Postgame Press Conference
Big Rapids, Mich. - Nationally second-ranked Ferris State University got off to a big start and cruised to a decisive 42-10 win over visiting Northern Michigan in the Bulldogs' 2017 home opener on Saturday (Sept. 16) before a crowd of more than 6,000 fans at FSU's Top Taggart Field.
The Bulldogs built a 35-7 halftime lead and rolled up more than 600 yards of total offense for the second-straight week in posting the dominating Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) home win. It came against former FSU assistant and current NMU first-year head coach Kyle Nystrom.
Saturday's game also marked the Bulldogs' Hall of Fame game with this year's class of seven inductees and the school's first-ever undefeated team fro 1968 honored at halftime.
FSU started quickly as the Bulldogs scored on their first offensive play via a 56-yard TD pass from senior quarterback Reggie Bell to senior slot Jajuan Pollock. It came following a key defensive interception from senior KC Zenner.
Northern Michigan answered with a 76-yard scoring drive capped by a Jake Mayon TD run from two-yards out to knot the contest up with 7:52 left in the opening quarter.
However, the Bulldogs took a 14-7 lead after one period by moving 45 yards in only two plays. Bell found sophomore slot Davontae Harrington on a 31-yard scoring throw late in the opening stanza.
In the second quarter, the Bulldogs scored three times with three different players finding paydirt. Bell hooked up with Jevon Shaw on a four-yard scoring toss to finish off a seven-play, 69-yard drive three minutes into the frame.
Midway thru the period, Lindrell Mitchell notched his first collegiate touchdown by racing in from 13-yards out to push the margin to 28-7. It was followed by a late first half drive of 80 yards that resulted in Bell's 23-yard hookup with junior wideout Keyondre Craig, a former NMU product.
The Wildcats mustered the only points of the third period when Dalton Ray connected on a 22-yard field goal with 2:41 to go. It came following a FSU defensive stop after an offensive turnover in the Bulldogs' own end.
FSU scored the final points of the night with 5:52 to play when Josh Walker found the endzone from seven yards away to finish off a 12-play, 80-yard jaunt.
Overall, the Bulldogs had 637 total offensive yards with 319 on the ground and another 318 in the air. FSU also racked up 33 first downs.
Defensively, the Bulldogs limited the Wildcats to only 243 total yards, including only 76 yards on 30 carries.
Bell paced the FSU offense by completing 16-of-24 passes for 254 yards and four scores in one half of work. Meanwhile, Jahaan Brown ran for a team-best 84 yards on 12 carries. Wideout Malik Taylor paced the Ferris State receivers with six catches for 86 yards in the win.
Senior linebacker Terrell Porter led the Bulldog defense with eight total tackles in the triumph. FSU held NMU to a 3-of-17 showing on third down.
The #2 Bulldogs will visit Ashland for a GLIAC showdown next Saturday (Sept. 23) night with kickoff set for 7 p.m. (ET) in Ashland, Ohio.