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This Week: The Ferris State University football team concludes the 2007 campaign on the road Saturday, Nov. 10, versus the Wayne State Warriors in Detroit, Mich. Kickoff for the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) encounter is set for 12 p.m. (EST) at WSU Stadium in the Motor City. FSU can post its fourth winning season in the last five years with a win over Wayne State. Ticket information for the contest can be obtained by contacting the Wayne State Athletics Department at (313) 577-4280.
Media Coverage: Saturday’s game will be carried live locally by WYBR (102.3 FM) with Jason DaDay handling the play-by-play duties. A live video and audio webcast will be available through B2 Networks for a charge of $6 on FSU’s Athletics Website at www.ferris.edu/sports (Click on B2 Networks icon). Live internet statistics via “GameTracker” will also be available during the game via FSU’s athletics website.
Big Overtime Win: Ferris State sent its senior class off in style as the Bulldogs escaped with a thrilling 48-41 overtime triumph over Northwood in GLIAC play Saturday (Nov. 3) afternoon at Top Taggart Field in Big Rapids, Mich. Eleven Bulldog seniors played their final home game during the annual Senior Day contest before a crowd of 1,802 fans in the squad's regular-season home finale. The Bulldog offense racked up a season-high 619 yards in the high-scoring affair, including 381 rushing yards on 49 carries. All of that yardage was needed to help offset NU's 570 total offensive yards, which featured 341 yards on the ground.
Overtime Recap: In overtime versus Northwood, the Bulldog defense stepped up to the challenge and stopped the Timberwolves on a fourth and goal situation from inside the one-yard line to preserve the victory. FSU took the overtime lead thanks to a 19-yard scoring scamper from senior quarterback C.J. Van Wieren (Holland/West Ottawa) on the Bulldogs' second play of the extra session. Northwood moved the ball to the Bulldog four-yard line on its ensuing possession before the FSU defense stepped up to stop NU from reaching the endzone on three-straight plays, including the final two from inside the two-yard line.
Big Day For CJ: FSU’s C.J. Van Wieren accounted for five touchdowns in the final home game of his career on Saturday. In addition to scoring the game-winning TD, Van Wieren completed 18-of-29 passes for 238 yards and three touchdowns. He added 148 rushing yards on 21 carries (7.0 avg.) while running for two more scores. In the fourth quarter, he helped FSU rally from a 34-24 deficit to force overtime by throwing for two scores and leading the Bulldogs’ offense on a 69-yard drive to set up a game-tying field goal with 14 seconds left in regulation.
The Records: Ferris State, presently 5-5-0 overall this year and 4-5 in the GLIAC, registered a 8-3-0 overall record and placed third in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) with a 7-3-0 mark in 2006. The Bulldogs are currently 1-3 on the road to date this year. Wayne State currently holds a 3-7 overall and 2-7 conference mark after Saturday’s (Nov. 3) high-scoring 63-42 league loss at Ashland. Last season, WSU compiled a 6-5 overall record and placed tied for fourth in the GLIAC with a 6-4 conference ledger. WSU is presently 1-3 at home this campaign.
The Coaches: Ferris State – Jeff Pierce (Ferris State, 1979), 13th season, 82-60-0 (.577) – (8-2-0 vs. WSU). Pierce has compiled a 39-34-0 (.534) coaching mark in road contests and is 19-9-0 (.679) in November contests to date. Pierce, who played at Ferris (defensive back) from 1974-77, is the 12th head coach in Ferris State’s history.
Wayne State – Paul Winters (Akron, 1980), 4th season, 13-28-0 (.317) – (0-1-0 vs. Ferris State). Winters was named Wayne State’s 19th coach in 2003 after spending the previous nine years at NCAA-I Akron. He ranks as Akron’s seventh all-time leading rusher and was named the Akron’s Athlete of the Year in 1980. He was inducted into UA’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 1990.
Season Finales: The Bulldogs are 15-8-0 (.652) in regular-season finale contests dating back to 1985, which includes a 10-7-0 (.588) mark since 1990. FSU had dropped its previous four season finales prior to posting a 21-17 win over Wayne State last season (11/11/06) in Big Rapids, Mich. Those four losses came 17-14 at Indianapolis (11/16/02) and 35-20 to Indianapolis (11/15/03), 47-14 versus Saginaw Valley State (11/6/04) and 39-32 at Saginaw Valley State (11/5/05). Ferris is 8-4-0 (.667) on the road in these outings since 1985, including 3-2-0 (.600) since 1995.
Player Of The Week: Junior kicker-punter Jim Yates (Goshen, Ind.) was chosen as this week’s (Nov. 5) GLIAC Special Teams Player of the Week for the second time this year. The 6-1 Yates played a key role in the Bulldogs' Senior Day victory over Northwood. He drilled a game-tying 28-yard field goal into a stiff wind with only 14 seconds left in regulation to send the contest into overtime. The game-tying kick capped a 69-yard march covering 11 plays for the Bulldogs. Yates also made a 34-yard field goal in the opening quarter and converted all six of his PAT attempts. He tallied 120 punting yards on four attempts and kicked off eight times for 435 total yards in the game.
Let’s Win Again: The Bulldogs can post their fourth winning season in the last five years by winning Saturday’s contest at Wayne State.
Almost Perfect: Ferris State has been almost perfect in the red zone this season. FSU has scored in 33 of its 36 trips (91.7%) inside the opponents’ 20-yard line this season. Ferris has scored 25 touchdowns and made eight field goals in its 33 scoring trips to the red zone this campaign. Conversely, the Bulldog defense has limited the opposition to 40 red zone scores in 57 tries (70%). Ferris ranks as the GLIAC’s leader in offensive red zone efficiency and is third in red zone defense to date this season.
The League’s Best: The Bulldog defense has returned two fumble recoveries for a GLIAC-best two touchdowns this campaign. Ferris State’s 11 fumble recoveries overall rank tied for third in the league to date this campaign while FSU’s 57 fumble return yards is a conference-high.
Big Stopper: Junior middle linebacker Kevin Noe (Orleans/Belding) tallied a personal career-high 18 tackles and had one interception to lead the Bulldogs defensively versus NU. Eight of his tackles were solo stops. He helped account for two of FSU’s final three tackles in the extra session as the Bulldogs stopped the Timberwolves three times from inside the four-yard line, including the final play from inside the one-yard line.
Northwood Game Notes: Senior slot receiver Robert Miller (Carson, Calif.) surpassed the 1,000-career rushing yards mark on a 60-yard touchdown sprint to the endzone in the second quarter of the contest ....... Ferris scored 24 of the game’s final 31 points, which all came in the final 13 minutes of regulation along with the overtime session ...... The overtime contest was FSU's first at Top Taggart Field since defeating Michigan Tech 21-14 in 2002 ....... FSU improved to 6-1 overall all-time in extra session contests with the overtime triumph.
Current NCAA Stats: FSU’s Jim Yates is currently listed 14th (1.10 pg.) nationally in made field goals per game, according to the latest (Nov. 5) NCAA-II National Statistics. Kevin Noe ranks 21st in tackles (10.3 pg.), C.J. Van Wieren is 26th in total offense (260.0 ypg.), junior defensive tackle Jake Visser (Coopersville) is 33rd in tackles (9.5 pg.) and Robert Miller ranks 34th overall nationally in all-purpose yards (140.2 ypg.). Senior defensive end Erik Schumacher (Lake Isabella/Beal City) is 29th in forced fumbles (0.3 pg.), Van Wieren is 39th in rushing (885 yards) and sophomore defensive back Angelo Williams (Jackson) comes in 44th in passes defended (1.1 pg.).. As a team, the Bulldogs rank 30th in rushing offense (206.7 ypg.) and 34th in net punting (33.39).
Top Taggart Anniversary: The 2007 season marked the 50th anniversary of FSU’s Top Taggart Field, which has served as the home for Bulldog football since 1957 ...... Ferris’ six home games this campaign were the school’s most since playing six games at home in 1997 ...... Ferris’ four home games during the month of September this year were the school’s most in the first month of the season ever. It also was the first time since playing four-straight games at home in October of 1937 that the Bulldogs had played four home games in a particular month of the season.
Next Season: Next year, the 2008 campaign will mark the 100th season of Bulldog football. Plans are currently underway to help commemorate the anniversary next season. In addition, next year will also represent the 40th anniversary of Ferris’ first-ever unbeaten team in 1968 (7-0-1) and a special reunion is being planned for players involved on that particular team.
Run Ferris Run: FSU’s current 206.7 rushing yards per game ranks second on the school’s single-season leaders list to date. Ferris’ top figure was a 229.4 average on the ground in 1999.
In November Games: The Bulldogs have currently compiled a 19-9-0 (.679) record in November contests since 1995. FSU is 10-3-0 (.769) on the road and 9-6-0 (.600) at home during that span. Ferris won both of its November games last year with a 17-14 road win at Northwood (11/4) and a 21-17 regular-season finale triumph at home over Wayne State (11/11).
GLIAC Award Honorees: Ferris has had four GLIAC Players of the Week this season. Three weeks ago (Oct. 15), senior defensive end Erik Schumacher was recognized as the defensive player of the week after his performance in a win over Gannon (Oct. 13). FSU’s C.J. Van Wieren earned the league’s weekly offensive distinction after the Bulldogs’ season-opener versus Kentucky State (Sept. 1). Jim Yates’ selection as this week’s GLIAC Special Teams Player of the Week marks the second time he has received the honor this year as he previously earned the same award following his game-winning 41-yard field goal with three seconds left in FSU’s 44-41 triumph over Hillsdale (Sept. 22) at Top Taggart Field.
Ferris Sports Update: Ferris head coach Jeff Pierce will make appearances throughout the season on Ferris Sports Update, a weekly half-hour TV show promoting Bulldog Athletics. The show airs each Thursday at 6:30 p.m. (EDT) and can be found live on Charter Cable Channel 22 in the Big Rapids area along over 1.6 million households via the Comcast Local Network in Michigan, parts of Ohio and Indiana.
Vote For Pierce: Bulldog fans once again have an opportunity for vote for FSU head coach Jeff Pierce as part of the 2007 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award process. The award honors the college football coach who best exemplifies responsibility and excellence on and off the field. Pierce was among the top Division II vote-getters a year ago. Go to www.coachoftheyear.com to cast your ballot.
Preseason Recognition: The Bulldogs earned preseason recognition this summer as the nation's 18th-ranked squad in the 2007 Lindy's College Football Preview Division II Preseason Top 25 Poll. Ferris was 8-3-0 overall in 2006, which represented the program's most single-season victories since 1996. The Bulldogs also finished the year ranked 17th in Don Hansen's Football Gazette's final Division II Top 40 poll and 22nd nationally in D2Football.com's final Top 25 poll.
Preseason Honors: FSU senior guard Bill Bourdlais (Newberry) and junior defensive tackle Jake Visser were both named to the 2007 Don Hansen’s Football Gazette NCAA-II Preseason All-America Team. A total of 153 players representing four geographic regions were named to the annual preseason listing.
More Preseason Honors: Senior defensive tackle Kurt Hout (Arvada, Colo./West) and junior defensive tackle Jake Visser were chosen as preseason All-Americans by D2football.com. Hout was recognized as one of 12 first-team defensive selections while Visser earned second-team preseason laurels. Visser also was tabbed as both a 2007 Street & Smith's Division II Preseason All-America First Team selection along with being named to the 2007 Lindy's College Football Preview All-Division II Preseason All-America Second Team.
Pro Hopefuls: Defensive tackle Kurt Hout was regarded as one of the top 15 NCAA Division II players being considered by National Football League scouts, according to the 2007 D2football.com Pro Hopefuls List. The Pro Hopefuls List, which was put together by D2football.com Pro Prospects correspondent Josh Buchanan, listed the top 15 prospects overall. In addition, 35 other players were ranked behind them with offensive guard Bill Bourdlais found as the 35th-best D2 prospect coming out this year. Buchanan also posted a 53-man team roster of Division II prospective players and the list included Hout, Bourdlais and Bulldog senior safety Patrick Wells (Miamisburg, Ohio).
Preseason Rankings: Ferris was listed 28th in the 2007 College Sports Report Division II preseason rankings (www.collegesportsreport.com). Ferris placed fourth among the GLIAC schools featured in the College Sports Report rankings ....... D2football.com columnist Tony Nicolette, who is covering the GLIAC for the online service this fall, had the Bulldogs picked second in his preseason league listing this year behind Grand Valley State ........ FSU was not ranked, but was listed among other schools receiving votes in the 2007 American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Division II poll.
National Player Of The Week: FSU’s C.J. Van Wieren was named the D2Football.com Co-National Offensive Player of the Week in addition to being the GLIAC Offensive Player of the Week after helping account for five of the Bulldogs’ six touchdowns in a 42-19 season-opening home win over Kentucky State (Sept. 1). Van Wieren completed seven-of-eight passes for a personal career-high 294 yards and two touchdowns. He also added a team-best 118 rushing yards on 17 carries along with three TD’s running the ball. He ran for two scores and threw for two more as the Bulldogs scored four consecutive touchdowns in the second and third quarters.
Miller Earns National Honor: Senior receiver Robert Miller was chosen as a Don Hansen's Football Gazette National Player of the Week (Sept. 26) after his all-purpose performance in FSU’s thrilling 44-41 Bulldog victory over Hillsdale (Sept. 22) at Top Taggart Field. The 5-8 Miller was among 11 NCAA Division II players to earn national recognition and one of only two selected in the all-purpose category. Miller had a productive all-around game against the Chargers in league action with 127 rushing yards, 31 receiving yards and 60 return yards. He carried the ball 17 times for 127 yards and two scores while adding 31 receiving yards on a team-best two catches. Miller also returned three kickoffs for 60 total yards, tallied 218 all-purpose yards and averaged 7.5 yards per rush. He carried the ball twice for 19 yards on FSU’s final six-play drive, which set up a game-winning 41-yard field goal by Jim Yates with only three seconds left to play.
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.ferris.edu/sports (click on football and then Bulldog 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 2007 Ferris State University Football Yearbook is available to view online in a PDF format. The 68-page publication contains information for all Bulldog football fans. The publication features such information as 2007 player rosters, season outlook, player biographies, coaching staff information, 2006 season statistics, career and season statistical records, series records, game records, etc. Visit the FSU athletics website at www.ferris.edu/sports to find the publication online.
Follow The Bulldogs: Bulldog fans now have the ability to catch Ferris State in action even when they can’t be at the stadium. A live video and audio webcast is slated to be offered for all 2007 Bulldog home football games via an agreement with B2 Networks. In addition, selected road games at B2 partner schools will also be available. For more information, visit the FSU Athletics Website (www.ferris.edu/sports) and click on the B2 broadcast icon.