PREVIEW: Bulldog Football Travels North Looking For First Victory In Houghton In 15 Years
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This Week: The Ferris State University football team wraps up its two-game Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) road swing by visiting Michigan Tech on Saturday (Oct. 26) for a 1 p.m. (ET) league tilt at Sherman Field in Houghton, Mich.
Snapping The Skid: The Bulldogs beat Michigan Tech a year ago for the first time in 10 years with a thrilling 56-49 triumph (10/20/12) in a high-scoring contest at FSU's Top Taggart Field in Big Rapids. The Bulldogs claimed their first win over MTU since 2002 while snapping a nine-game series' losing streak with an explosive offense that rolled up 601 total yards and scored eight touchdowns. It came in the "Dog Day" matchup presented by Huntington in the battled between the Bulldogs and Huskies.
Series Information: MTU leads Ferris in the all-time series' between the two teams by a 34-24-4 count. The Huskies owned a nine-game series' winning streak prior to last year's Bulldog victory in Big Rapids. Previously, MTU beat the Bulldogs 41-14 two years ago (11/5/11) in FSU's last visit to MTU's Sherman Field in Houghton. Ferris State's last win prior to a year ago over Michigan Tech came in a 21-14 overtime home win in 2002 (10/12) at Top Taggart Field.
Fifteen-Year Streak: Ferris State has not beat Michigan Tech in Houghton in 15 years. FSU's last win at Sherman Field came in a 67-46 triumph in 1998 (10/24). Since then, the Bulldogs have dropped six-straight meetings in the Upper Peninsula. Overall, Michigan Tech holds a 19-10-1 edge in 30 previous matchups played in Houghton. Prior to the current stretch, the Bulldogs had won seven-straight matchups at Sherman Field from 1985-98.
Two Wins Shy Again: The Bulldogs need two more wins to officially record their eighth winning season in the last 11 years. FSU has finished with a winning season 16 times in the last 24 campaigns, including 11 times in the last 18 years. The Bulldogs won five consecutive conference championship titles from 1992-96 and were league co-champions in 1999.
Back To Houghton: The Bulldogs made their first trip to MTU's Sherman Field since 2008 two years ago, but were handed a 41-14 defeat (11/5/11). 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's matchup in Big Rapids was only the second since 2006 at Top Taggart Field.
The Final Five: Last Saturday's contest against Hillsdale was the first of FSU's final five games this season. Ferris has registered a 66-49-1 (.573) record in its final five regular-season contests per season since 1990. In 2012, the Bulldogs went 3-2 over the final five-game stretch. The Bulldogs previously posted a 0-5 overall record in 2009 and 2010 over the last five-game stretch to go with a 2-3 mark in 2011.
Two Common Foes: Ferris and MTU have only played two common opponents to date this season. Both teams captured a win over Walsh, but had opposite results against Grand Valley State with the Huskies falling 49-3 in Allendale (Oct. 5) the week before FSU posted a 54-44 home win over the Lakers in Big Rapids (Oct. 12). MTU was a 29-6 home winner over Walsh on Sept. 21 with Ferris State recording a decisive 59-16 win over the Cavaliers the following week (Sept. 28) in Canton, Ohio.
National Computer Rankings: Ferris State remains 27th nationally this week in the CompughterRatings.com national poll. FSU is also 25th this week in the Massey Ratings listing. Both are online computerized national rankings polls.
Massey 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 three GLIAC schools found in the top 25 nationally of 168 total Division II schools. Ohio Dominican is listed sixth and Saginaw Valley State 22nd of the GLIAC member schools found in the listing besides FSU. FSU's current strength of schedule, according to the Massey Ratings, is up to fifth nationally. A year ago, the Bulldogs faced one of the nation's two strongest schedules. Presently, FSU's offense is ranked fifth in the country according to Massey.
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 starts at 12:30 p.m. (ET). 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 official social media platforms. Visit www.twitter.com/FerrisFootball to follow the tweet-by-tweet coverage with periodic scoring updates or visitwww.facebook.com/FerrisFootball.
The Records: Ferris State is currently 4-3 overall and 4-2 in the GLIAC after last Saturday's (Oct. 19) heartbreaking 45-38 league road setback at Hillsdale, which came on the heels of a 54-44 home win over rival Grand Valley State. FSU dropped a close 31-28 setback at home to Saginaw Valley State in the Bulldogs' first GLIAC North Division contest (Oct. 5). The Bulldogs trailed SVSU 24-0 late in the first half before rallying back and having the ball one final time in the last 30 seconds with a chance to tie or win the game.
Michigan Tech is currently 4-2 overall and in the GLIAC after a 33-31 league road win at Northwood last Saturday (Oct. 19). The Huskies have won their last two contests to date over rival Northern Michigan and Northwood after back-to-back conference road losses at Findlay and Grand Valley State. MTU is 2-0 overall at home to date this season.
The Coaches: Ferris State – TonyAnnese (Alma, 1983), 2nd season, 11-7-0 (.611) – (1-0-0 vs. MTU). 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 236-52 (.819) to date and includes three prep state championships and two national JUCO crowns.
Michigan Tech – Tom Kearly (Winona State, 1980), 8th season, 48-31-0 (.608) - (6-1-0 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).
The Anchor-Bone Trophy: Ferris State kept possession of the Anchor Bone Trophy for another year after beating West Michigan archrival Grand Valley State in the Anchor-Bone Classic by a 54-44 count two weeks ago (Oct. 12) at FSU's Top Taggart Field. The trophy is awarded annually to the winner of the Ferris State-Grand Valley State football game. It debuted in 2002 and GVSU maintained possession of the trophy for the first nine years with five wins in Allendale along with four at FSU's Top Taggart Field. However, the Bulldogs have now won back-to-back series' meetings as FSU recorded an impressive 40-24 win at Lubbers Stadium in 2012 to claim the trophy for the first time prior to this season's win.
Rushing Record: Ferris State established a new school single-game rushing record with 465 yards on the ground against Grand Valley State (Oct. 12). FSU piled up nearly 300 yards rushing in the second half alone on its way to 583 yards of total offense. The Bulldogs have dominated the Lakers on the ground each of the last two years as Ferris State's 465 yards rushing on Saturday night topped the previous record FSU set at GVSU a year ago with 457 yards on the ground.
The Bulldog Season: The Bulldogs opened 2013 with a 56-10 road setback at two-time defending FCS National Champion North Dakota State (Sept. 7) before a sellout crowd of nearly 19,000 fans at the Fargodome. FSU then followed with an exciting 56-49 league home win over Lake Erie (Sept. 14) in the league opener and topped defending league champion Ashland 34-7 on the road (Sept. 21) before a 59-16 road win at Walsh (Sept. 28) prior to splitting at home with Saginaw Valley State and GVSU. FSU posted a 7-4 overall mark a season ago and was 6-4 in GLIAC play in the first season under head coach Tony Annese. The Bulldogs won three of their initial four games and also finished the year by winning three of their last four outings in 2012.
Beating The Lakers: The Bulldogs recorded their first back-to-back wins over GVSU since the 1994-95 seasons with the triumph two weeks ago. The victory was the Bulldogs' sixth all-time series' triumph over the Lakers in Big Rapids and the first at Top Taggart Field since 1995. The back-to-back wins in the rivalry represent only the fourth time in school history in which FSU has beat GVSU in consecutive seasons.
Milestone Win: Head Coach Tony Annese became the first Bulldog head coach to beat the Lakers in back-to-back years since Nick Coso did so back in 1976 and 1977. No other Ferris State coach besides Coso and Annese have defeated Grand Valley State in consecutive seasons.
Great Production: Ferris State's 54-point output versus Grand Valley State was its second-highest total ever against the Lakers and was only three shy of the 57-0 triumph the Bulldogs recorded in the first-ever series meeting back in 1971 in Big Rapids. The Bulldogs' 54 total points marked the third time this year in which FSU has totaled 45 points or more in a contest and the fifth time in less than two years under head coach Tony Annese. Prior to his arrival, the Bulldogs had done so only three times in the previous seven years.
Powerful Offense: FSU's 583 yards of total offense against GVSU represented the eighth time in the Tony Annese era in which the Bulldogs have totaled 500 yards or more offensively in a contest. FSU just missed totaling 500 yards in last week's loss at Hillsdale.
New Video Board: Ferris State officially unveiled its new Daktronics scoreboard and sound system in conjunction with the homecoming matchup against SVSU on Oct. 5. The new scoreboard, which includes a LED video board, was approved by the Ferris State board of trustees in early July. It puts FSU on par or above competing schools in Division II in providing an entertaining game day experience and replaced the previous system that dated back to the 1980's.
Season Notebook: FSU's win over Walsh (Sept. 28) came in the Bulldogs' first-ever visit to Canton and historic Fawcett Stadium located at the Pro Football Hall of Fame …. FSU compiled 615 yards of total offense versus Walsh, which marked the third time in 15 games during the Tony Annese era in which the Bulldogs have topped the 600-yard mark in a contest ….. A total of 10 different players carried the ball and nine caught at least one pass for the Bulldogs in the victory over Walsh.
In The Month: The Bulldogs have compiled a 59-41-1 (.589) record in October contests since 1990. FSU is 29-24-0 (.547) on the road and 29-18-1 (.615) at home during that span in the month of October. The Bulldogs were 3-1 in October last season, but currently 1-2 on the month this year.
Offensive Output: FSU's 59-point scoring output versus Walsh (Sept. 28) was its highest production since a 62-42 home win over Northern Michigan in 2005. Ferris scored eight offensive touchdowns and rolled up 615 yards of total offense.
Award Winners: A trio of Bulldog players reaped the rewards following the rivalry win over Grand Valley State last week. Sophomore quarterback Jason Vander Laan (Frankfort, Ill./Chicago Christian) was one of the national offensive award recipients by Beyond Sports Network and also tabbed as an honorable mention player of the week choice by USA Football. In addition, senior cornerback James Stewart (Detroit/University Prep) attained USA Football National Defensive Player of the Week Honorable Mention laurels while senior kicker Austin Kantola (Ravenna) picked up honorable mention player of the week recognition from USA Football in the special teams category. Both Vander Laan and Stewart were also recognized individually by the GLIAC as the league's offensive and defensive players of the week, respectively.
Dominating The Lakers: This year marked the second-straight season in which Bulldog quarterback Jason Vander Laan has claimed the GLIAC's Offensive Player of the Week honor after a win over Grand Valley State. Vander Laan has now ran for 185 plus yards each of the last two seasons against the Lakers after posting 210 yards on the ground versus GVSU this year.
Reliving The Streak: In fitting fashion, the Bulldogs' recent victory over Grand Valley State came on the same night in which FSU celebrated "The Streak", which was the program's memorable 42-game regular season unbeaten streak from 1992-95. Former alumni from the impressive run were on hand as FSU won the Anchor-Bone Classic and beat the Lakers in back-to-back seasons for the first time since that memorable era.
National Recognition: For the fifth different week this season, Ferris State had at least one student-athlete honored as a National Player of the Week following the GVSU win. Overall, a total of four different Ferris State football student-athletes have now combined to receive National Player of the Week honors a total of 14 times over the course of five different weeks from the three primary media outlets that recognize players on a national level in Division II - D2football.com, Beyond Sports Network & USA Football.
National Player Of The Week: Earlier this year, sophomore defensive end Justin Zimmer claimed National Player of the Week honors for FSU after the Bulldogs' road win at Ashland (Sept. 21) from Beyond Sports Network, D2football.com & USA College Football along with being the GLIAC Defensive Player of the Week. He recorded 10 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 3.5 tackles for loss, a pass breakup, a forced fumble and a 20-yard interception return for a touchdown in the win over the Eagles. His played helped the Bulldog defense limit the Eagles to only seven points as FSU forced three turnovers.
More National Honors: FSU sophomore quarterback JasonVander Laan was tabbed as the National Offensive Player of the Week by D2football.com and Beyond Sports Network along with being chosen as the GLIAC Offensive Player of the Week following Ferris State's home win over Lake Erie (Sept. 14). He accounted for seven touchdowns against the Storm while rushing for a career-high 279 yards and four scores. He was also 14-of-23 in the air for 170 yards and three scores with no interceptions or sacks. He averaged 10.3 yards per carry in the contest, including a 63-yard TD run.
Big Night: Presently, Jason Vander Laan's 279 total yards rushing versus Lake Erie remains ranked as NCAA Division II's fourth-highest single game performance of the season and he's presently 11th in the nation with 944 total rushing yards this campaign, which is among the best for all QB's in the country. He's also fourth among the GLIAC leaders on the ground. His 279 total yards on the ground versus Lake Erie were the most by a Bulldog rusher since Andrew Terry established a NCAA record with 410 yards rushing on 38 carries against Findlay in 2004 (10/2/04) at Top Taggart Field.
Over 2,000 Yards: FSU's Jason Vander Laan topped the 2,000 career yards rushing mark in the GVSU game and is now seventh all-time on the Bulldogs' career rushing list with 2,312 total yards. He totaled 210 yards on the ground against the Lakers and added 124 in the loss at Hillsdale. In FSU's recent win over Walsh, he surpassed C.J. Van Wieren (2004-07) to become the school's all-time career leader in rushing yardage by a quarterback. Additionally, he moved into 11th place in school history in passing yardage and now owns 2,604 total yards. Among the former players he moved past was current FSU wide receivers coach Sparky McEwen, who totaled 2,183 passing yards in his Bulldog career. Vander Laan also ranks eighth in school history with 4,886 career yards of total offense and is only 114 shy of topping the 5,000 career yards mark.
Bulldog Quick Preview: Expectations are high at Ferris State in year two under head coach Tony Annese. The Bulldogs posted a 7-4 overall mark in his debut season last fall (2012) and FSU ranked among the nation's top 10 teams in both rushing offense and total offense.
The Bulldogs recorded several impressive wins under Annese's direction a year ago, including beating archrival Grand Valley State in the Anchor-Bone Classic for the first time since 1999, snapping a 10-year losing streak to Michigan Tech and topping defending national runner-up Wayne State for the first time in five years. FSU also managed to win seven games for only the second time in the past decade despite facing one of the nation's two toughest schedules in Division II football during the regular-season, according to the Massey Ratings.
Ironically, the Bulldogs' most recent contest prior to this season's opener inside the Fargodome at North Dakota State also took place in a domed venue as the Bulldogs concluded 2012 in memorable fashion by beating Northern Michigan 32-31 last fall (Nov. 10) as Annese's squad went for the win and successfully completed a two-point conversion with nine seconds remaining in regulation rather than electing to kick an extra point to force overtime at the Superior Dome in Marquette.
Besides putting together an impressive debut season with the Bulldogs, Annese and his staff also inked what is considered to be the nation's top incoming recruiting class this winter in Division II football, according to FootballScoop.com.
GLIAC Preseason Poll: The Ferris State University football team was selected to finish third in the 2013 GLIAC Football Coaches Preseason North Division Poll, which was released in conjunction with the launch of the GLIAC Football Media Day website. The Bulldogs received 69 points along with one first-place vote in the balloting, which was conducted by the conference's 15 head coaches. This year marks the third time the league's preseason gridiron poll has been seperated by divisions. In the North Division, Grand Valley State was picked first with 94 points and six first-place votes, Saginaw Valley State was second with 87 points and six first-place votes. Ashland was chosen to win the GLIAC South.
AFCA Division II Poll: The Bulldogs were among eight teams from the conference ranked or listed as receiving votes in the 2013 American Football Coaches Association Preseason Division II Coaches' Poll. Ashland was ninth, Grand Valley State 14th along with Saginaw Valley State University 22nd in the nation. Five other GLIAC teams were listed in the "Others Receiving Votes" category including Michigan Tech, Ferris State, Hillsdale, Ohio Dominican and Wayne State.
Ohio Stretch: Ferris State wrapped up its GLIAC South Division stretch with a perfect 3-0 mark against Ohio schools. FSU previously swept four Ohio teams in 2010 and beat three of four in the 2011 campaign before topping two of three a year ago. Since 2010, the Bulldogs are 12-2 versus teams from the Buckeye state.
National Statistics Leaders: The Bulldogs presently lead the GLIAC and are ranked sixth nationally in rushing offense this week at 314.4 yards per game. FSU is also 20th nationally and third in the league in total offense with an average of 498.7 yards per contest. Ferris State ranks fourth in the country in third down conversion percentage (.505) along with 13th in fewest penalty yards per game (39.29 ypg.). FSU also tops the league and is seventh in the nation in punt return defense (1.63). The Bulldogs lead the GLIAC in scoring offense (39.9 ppg.) and are among the top 20 in the nation.
Individually, Jason Vander Laan ranks third nationally in rushing touchdowns (14) along with 11th nationally in rushing yards (944). Vander Laan is also fourth in the country in scoring (12.0 ppg.) and first in the GLIAC in points responsible for (132). FSU's A.J. McEwen leads the conference and is 10th nationally in interceptions (0.6 pg.).
Big Return: Ferris State's Dontae Ingraham nearly returned a kickoff against Lake Erie for a touchdown in FSU's first home game. He had an 88-yard return on the play to the Storm four-yard line, which helped lead to a TD run by Jason Vander Laan on the next play that gave FSU a 35-27 lead late in the third period. FSU has not had a kickoff return for a touchdown since former defensive back Jim Skodak took one 85 yards to the house in a 17-14 road win at Northern Michigan in 2004 (10/16/04). Despite coming up just short on the kickoff return, Ingraham scored his first Bulldog touchdown by catching a 23-yard TD pass from Jason Vander Laan in the opening quarter.
Nation's Top Performers: Ferris State junior cornerback A.J. McEwen, who moved from wide receiver last spring, currently remains 10th in the country with four interceptions this campaign and is averaging 0.6 picks per contest. He had the first two interceptions of his Bulldog career in the second half versus Lake Erie and added another pick in the win over Ashland along with one at Walsh. McEwen ranks 10th in the nation to date and leads the GLIAC with the four picks this year.
The 105th Season: The 2013 campaign represents the Bulldogs' 105th 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 389-436-40 (.473) to date heading into this week's matchup.
Evening Football: FSU's recent win over GVSU represented the Bulldogs' fifth evening contest of the 2013 campaign. Five of FSU's first six contests of the year were evening games this campaign. Including this past Saturday at Hillsdale, the Bulldogs' last five regular-season games are afternoon starts at various times.
Coming Up Next: Ferris State returns home to host Wayne State on Saturday, Nov. 2, at FSU's Top Taggart Field in Big Rapids. Kickoff is set for 12 p.m. (ET).
Year Two Under Annese: A proven winner at all of his previous coaching stops and highly-regarded across the country, Tony Annese will direct the Bulldogs for the second time this fall. He came to FSU 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 236-52 (.819) after the first seven games of the 2013 campaign and was 30-4 (.882) as a junior college head coach at GRCC.
First Game Trip: Besides facing one of the nation's top collegiate football programs in two-time defending FCS National Champion North Dakota State (Sept. 7), the Bulldogs also took the field in week one in front of one of college football's most passionate fan bases at North Dakota State. More than 100,000 fans a year pass through the Fargodome to watch the Bison, ranking North Dakota State in the top 10 nationally for attendance in the Football Championship Subdivision. Known as one of the loudest environments to play in college football, the Fargodome crowd routinely goes over 100 decibels. NDSU's home since 1993 has become of the most difficult places in the country for opponents to play and can pack in 19,000 fans for football games. BleacherReport.com named the Fargodome among its top 50 greatest college stadiums. ESPN College Gameday visited Fargo two weeks ago.
The Schedule: Ferris State's 11-game Bulldog football slate in 2013 features five home contests at Top Taggart Field and a 10-game GLIAC schedule. FSU will play its next contest on the road at Michigan Tech (Oct. 26) before returning home to host Wayne State (Nov. 2). The Bulldogs then visit Northwood (Nov. 9) before wrapping up the regular-season at home versus Northern Michigan (Nov. 16).
The Returnees: Among the returnees for the Bulldogs this campaign are five returning all-conference honorees in quarterback Jason Vander Laan, offensive linemenCarlin Landingham and Adam Bennett, defensive lineman Corey Stone along with wide receiver Jake Lampman. They are among more than 40 letterwinners back from last season's roster. Overall, the Bulldogs return 17 starters and more than 40 letterwinners from last season.
Coaching Staff: The Bulldog staff this season feature a new defensive coordinator in Lou Esposito, who joined FSU in the spring after serving as the defensive line coach at Western Michigan. He is a former Division II head coach at St. Joseph's (Ind.). The rest of the FSU staff returns basically intact from a year ago. Rob Zeitman, who was a head coach at Grand Rapids Northview High School before moving to Ferris State, is the assistant head coach and handles the offensive line. The other full-time assistants include former Bulldog players Ryan Hodges and Sparky McEwen along with ex-Grand Valley State quarterback Ryan Brady, who is FSU's offensive coordinator this fall. Meanwhile, Brad Corpe returns to coach the running backs with Andy Tevlin guiding the defensive line and former longtime prep head coaching legend Jack Schugars working with the special teams.
Former Head Coach: Former Ferris State quarterback Charles "Sparky"McEwen joined head coach Tony Annese's staff last year 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 defensive back for the Bulldogs.
Did You Know?: Ferris has had a winning season in 16 of its last 24 seasons overall. The Bulldogs won five consecutive conference championship titles from 1992-96 and were league co-champions with Northwood in the 1999 season.
School Record Rushing: Ferris State well-surpassed the previous school record of 2,538 rushing yards in a season last campaign. The Bulldogs rolled up 3,369 yards on the ground in 11 games a year ago. The previous school record was established in 1995 during FSU's run to the NCAA Division II Semifinals.
Strong Ties: The Bulldogs' projected contributors on this week's two-deep also include at least 12 players who spent time in West Michigan at Grand Rapids Community College under head coach Tony Annese's direction before embarking on their Bulldog careers.
West Michigan: The Bulldogs' two deep lineup and list of potential starters includes 22 student-athletes from communities located in various parts of West Michigan such as Grand Rapids, East Grand Rapids, Big Rapids, Zeeland, Muskegon, Rockford, Greenville, Ravenna and more. Nearly 50 percent of FSU's projected starters are West Michigan natives. Besides the ties to West Michigan found among this week's potential two-deep players, the overall Bulldog roster includes more than 60 individuals and over half of the entire FSU squad from portions of West and Northwest Michigan.
More Season Notes: Newcomer Dewayne Boston scored the Bulldogs' lone touchdown at North Dakota State in his Ferris State debut. The junior college transfer hauled in a 19-yard scoring pass from quarterback Jason Vander Laan near the end of the first half ….. The Bulldogs ran for 228 yards on the ground against a North Dakota State defense that ranked among the nation's leaders in rushing defense a year ago by allowing less than 100 yards per contest. The week before facing FSU, the Bison allowed less than 50 rushing yards to defending Big 12 Conference Champion Kansas State in a 24-21 win …… The nearly 19,000 fans on hand at the Fargodome is believed to be one of the largest crowds in which the Bulldogs have ever played in front of during school history .... Michigan transfer Marvin Robinsonhad a team-high 10 tackles and a diving interception at NDSU.
Offensive Statistics: Ferris State's 473.5 yards per game last season ranked as the second-highest seasonal figure in school history. The highest mark of 534.5 yards a contest came in 1999 ...... Ferris State had a school-record 289 first downs last season to top the previous single-season mark of 277 first downs set in 1995 ...... The Bulldogs' 5,209 total yards last season was the third-best mark in school seasonal history.
Conference Record: Ferris State quarterback Jason Vander Laan set a new GLIAC single-season record for rushing yardage by a quarterback as a redshirt freshman during the 2012 campaign. The rookie signal caller ran for 1,338 total yards last season with 1,235 coming in 10 league games to establish the record. The league mark for most rushing yards by a QB in conference games ONLY had been 1,128 yards by Saginaw Valley State's Jeff Klopf in 1997. Ironically, Klopf played prep football under FSU's Tony Annese prior to his collegiate career. Vander Laan's totals were also the most ever by a FSU QB in a single-year and placed sixth on the school's seasonal rushing chart.
Rookie Record: Bulldog QB Jason Vander Laan also set a new school record for most rushing yards in a single-season by any Bulldog freshman a year ago with 1,338 total yards on the ground. Former tailback Derek Fudge owned the previous mark with 1,227 yards during the 2000 campaign.
Statistics Notes: Ferris State senior kicker Austin Kantola is tied for 12th on FSU's all-time list with 11 made field goals ...... The Bulldogs' A.J. McEwen ranks 10th in school history with 206 career punt return yards .... Jake Lampman's 717 receiving yards a year ago was 18th-best all-time in a season at FSU.
Preseason Honors: Junior receiver Jake Lampman and senior tackle Carlin Landingham were both chosen to the 2013 Detroit Free Press Michigan All-Small College Preseason First Team ..... Several Bulldog players were also ranked among the nation's best at their respective positions heading into 2013 according to the D2football.com Preseason Position Rankings compiled by the online source - Jason Vander Laan is listed 16th at quarterback, Jake Lampman is 57th at receiver, Carlin Landingham is 30th at offensive tackle, Adam Bennett was 18th at center (moving to guard this year), Corey Stone is 22nd at defensive tackle and Marvin Robinson came in 35th at safety. All were also chosen as preseason All-GLIAC picks by D2football.com.
Key Roster Note: The Bulldogs have four players currently listed on their roster who attended Manatee High School in Bradenton, Fla., which has been the nation's number one ranked high school team for several weeks over the last two seasons. The group includes sophomore slot Antonio Agurs along with three true freshmen in receiver Jajuan Pollock, defensive lineman Marquis Dawsey and defensive back Willie Smith.
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 12:30 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 in HD 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.
Home Ticket Information: Season and single-game tickets for the 2013 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 orwww.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 2013 Ferris State University Football Yearbook is available to view as an online publication. The publication features such information as 2013 player rosters, season outlook, player biographies, coaching staff information, 2012 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 Media 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 Rundown with Doctor & Bentley". The host is hosted by Tim Doctor and former NFL linebacker Ray Bentley. His son, Jake Bentley, is a member of the Bulldog football team. Additionally, head coach Tony Annese will make regular weekly appearances during the season on the Ferris Sports Update TV show, which is available across Northern Michigan on Fox 32 along with Comcast Xfinitiy in Michigan and other sources, including online at FerrisStateBulldogs.com.