Football Game Notes: Ferris State vs. #22 Ashland

Football Game Notes: Ferris State vs. #22 Ashland

Complete Game Notes (PDF)

Football Gameday Information

* This Week:
The Ferris State University football team will put its unbeaten mark on the line this Saturday (Sept. 15) evening as the Bulldogs host nationally-ranked Ashland in their 2012 home opener at FSU's Top Taggart Field. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. (ET) under the lights in Big Rapids and will provide many Bulldog fans with the opportunity to watch first-year head coach Tony Annese's squad for the first time.

* Ticket Information: Tickets for the contest are currently on sale and can be obtained by contacting the FSU Athletics Ticket Office at (231) 591-2888. They can also be bought online at The FSU Athletics Ticket Office is open Monday thru Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (ET) and fans can save $2 per ticket by purchasing in advance.

* Ticket Prices: Tickets in advance are only $7 adults or $5 students (age 3 to 12th grade), senior citizens (ages 65+) and FSU faculty/staff. Prices go up to $9 for adults and $7 for students ages 3 to 12th grade, senior citizens and faculty/staff on gameday.  Ferris students with ID will be admitted free by showing their student identification cards.

* 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  FSU will offer live statistics along with a pap-per-view video stream.  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 to follow the tweet-by-tweet coverage with periodic scoring updates or

* Agriculture Day: Saturday is "Agriculture Day" with a number of special activities in conjunction with the contest, which is sponsored by the Michigan Farm Bureau. The fun event will include contests, prizes, giveaways and more. Additional events will include an equipment area with both new and antique equipment.  Fans will also have an opportunity to interact with farmers and learn more about an important part of the community and how food is grown. A petting zoo is also part of the activities. Tailgating begins at 4 p.m. (ET) and a a bean bag tournament will take place at 4:30 p.m. (ET) sponsored by the Michigan Army National Guard and the FSU ROTC.  A pregame tailgate concert by Gunnar and Grizzly Boys is set for 5:30 p.m. (ET).

* The Records: Ferris State is currently 2-0 overall this season.  FSU posted a 35-24 season-opening win over St. Francis (Ill.) on Aug. 30 prior to a convincing 49-21 victory in the GLIAC opener at Lake Erie last Saturday (Sept. 8).  FSU posted a 6-5 overall mark a season ago and was 5-5 in GLIAC play under former head coach Jeff Pierce.
Ashland is currently 2-0 overall and 1-0 in league play after a 7-0 home win over defending national runner-up Wayne State in its league opener last Saturday (Sept. 8).

* The Coaches: Ferris State – Tony Annese (Alma, 1993), 1st season, 2-0-0 (.000) – (0-0-0 vs. AU).  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 227-45 (.835) to date and includes three prep state championships and two national JUCO crowns.
Ashland – Lee Owens (Bluffton, 1977), 9th season, 57-33-0 (.633); Career: 18th season, 97-94-0 (.508) - (3-3-0 vs. Ferris State).  Owens previously served as head coach at NCAA Division I Akron (Ohio) from 1995-2003 and guided the Zips to a share of the Mid-American Conference (MAC) East Division title in 2000.

* 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 380-429-40 (.471) to date.

* Good Road Win: Ferris State bolted out to an early advantage and cruised past Lake Erie by a 49-21 count in its Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) opener last Saturday (Sept. 8) at Painesville, Ohio.  The Bulldogs rolled up 665 yards of total offense and had seven different players find the endzone in the first league game under head coach Tony Annese.  Additionally, FSU had 33 first downs and the top defensive units allowed only seven points over the first three quarters.

* Key Fact: The 2012 campaign marks only the third time in the last 16 seasons the Bulldogs have opened the year with a 2-0 record. FSU also won its first two games in 2006 en route to an 8-3 overall finish and in 2008 on its way to a 6-5 showing. Prior to the last 16 years, the Bulldogs won at least two games in a row to start each season from 1993 to 1996, but have not won two games to open the year in back-to-back campaigns since that stretch.

* FSU Hosts Ashland: Ferris State and Ashland will meet for the first time since 2009 on Saturday evening at Top Taggart Field.  The Eagles are ranked 22nd nationally this week and also own a 2-0 record.  AU was a 44-23 winner over FSU in the last meeting (9/5/09).
* Big Offensive Numbers: The Bulldogs' 665 yards of total offense in last week's win over Lake Erie came only four yards shy of matching the school record of 669 yards recorded against rival Grand Valley State in 1998 (11/14).  Also, FSU's 33 first downs were just three away from the school record of 36 also set in the '98 contest versus GVSU.
* Ranked Eagles: Ashland is ranked 22nd in this week's American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Division II Poll. The Eagles were also ranked heading into the last meeting with FSU back in 2009 when they came in at 23rd overall.
* Under The Lights: Ferris is 41-53-4 (.439) in evening games going back to 1961. The Bulldogs are 14-28-2 (.341) on the road and 27-25-2 (.519) at home during that period.
* 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 37-44 (.457) 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 (3-0). 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.

* Ohio Stretch: Saturday's game against Ashalnd is the second 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 prior to topping Lake Erie last week. The Bulldogs wrap up the stretch at home against Walsh next week.

* Coming Next: The Bulldogs will play their second home game in as many weeks as they entertain league newcomer Walsh (Ohio) for the first-time ever on Saturday, Sept. 22.  Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. (ET) at Top Taggart Field and the game will serve as the Paint Big Rapids Pink Kickoff in support of cancer research.
* 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.

* Top Taggart Field: The Bulldogs own an all-time record of 142-117-8 (.542) at Top Taggart Field heading into their first home game of the year and 268th contest in the facility.  Last season, FSU posted a 5-1 mark on its home surface.  More than 900,000 fans (926,174) have watched Bulldog Football in Big Rapids since the stadium debuted in 1957.

* 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 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 on 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.

* Key Numbers: The Bulldogs have punted only once in their two outings to date this year.  FSU did not attempt a single punt versus Lake Erie ..... FSU is averaging 364 yards rushing and 42.0 points per game ...... The Bulldogs have converted five-of-seven (71%) fourth down conversions and are 14-of-27 (52%) on third down .... The Bulldog defense allowed only seven points thru the first three quarters of last week's game against Lake Erie ..... Twelve different players have at least one carry this season and 12 have at least one catch ..... Senior defensive end Jordan Morgan's 21 career sacks now ranks seventh to date in school history among FSU's all-time leaders. Jim Lenz (1990-93) is Ferris State's all-time leader with 33 career sacks.

* In The Books: For the second-straight week, two Bulldog players notched their first touchdowns in the win over Lake Erie.  Tight end Cody DeWitt hauled in his first score on a three-yard toss from QB Jason Vander Laan in the first quarter.  In the second period, slot receiver Torico Searcy caught a 35-yard scoring toss from QB Taylor Masiewicz. In all, FSU had four TD's in the air and three on the ground.

* First Offensive Play: During FSU's opening game 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.

* 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
* 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 for more info.

* New Uniforms: In addition to a new coaching staff, the Bulldogs also unveiled 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

* 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 (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 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.