Bulldog Football Opens GLIAC Play At Lake Erie

Bulldog Football Opens GLIAC Play At Lake Erie



* This Week:
The Ferris State University football team opens Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) play on the road this week as the Bulldogs visit Lake Erie on Saturday, Sept. 8.  Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. (ET) at Jack Britt Memorial Stadium in Painesville, Ohio.

* Ticket Information: Tickets will be sold at the stadium on Saturday.  For more information in regards to ticket sales, please contact the Lake Erie Athletics Office directly at (440) 375-7480.

* 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 contest will also be streamed with free live audio online at FerrisStateBulldogs.com.  Lake Erie is slated to offer live statistics along with a video stream accessible at www.lakeeriestorm.com.  Links for all media coverage will be posted on FSU's official athletics website.

* Follow On Twitter: In addition to radio and internet coverage, Bulldog fans can also follow Saturday's contest and all other FSU games this year with live scoring updates on several social media platforms.  Visit www.twitter.com/FerrisFootball to follow the tweet-by-tweet coverage with periodic scoring updates or www.facebook.com/FerrisFootball.

* GLIAC Openers: Saturday's game marks FSU's first league contest of the year.  Ferris State is 11-20-1 (.359) in conference openers since 1980 and sports a 5-8-1 (.393) road mark in those outings during that period. The Bulldogs beat Saginaw Valley State 21-17 in their league opener two years ago (9/11/10) at home before falling narrowly to the Cardinals by a 30-27 margin last season (9/10/11) in University Center, Mich.

* Coming Up Next: Ferris hosts the Ashland Eagles in their 2012 home opener on Saturday, Sept. 15, at FSU's Top Taggart Field.  Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. (ET) under the lights in Big Rapids.  It will be "Agriculture Day" presented by Farm Bureau with a variety of activities taking place such as a pregame tailgate concert, petting zoo, tractor display and more.  Fans can purchase tickets in advance and receive a discount over gameday rates.  Call (231) 591-2888 for more information.

* A New Era Begins: A proven winner at all of his previous coaching stops and highly-regarded across the country, Tony Annese is directing the Bulldogs for the first time this fall following three impressive years as the head coach at Grand Rapids Community College, which came on the heels of a highly successful 25-season stint at the prep level.  He owns an overall career head coaching record of 226-45 (.834).

* The Records: Ferris State is currently 1-0 overall this season after a 35-24 season-opening win over St. Francis (Ill.) last Thursday (Aug. 30).  FSU posted a 6-5 overall mark a season ago and was 5-5 in GLIAC play under former head coach Jeff Pierce.
Lake Erie is currently 0-1 overall after a 36-33 season-opening loss to Gannon in its opener last Thursday (Aug. 30) in Erie, Pa.  The Storm posted a 3-8 overall ledger a season ago and were 2-8 in conference play.

* The Coaches: Ferris State – Tony Annese (Alma, 1993), 1st season, 1-0-0 (.000) – (0-0-0 vs. LEC).  Annese recorded a 195-41 (.826) mark as a head coach in four stops at the high school level before totaling a 30-4 (.882) record in three years as the head coach at Grand Rapids Community College.  His overall career mark is 226-45 (.834) to date and includes three prep state championships and two national JUCO crowns.
Lake Erie – Mark McNellie (Baldwin-Wallace, 1988), 6th season, 23-31-0 (.426) - (0-2-0 vs. Ferris State).  McNellie became the program's first head coach prior to the 2007 season in which LEC posted a 7-2 mark as a club team.  They began varsity action in '08.  Previously, he spent 17 years as an assistant at Mercyhurst along with two at Fairmont State (W.Va.). He played collegiately at Baldwin-Wallace.

* The 104th Season: The 2012 campaign represents the Bulldogs' 104th 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 379-429-40 (.471) to date.

* Week One Win: Ferris State kicked off a new era under first-year head coach Tony Annese with a 35-24 triumph over St. Francis (Ill.) last Thursday (Aug. 30) night at Joliet (Ill.) Memorial Stadium.  The Bulldogs totaled 466 yards of total offense, including 364 on the ground in beating the Fighting Saints in week one.

* Third Matchup: Ferris State and Lake Erie will meet for the third-time ever on Saturday.  The Bulldogs pulled out a 22-12 win two years ago (10/2/10) in the first game at Painesville, Ohio.  FSU then recorded a 38-14 triumph a year ago (10/1/11) in Big Rapids.  LEC posted a 7-4 overall record as a Division II independent in 2009 before joining the GLIAC where they've posted identical 3-8 marks the last two years.  Lake Erie is coming off a 36-33 road setback at Lake Erie last Thursday (Aug. 30) and is guided by sixth-year head coach Mark McNellie.

* Coaching Staff: In addition to a new head coach in Tony Annese, the Bulldogs feature an entirely new coaching staff for the 2012 season.  Rob Zeitman, who most recently served as the head coach at Grand Rapids Northview High School, takes over as offensive coordinator for the Bulldogs with Ryan Oshnock serving as the defensive coordinator.  He was a graduate assistant under former FSU player and coach Butch Jones at both Central Michigan and the University of Cincinnati following a collegiate playing career at GLIAC member Wayne State University.  The other full-time assistants include former Bulldog players Ryan Hodges and Sparky McEwen along with ex-Grand Valley State quarterback Ryan Brady.

* Interesting Fact: Ferris holds a 36-44 (.450) 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 11-11 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 the Bulldogs although the two teams have not met '86.
* A Bulldog Alum: Former Ferris State quarterback Charles "Sparky" McEwen joined head coach Tony Annese's staff last spring as an assistant coach and directs the wide receivers.  McEwen, who played for the Bulldogs from 1987-90, spent more than a decade as a professional football coach in the Arena Football League with both the Grand Rapids Ramapge and the Oklahoma City Yard Dawgz.  He currently ranks 14th among the school's all-time passing leaders with 2,183 career yards. His son, A.J. McEwen, is a wide receiver for the Bulldogs.
* Evening Football: Ferris State's first six contests of the 2012 season will be evening games with all scheduled for 7 p.m. (ET) kickoffs.  Three of the outings are at home with three on the road.  After the opening six-game stretch, the remaining five regular-season games will be afternoon starts at various times.
* Sunny 97.3: Saturday's game continues the broadcast partnership between FSU Athletics and Sunny 97.3 FM.  Rob Bentley and Sandy Gholston will call the action starting with the "Bulldog Pregame" show at 6:30 p.m.  Sunny 97.3 and the Bulldog Sports Network will again carry all home and away football contests this campaign 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 the Bulldog Sports Network multimedia portal again 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 at select times. Visit www.FerrisStateBulldogs.com for more info.
* All-GLIAC Returners: Ferris State returns five players who received GLIAC postseason accolades in 2011.  The list includes senior linebacker Tayo Moss (South Rockwood/Monroe St. Mary's), who earned All-GLIAC First Team honors.  Senior defensive end Jordan Morgan (Chicago, Ill./Mt. Carmel) was an All-GLIAC Second Team honoree for the second year in a row.  Meanwhile, senior defensive end Brad Iskow (Bad Axe), senior running back Skyler Stoker and senior offensive tackle Trevor Smolinski were all-conference honorable mention choices last season.

* Welcome Back:
The Bulldogs return 18 starters and 40 letterwinners from last season.
* Under The Lights: Ferris is 40-53-4 (.433) in evening games going back to 1961. The Bulldogs are 13-28-2 (.326) on the road and 27-25-2 (.519) at home during that period.
* Ohio Stretch: Saturday's game against Lake Erie is the first of three in a row for the Bulldogs versus Ohio schools out of the GLIAC South Division.  FSU swept four Ohio teams in 2010 and beat three of four in the 2011 campaign.   After Lake Erie, FSU hosts Ashland and Walsh.

* Non-League Win: Ferris improved to 11-8-0 (.579) in non-league games dating back to 1990 with the victory over St. Francis last week and has now won eight of its last 11 such outings.  Thirteen of Ferris State's last 17 non-conference games have been away from home.

* Opening Day Win:
The Bulldogs have now won 15 of their last 24 season openers to date, which includes eight of their last 16 overall after last week's win over St. Francis.  Ferris has claimed six of its last seven season openers to date as the lone setback in the span was a 35-17 setback at Hillsdale two years ago (9/3/10).

* Preseason All-American:
FSU senior linebacker Tayo Moss received preseason All-America recognition by being named to the 2012 USA Football News First Team and the Beyond Sports College Network Division II Second Team.  He was also tabbed as one of the top three players to watch in the GLIAC his fall by the Beyond Sports College Network. A 2011 All-GLIAC First Team selection, Moss received all-conference recognition for the first time last fall after finishing the 2011 regular-season campaign as the GLIAC's leading tackler (10.7 tpg.) with 35 solo stops and 85 assisted hits for 118 total tackles.  Moss had 10 tackles or more in seven games, including the last three of the season when he twice had 15 stops or more.

* Preseason All-American: FSU senior defensive end Jordan Morgan also attained preseason All-America honors by being named to the 2012 USA Football News Third Team. Morgan claimed All-GLIAC Second Team laurels for the second year in a row in 2011 as he finished with 75 tackles on 21 solo hits and 54 assists.  He's among the school's top 10 overall career sack leaders to date and also holds the school mark for most blocked kicks.  

* Training Camp Notes: Ferris' officially opened fall camp Wednesday, Aug. 8, as the squad reported to campus for the first time. The first official practice was held Thursday, Aug. 9. Ferris' three-week training camp period not only has featured practices and scrimmages, but also meetings, lifting, conditioning, testing and various orientation sessions. FSU's final preseason scrimmage was held on Aug. 23. Classes at Ferris State University began last Monday (Aug. 27).

* Did You Know?: Ferris has had a winning season in 15 of its last 23 seasons overall.  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 2012 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 45 points in the balloting, which was conducted by the conference's 16 head coaches. Grand Valley State and Ashland were picked as the North and South Division favorites, respectively.

* Bulldog Figures: Senior defensive back William Miles (Stockton, Calif./Tokay) became only the 17th player in Bulldog history to record five or more interceptions in a campaign two years ago, but missed all of last season due to injury. The 2011 preseson All-American returned to action against St. Francis and had an interception ........ Senior defensive end Jordan Morgan's 20 career sacks ranks eighth to date in school history among FSU's all-time leaders. He passed former Bulldog Jason Feasel (1999-02) on the list with a sack last week.  Jim Lenz (1990-93) is Ferris State's all-time leader with 33 career sacks.

* New Starting QB: Redshirt freshman Jason Vander Laan (Frankfort, Ill./Chicago Christian) started his first collegiate contest at St. Francis and ran for 103 yards and two scores.  He took over for former Bulldog signal caller Tom Schneider, who started most of the past four years for FSU and is currently playing professionally in Germany.  Both Vander Laan and senior back Skyler Stoker ran for more than 100 yards each in the victory.

* First Touchdowns: Two Bulldog players notched their first collegiate touchdowns in last week's win over St. Francis.  Redshirt freshman QB Jason Vander Laan scored from three-yards out in the second period for his first score and later added a three-yard run in the final quarter.  Also, redshirt freshman receiver Ryan Taylor (Bradenton, Fla./Manatee) scored on a 22-yard run in the third quarter for his first collegiate TD.

* First Offensive Play: During last week's first period against St. Francis, the Fighting Saints ran 25 of the first 26 plays of the game.  However, FSU grabbed a 7-0 lead as the Bulldogs' lone play in the stretch was a 73-yard touchdown pass from receiver A.J. McEwen to sophomore Jake Lampman on Ferris State's first offensive play of the 2012 campaign.

* New Uniforms: In addition to a new coaching staff, the Bulldogs will also unveil new uniforms this season as part of a new era.  The new uniforms, which are designed by Nike, include both a red and white jersey along with gold and red pants.  Additionally, a new red helmet with a matte finish and black facemask displays the official "Bulldog" head logo. The red home jerseys feature gold lettering trimmed in black while the white road uniforms have red numerals outlined in gold.  The colors reflect the university's approved "Crimson & Gold" color scheme.

* Home Ticket Information: Season and single-game tickets for the 2012 home campaign are currently on sale now.  Fans are encouraged to buy tickets in advance this season for a discount over the normal gameday rates.  For more info on ticket sales, please contact the FSU Athletics Ticket Office at (231) 591-2888 or www.FerrisStateBulldogs.com.

* 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 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 2012 Ferris State University Football Yearbook is available to view as an online publication. The publication features such information as 2012 player rosters, season outlook, player biographies, coaching staff information, 2011 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.

* More Radio Coverage: Ferris State Football will be featured throughout the year as part of the "Bulldog Sports Update", which will air Monday thru Friday at 7:30 a.m. (ET) on Sunny 97.3 FM.  Additionally, the football team will also be featured at various times on "Ferris State Friday's", which can be heard at 7:30 a.m. (ET) on Grand Rapids' WBBL as part of the "Bakita & Bentley" morning show.