Tech – Tom Kearly (Winona State, 1980), 6th season, 35-26-0 (.574) - (5-0-0 vs. Ferris State).  Kearly spent six seasons at MTU as associate head coach and offensive coordinator prior to becoming head coach.  He previously spent 19 years at Central Michigan, including the last six as associate head coach and the final nine as offensive coordinator.  Kearly is the son of former MTU football coach and athletics director Ted Kearly (1969-72).

* One More Win: The Bulldogs need a single victory in one of their last two outings to officially record their sixth winning season in the last nine years. FSU has finished with a winning season 14 times in the last 22 campaigns, including nine times in 16 previous seasons under head coach Jeff Pierce. The Bulldogs won five consecutive conference championship titles from 1992-96 and were league co-champions in 1999.

* Different Stretches: Prior to back-to-back losses the last two weeks, 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.

* 2,000 Yard Passer: Senior quarterback Tom Schneider (Jerome/Addison) became only the 13th player in school history to throw for more than 2,000 yards in a season last Saturday.  Schenider has thrown for a career-high 2,012 yards and 14 TD's this fall.  He previously had 1,741 passing yards in 2010, which was the 18th-best seasonal figure in Bulldog history.  Schenider also topped 6,000 yards of total offense last week in his career and is sixth all-time in FSU history (6,002).

* 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 12:30 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.
   
* Interesting Note: The Bulldogs will be making their first trip to MTU's Sherman Field since 2008 when they dropped a 21-7 decision at Michigan Tech.  Ferris State made the trip to Houghton three times from 2005 to 2008 before hosting the Huskies in the 2009 "Battle At The Ballpark", which was played at Fifth Third Ballpark in Comstock Park.  Last year (11/6/10), Michigan Tech was a 28-16 winner at FSU's Top Taggart Field.
   
* November Rain: Ferris holds a 21-12 (.636) all-time mark in November games under head coach Jeff Pierce.  The total includes wins in four of their last nine outings during the month dating back to 2006.  FSU was 0-2 in November contests last campaign.   
   
* Back To Back Weeks: Ferris and Michigan Tech both visited Grand Valley State in back-to-back weeks over the past two Saturday's.  FSU fell to the Lakers in the Anchor-Bone Classic two weeks ago (Oct. 22) by a 57-10 count while MTU dropped a 24-20 decision to GVSU last week (Oct. 29) in Allendale.
   
* Opposite Results: Ferris and MTU have played six common opponents to date this season - Lake Erie, Ohio Dominican, Indianapolis, Grand Valley State, Saginaw Valley State and Hillsdale.  Both teams have compiled a 3-3 mark against those same schools.  FSU's wins came over Lake Erie, Ohio Dominican and Hillsdale while Michigan Tech was victorious versus Lake Erie, ODU and Indianapolis.
   
* The Final Three: Last week's contest against Indianapolis marked the first of FSU's final three-game stretch to the season. 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 now won 50% (32-32) of their final three games of a campaign since 1990, but the figure jumps to 58% (37-27) counting regular-season games only and not playoff action.

* FSU Connection: Michigan Tech's football team features one former Ferris State student-athlete in senior tight end Bryan LaChappelle, who was a walk-on member of FSU's men's basketball squad during the 2007-08 season before transferring to MTU to play football.  The fourth-year player from Crystal Falls Forest Park currently ranks second on the team with 27 catches for 336 yards (12.4 avg.) and five TD's this season. He caught two passes for 18 yards and a score in last year's meeting at Big Rapids after hauling in three passes for 33 yards versus the Bulldogs in 2009 at the "Battle At The Ballpark". LaChappelle played at total of 19 minutes in six games, but didn't score in his lone season playing hoops.

* Game Number Ten: Saturday's game against Michigan Tech represents FSU's 10th game of the season. The Bulldogs have registered a 12-9 (.571) mark in the 10th game of the year dating back to 1990.

* Offensive Output: Ferris State has rolled up more than 400 yards of total offense in five of its last eight 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).

* Change Of Pace: Ferris State senior receiver Mike Ryan (Howell) threw the first touchdown pass of his Bulldog career at Grand Valley State (Oct. 22).  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.

* Comeback Time: The Bulldogs nearly overcame a 22-0 halftime deficit 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 4,668 yards.  He also has topped 6,000 yards in in total offense and is sixth all-time with 6,002 yards in his career.

* 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.

* Ryan Seventh On List: 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 a season-high 11 catches for 97 yards at Findlay (Oct. 8) and had eight grabs for 75 yards last week.  He's now seventh in school history with 1,750 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 2,899 career punting yards.

* 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 (25.7 pg.) and ranks second in total offense (450.6 ypg.).  FSU is third in turnover margin (+8) and fourth in both pass offense (246.7 ypg.) and pass defense (195.9 ypg.). Junior linebacker Tayo Moss is the GLIAC's second-leading tackler (10.1 tpg.) to date.  Senior QB Tom Schneider ranks fourth in total offense (268.8 ypg.) and passing (223.6 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 second in sacks (6.5 sacks).  Mike Ryan is fourth in receiving (5.9 pg.).  Also, freshman kicker Victor Bodrie ranks fourth in the GLIAC in scoring (8.6 ppg.) and is first among kickers. He's also first in field goals (1.71 pg.) while Will Frazier is fifth in punt returns (9.1 avg.).

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