Bulldog Football Hosts Hillsdale In Homecoming Game
Complete Game Notes (PDF)
* This Week: The Ferris State University football team will host the Hillsdale Chargers in FSU's annual "homecoming" contest on Saturday, Oct. 13, at Top Taggart Field in Big Rapids, Mich. Kickoff for the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) game is set for 2 p.m. (ET). All Bulldog fans are encouraged to wear red as part of a "Red Out."
* Ticket Information: Tickets for Saturday's game 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 www.startickets.com. The FSU Athletics Ticket Office will be open inside the Ewigleben Sports Complex Monday thru Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (ET) along with Friday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. (ET). Fans can save $2 per ticket by purchasing in advance. Additionally, the gameday ticket office located at Top Taggart Field will open earlier than usual on Saturday at 10 a.m. (ET).
* Ticket Information: 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 and pay-per-view video with live internet statistics online at FerrisStateBulldogs.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.
* Ranked Opponent Again: Hillsdale will represent the fourth ranked team the Bulldogs have faced this campaign as the Chargers are listed 25th in this week's D2football.com National Poll. FSU defeated third-ranked Grand Valley State last week and has also faced currently eighth-ranked Ashland along with Saginaw Valley State.
* Special Victory: Last week's (Oct. 6) 40-24 victory over Grand Valley State in Allendale helped the Bulldogs win the Anchor-Bone Trophy for the first time since it was established in 2002. The victory snapped an 11-game series' skid and was FSU's first over the Lakers since 1999, ending a 13-year drought against the Bulldogs' archrival.
* The Records: Ferris State is currently 4-2 overall this season. FSU ended an 11-game series' losing streak to rival Grand Valley State with a 40-24 win over the third-ranked Lakers in the Anchor-Bone Classic last week (Oct. 6) in Allendale. Ferris State posted a 6-5 overall mark a season ago and was 5-5 in GLIAC play under former head coach Jeff Pierce.
Hillsdale is currently 4-2 overall this season and 4-1 in league play, but coming off a 24-21 league road loss at defending national runner-up Wayne State last Saturday (Oct. 6). HC's other loss was at California (Pa.) by a 30-22 margin in the season opener (Aug. 30).
* The Coaches: Ferris State – Tony Annese (Alma, 1993), 1st season, 4-2-0 (.600) – (0-0-0 vs. HC). 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 229-47 (.830) to date and includes three prep state championships and two national JUCO crowns.
Hillsdale – Keith Otterbein (Hillsdale, 1979), 11th season, 69-51-0 (.575); Career: 19th season, 137-91-3 (.600) – (5-5-0 vs. Ferris State). Otterbein served as head coach at Ferris State for nine seasons (1986-94) and then spent seven years (1995-01) as the recruiting coordinator and running backs coach at NCAA Division I Ball State.
* 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 382-431-40 (.471) to date.
* Second In Nation: The Bulldogs have vaulted this week to second in the nation in rushing offense at 334.3 yards per contest. FSU also leads the league in rushing and is now also first in the conference in total offense at 486.5 yards an outing. That figure is seventh-best in Division II to date this season.
* Natural Rivals: FSU and Hillsdale are traditional rivals who have met every year since 1972, which makes Saturday's matchup the 41st-straight matchup between the two in-state opponents. The Bulldogs have won six of the last 11 matchups, including a season-opening 20-17 non-league home win in Big Rapids last season (9/2/11). The Chargers are ranked 25th this week by D2football.com and guided by former Ferris State head coach Keith Otterbein, who led the Bulldogs' to unprecedented success in the early to mid 1990's.
* FSU 14th In Ratings: The Bulldogs climbed 18 spots to 14th in the nation 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 30 nationally of 167 total Division II schools. Ashland now leads the list of GLIAC schools with a number one ranking in the scientific poll. Hillsdale is right behind FSU at 15th in the country.
* School Record Night: The Bulldogs rolled up 457 total yards rushing in last week's game at Grand Valley State, which topped a nearly 30-year old school record. The previous school mark of 417 rushing yards in a game was established back in 1973 (10/19) in a 58-0 romp over Illinois-Chicago on the road. The 457 total yards on the ground represented the fourth time in six contests this season in which the Bulldogs have ran for more than 360 yards in a single game. It was the second consecutive week in which FSU's veer offense has posted impressive numbers on the ground against a nationally-ranked opponent as the Bulldogs had 398 yards versus Saginaw Valley State before facing GVSU.
* Defense Of Week: The Bulldogs' defensive unit was tabbed as this week's Division II Defense of the Week by the Beyond Sports Network for their efforts against GVSU. Ferris State held the Lakers' potent offense scoreless in the second half and allowed only seven points after an early 17-0 deficit aided by two turnovers and a short punt.
* Another Record: FSU set a new single-game record for most yardage by three combined players as the trio of redshirt freshman quarterback Jason Vander Laan (Frankfort, Ill./Chicago Christian) along with running backs Korey Ringer (Dayton, Ohio/Northmont) and Jamaal Jackson (St. Joseph) tallied 423 combined yards versus GVSU to surpass the previous mark of 412 yards recorded in 1995 by the standout combination of Chris Pulliams, Bill Love and Benny Roe. That mark was aided by Pulliams' then school mark of 329 total yards.
* Getting Close: Ferris State has gained 2,006 yards on the ground in six outings to date this season and is only 532 yards shy of surpassing the school single-season record of 2,538 rushing yards in a campaign, which was established in 1995.
* Player Of The Week: Bulldog redshirt freshman QB Jason Vander Laan was named this week's GLIAC Offensive Player of the Week after keying the win over GVSU. He engineered FSU's comeback from a 17-0 first quarter deficit as the Bulldog offense rolled up 536 total yards in winning the Anchor-Bone Trophy for the first time. The 6-4 rookie ran for 185 yards and two scores on 23 carries, which included a 63-yard touchdown run to tie the contest midway thru the second quarter. He also had the Bulldogs' first touchdown on a six-yard keeper. In the air, he completed 10-of-17 passes for 79 yards.
* On Homecoming: The Bulldogs own a 2-6 all-time mark versus Hillsdale in FSU homecoming contests. Ferris State has faced HC in its homecoming game more often than any other opponent dating back to 1931. The last homecoming game, though, came in 1988, won by the Chargers 37-10.
* Homecoming Games: Ferris State is 34-35-2 (.493) in its Homecoming contests dating back to 1931 and has won 15 of its last 22 such encounters. The Bulldogs beat Northern Michigan 35-6 a year ago (10/15/11) in the homecoming contest, which marked its second-straight win after a three-year homecoming skid from 2007-09.
* Homecoming Notes: FSU's longest homecoming winning string is at nine (1981-89) ....... Ferris State posted a 19-6 victory over Albion in its initial Homecoming in 1931 (10/17) .......... Hillsdale (2-6-0) represents the Bulldogs' most common Homecoming opponent while Wayne State (5-2-0) and Michigan Tech (2-4-0) are the second most common foes ....... This year marks the second-straight time the Bulldogs have played an in-state foe on homecoming after five consecutive years against out-of-state competition from 2006-10.
* Conference Stat Leaders: Ferris State senior defensive end Jordan Morgan (Chicago, Ill./Mt. Carmel) currently leads the GLIAC in sacks this season (0.92) ...... FSU ranks first in rushing and in total offense in the league ....... Quarterback Jason Vander Laan ranks as the GLIAC's third-leading rusher this season as he is averaging 115.5 yards rushing, which includes two consecutive games of 185 yards or more against two nationally-ranked opponents. He's also eighth in total offense in the conference at 209.8 yards per contest....... Senior Brad Iskow (Bad Axe) is first in the league in tackles for loss (1.83 pg.).
* Great Start By Rookie: Currently, Bulldog QB Jason Vander Laan is the league's third-leading rusher at 115.5 yards an outing and is 24th in the country. Two weeks ago, he established new school records for most yards rushing by a quarterback in a single-game and most yards ever gained in a contest by a freshman with 214 yards on the ground at Saginaw Valley State.
* Big Win Over GVSU: Grand Valley State had owned a 27-12-1 all-time series edge heading into last week's Anchor-Bone Classic and had won the previous 11 meetings by an average scoring margin of 35-10. The 24 total points allowed by the Bulldogs were the fewest registered by the Lakers this season. The win also snapped the Lakers' 12-game winning streak dating back to last year, which had been the longest active winning streak in Division II football. FSU's 40 total points represented the first time the Bulldogs had scored more than 20 points versus GVSU since 2000.
* Preseason Pick: FSU's Tayo Moss was tabbed as the GLIAC Preseason Defensive Player of the Year in the annual D2 Football.com Magazine produced by the online source.
* In The Month: The Bulldogs have compiled a 56-38-1 (.595) record in October contests since 1990. FSU is 28-23-0 (.549) on the road and 27-16-1 (.625) at home during that span in the month of October.
* Coming Next Week: The Bulldogs will remain at home to face Michigan Tech in GLIAC North Division play next Saturday, Oct. 20, at Top Taggart Field. Kickoff for the "Dog Day" contest is scheduled for 1 p.m. (ET).
* 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 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.
* 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.
* 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.
* 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.