Bulldog Football Opens Divisional Play At SVSU On Saturday
Complete Game Notes (PDF)
* This Week: The Ferris State University football team continues Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) play this Saturday, Sept. 29, as the Bulldogs visit nationally-ranked Saginaw Valley State for a divisional game at SVSU's Harvey Randall Wickes Memorial Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. (ET) under the lights in University Center, Mich.
* Ticket Information: Tickets for the game will be available on gameday at the stadium or for more info, please contact the SVSU Ticket Office at (989) 964-7300. Tickets can also be purchased online thru the SVSU website at http://athletics.svsu.edu.
* 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. The Meijer Pregame Show begins at 6:30 p.m. (ET). SVSU will offer live statistics along with a 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 www.twitter.com/FerrisFootball to follow the tweet-by-tweet coverage with periodic scoring updates or www.facebook.com/FerrisFootball.
* We Meet Again: Ferris State and Saginaw Valley State will meet for the 38th-straight year dating back to 1975 as the two schools have faced either other every season without interruption since the series' originally began. FSU holds a 19-17-1 all-time edge counting two forfeit victories over the Cardinals.
* Ranked Squad: Saginaw Valley State enters Saturday's tilt ranked 16th in this week's American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Division II National Poll. The Cardinals are also listed 17th in the D2football.com weekly national rankings.
* GLIAC Recipient: Ferris senior linebacker Tayo Moss (South Rockwood/ Monroe St. Mary's) reaped the benefits of reaped the benefits of an outstanding performance as he was tabbed as this week's GLIAC Defensive Player of the Week. The preseason All-American had a pair of game-changing plays to key the Bulldogs' win over league newcomer Walsh last Saturday (Sept. 22) at FSU's Top Taggart Field. He tallied a game-high 13 tackles, including five solo hits, to go with a tackle for loss, a forced fumble and a school-record 82-yard fumble recovery return for a score.
* The Records: Ferris State is currently 3-1 overall this season. FSU's lone loss came in a 47-32 decision at home versus nationally-ranked Ashland (Sept. 15). Last week (Sept. 22), the Bulldogs beat one of the league newcomers in Walsh by a 20-14 margin at FSU's Top Taggart Field. Ferris State posted a 6-5 overall mark a season ago and was 5-5 in GLIAC play under former head coach Jeff Pierce.
Saginaw Valley State is currently 3-1 overall this season along with 2-1 in the GLIAC. The Cardinals three wins include an impressive home victory over perennial power Valdosta State (Ga.) along with league wins at Malone and last week (Sept. 22) at Lake Erie by a 51-24 score. The lone loss came at home two weeks ago (Sept. 15) to Findlay, 29-27.
* The Coaches: Ferris State – Tony Annese (Alma, 1993), 1st season, 3-1-0 (.750) – (0-0-0 vs. SVSU). 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 228-46 (.832) to date and includes three prep state championships and two national JUCO crowns.
Saginaw Valley State – Jim Collins (Wittenberg, 1988), 5th season, 30-18-0 (.625); Career: 19th season, 100-95-0 (.513) – (3-1-0 vs. Ferris State). Collins starts his fifth season at SVSU after spending 11 years at NCAA-III Capital (Ohio) where his team was 44-13 over the final five years. He was a graduate assistant at Central Michigan in 1989-90.
* 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 381-430-40 (.471) to date.
* Among The Nation's Best: After last week's game against Walsh, the Bulldogs are currently ranked eighth in the nation in rushing (287.75 ypg.) and 17th in total offense (477.50 ypg.) according to the NCAA Division II National Statistical Leaders list. FSU had entered the game ranked third in rushing and fourth in total offense a week ago. Ferris State currently leads the GLIAC in rushing and is second behind SVSU in total offense. FSU is also tied for fourth nationally in fewest sacks allowed (.25 pg.) of more than 150 teams ranked in Division II football.
* GLIAC North Play: Saturday's game opens GLIAC North Division play for both teams. The next seven games in a row to wrap up the regular-season are versus divisional opponents.
* FSU 25th In Ratings: The Bulldogs are listed 25th this week in the Division II Massey Ratings, which is an online computerized ranking system. FSU is one of 10 GLIAC schools found in the top 26 nationally of 167 total Division II schools. Michigan Tech now leads the list of GLIAC schools with a number one ranking in the scientific poll while Ashland is second in the country.
* School Record: Senior linebacker Tayo Moss' 82-yard fumble return for a score against Walsh last week set a new school record. It also surpassed the Bulldogs' previous season-high total of 78 fumble return yards in a campaign. The return came with the Bulldogs trailing 7-6 early in the fourth quarter and Walsh inside the FSU redzone. On the following offensive play, Moss also forced a Walsh fumble that was recovered by the Bulldogs at the Cavaliers' 34-yard line and eventually led to a score.
* Under The Lights: Ferris is 42-54-4 (.440) in evening games going back to 1961. Last Saturday represented the Bulldogs' 100th evening game dating back to the '61 season. The Bulldogs are 14-28-2 (.341) on the road and 28-26-2 (.518) at home during that period.
* Nearing 1,500 Yards: Bulldog senior running back Skyler Stoker (Jackson/Grass Lake) totaled 97 yards on the ground two weeks ago against Ashland and moved into 15th place on FSU's all-time rushing chart as he moved past former Bulldog QB Tom Schneider. Stoker has 1,499 career rushing yards to date and needs only a single yard on Saturday to record his 1,500th yard.
* Beating Ranked SVSU: The Bulldogs have beat a ranked Saginaw Valley State team twice in the last five years. Most recently, Ferris State defeated then 16th-ranked SVSU wo years ago (9/11/10) at FSU's Top Taggart Field as linebacker Tayo Moss came up with a game-saving interception in the final minute to preserve a 21-17 victory.
* Upset Win In '06: The Bulldogs also faced a ranked SVSU team at home in 2006 and Ferris upset the then fifth-ranked Cardinals 26-23 at Top Taggart Field (9/16/06). The win lifted the Bulldogs into the national rankings. Former FSU All-America defensive tackle Jake Visser, who was then a sophomore, recovered a Saginaw Valley State fumble at FSU's two-yard line with less than 30 seconds remaining in the game to preserve the Bulldogs' upset home victory.
* Florida Connection: A pair of Bulldog true freshmen, receiver Ryan Taylor and tailback Antonio Agurs, both played prep football at Manatee High School in Bradenton, Fla. Their alma mater is ranked as the nation's top high school team this week by USA Today. Together, the duo helped lead Manatee to the Florida 7A State Championship in 2011. Taylor has three catches and a pair of TD runs this season while Agurs has carried the ball four times for 14 yards in limited action.
* Great In Game 5: Saturday's contest will mark FSU's fifth game of the 2012 season. The Bulldogs have posted a 17-3-1 overall record in game five of a campaign dating back to 1990. Ferris State has had more success in game five than any other week going back to 1990.
* 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.
* Preseason Pick: FSU's Tayo Moss (South Rockwood/Monroe St. Mary's) was tabbed as the GLIAC Preseason Defensive Player of the Year in the annual D2 Football.com Magazine produced by the online source.
* Coming Next: The Bulldogs visit archrival Grand Valley State next Saturday (Oct. 6) for the Anchor-Bone Classic at GVSU's Lubbers Stadium in Allendale. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. (ET) and a crowd of nearly 15,000 fans is expected for the annual rivalry game.
* Conference Stat Leaders: Ferris State senior defensive end Jordan Morgan (Chicago, Ill./Mt. Carmel) currently leads the GLIAC in sacks this season ...... FSU ranks first in rushing and second in total offense in the league ....... Senior back Skyler Stoker (Jackson/Grass Lake) is seventh in the league in all-purpose yardage (122.50 ypg.) ...... Senior Brad Iskow (Bad Axe) is tied for second in tackles for loss (1.63 pg.).
* Next Home Game: Ferris State's next home contest will be on Saturday, Oct. 13, as the Bulldogs host Hillsdale in the annual homecoming game at Top Taggart Field. The Chargers are coached by former FSU head coach Keith Otterbein. Kickoff for FSU's first afternoon game of the year is slated for 2 p.m. (ET) in Big Rapids.
* 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.
* Key Numbers: Thirteen different players have at least one carry this season and 13 have at least one catch ..... Senior defensive end Jordan Morgan's 22.5 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.
* Key Fact: The 2012 campaign marked 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.
* 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.
* First Offensive Play: During FSU's opening game against St. Francis (Aug. 30), 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 (Grand Rapids/East Grand Rapids) to sophomore Jake Lampman (East Lansing/Haslett) on Ferris State's first offensive play of the campaign.
* 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.
* 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.
* 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 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.