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This Week: The Ferris State University football team continues its two-game Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) road swing by taking on the Gannon Golden Knights Saturday, Oct. 13, in Erie, Pa. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. (EDT). Tickets can be obtained by contacting the GU Athletics Office at (814) 871-7416.
Media Coverage: Saturday’s game will be carried live locally by WYBR (102.3 FM) with Rob Bentley handling the play-by-play duties. A live audio webcast is also slated to be available via Gannon’s official athletics website at www.gannon.edu/sports. Live internet statistics via “GameTracker” will also be available during the game and can be found on FSU’s athletics website (www.ferris.edu/sports) or the Gannon site.
Tough Setback: Ferris State saw its two-game winning streak come to an end last Saturday (Oct. 6) afternoon as the Bulldogs suffered a 40-12 league road setback to Michigan Tech at Sherman Field in Houghton, Mich. Turnovers, special teams play along with crucial third and fourth down conversions fueled the Huskies' triumph in a weather-delayed contest played before a MTU homecoming crowd of 2,350 fans. The opening kickoff was delayed approximately 20 minutes due to lightening from a passing storm, which made conditions sloppy throughout the game. The win was MTU’s fifth-straight series’ triumph and fourth win in a row over FSU at Sherman Field.
First & Last Visit: Saturday’s contest against the Knights represents FSU’s first-ever visit to Gannon University Field. The Bulldogs defeated the Knights in the first-ever series’ meeting by a score of 35-14 during last year’s (10/14/06) FSU homecoming contest at Top Taggart Field in Big Rapids, Mich. Saturday’s game marks the final time the two teams will play before Gannon departs the GLIAC for the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) next season.
Record In Erie: The Bulldogs have made four previous trips to Erie, Pa., to face the Knights’ crosstown rival Mercyhurst. FSU has won three of its four meetings versus the Lakers at MC’s Tullio Field, which includes a 28-7 victory in the most recent matchup last year (9/9/06) at Erie.
Big Day For Mike G: Senior receiver Mike Guevara (Oakland, Calif./Oxnard) caught a game-high six passes for 82 total yards and scored the Bulldogs’ only two touchdowns of the contest at Michigan Tech. The 5-10 Guevara caught a 38-yard scoring pass from senior quarterback C.J. Van Wieren (Holland/West Ottawa) in the second quarter before hauling in a 19-yard TD pass in the fourth frame. He finished the game with a team-best 108 all-purpose yards.
The Records: Ferris State, presently 3-3-0 overall this year and 2-3 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 were 3-2 at home and 5-1 on the road a season ago. Gannon currently holds a 0-6 overall and 0-5 conference mark after Saturday’s (Oct. 6) 56-21 league road loss at Wayne State. The Knights have been outscored 298-65 on the year. Last season, GU compiled a 1-10-0 overall record and placed tied for 12th in the league standings with a 1-9-0 GLIAC ledger. GU was 0-5 in home outings last season and is currently 0-3 in such games this year.
The Coaches: Ferris State – Jeff Pierce (Ferris State, 1979), 13th season, 80-58-0 (.580) – (1-0-0 vs. GU). Pierce has compiled a 38-33-0 (.535) coaching mark in road contests and is 29-22-0 (.569) in October contests to date. Pierce, who played at Ferris (defensive back) from 1974-77, is the 12th head coach in Ferris State’s history.
Gannon – Jim Kiernan (St. Lawrence, 1990), 1st season, 0-6-0 (.000) – (0-0-0 vs. Ferris State). The fourth head coach in GU history, Kiernan previously spent eight seasons as the assistant head coach and offensive coordinator at Saginaw Valley State. He also was the offensive coordinator and coached quarterbacks along with wide receivers at NCAA-III Lakeland (Wis.) in 1998 prior to going to SVSU. Kiernan directed the offensive attack at Mercyhurst from 1995-97.
FSU vs. Pennsylvania Schools: Ferris State is 15-14-2 (.516) all-time against Pennsylvania-based colleges, which includes a 5-6-2 (.462) road ledger and a 10-8-0 (.556) home mark. The Bulldogs’ most common opponent from Pennsylvania other than Gannon and fellow league member Mercyhurst is the Indiana (Pa.) Indians, who are 5-1-0 versus the Bulldogs.
Bulldog Odds & Ends: Ferris is presently ranked 58th nationally of 148 Division II programs listed in this week’s (Oct. 7) College Sports Report National Rankings, which can be found online at www.collegesportsreport.com ......... 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 represents the first time since playing four-straight games at home in October of 1937 that the Bulldogs have played four home games in a particular month of the season.
Success In The Zone: To date this year, the Bulldog offense has converted 18-of-20 times (.900) inside the opponents’ 20-yard line. FSU has scored 14 touchdowns and made four field goals in its 18 scoring trips to the red zone this campaign. Conversely, the Bulldog defense has limited the opposition to 23 red zone scores in 33 tries (69%). Ferris ranks as the GLIAC’s second-best in offensive red zone efficiency and is third in red zone defense to date this season. Ferris’ offense was one for two in red zone scoring chances versus Michigan Tech.
Taking Charge: FSU’s starting trio of linebackers have compiled 35% (158 of 458) of the squad’s total tackles to date this season. The group, which includes junior middle linebacker Kevin Noe (Orleans/Belding) along with senior outside linebacker Jordan Moore (Ada/Lowell) and junior outside linebacker Jeff Hollandsworth (Livonia/Stevenson), have also teamed up to notch 85 of the team’s 265 solo stops (32%) to date this year. Moore and Noe both tallied a game-high 11 tackles each versus Michigan Tech.
Things To Note: FSU senior defensive tackle Kurt Hout (Arvada, Colo./West) played a key role in the Bulldogs’ recent home victory over Northern Michigan (Sept. 29), but may have had a bigger performance following the contest. The preseason All-America selection and pro prospect proposed to his girlfriend and the two became engaged on the field following the contest ......... Bulldog sophomore cornerback Angelo Williams (Jackson) registered his first career interception in Saturday’s loss at Michigan Tech. Williams’ pick came near the end of the first half near the FSU seven-yard line as the Huskies were threatening to score. In addition to the interception, Williams has seven pass breakups this campaign.
Current NCAA Stats: FSU senior defensive end Erik Schumacher (Lake Isabella/Beal City) is currently listed third (0.5 pg.) nationally in forced fumbles, according to the latest (Oct. 8) NCAA-II National Statistics. Junior kicker-punter Jim Yates (Goshen, Ind.) ranks 18th in made field goals (1.2 pg.), quarterback C.J. Van Wieren is 18th in total offense (273.0 ypg.), junior defensive back Terrell Heggins (Lansing/Everett) is 22nd in passes defended (1.5 pg.), and senior receiver Robert Miller (Carson, Calif.) ranks 40th overall nationally in all-purpose yards (142.5 ypg.). Kevin Noe is listed 30th in total tackles. As a team, the Bulldogs rank 16th in fumble recoveries (9.0) along with 44th in rushing offense (177.2 ypg.).
The Final Five: Ferris has registered a 56-28-1 (.665) record in its final five regular-season contests per season since 1990. The Bulldogs posted a 4-1 overall record in 2006 after previously compiling a 1-4 such record in the last five games of both the 2004 and 2005 campaigns. FSU’s lone loss in its last five contests last year was a 28-6 home setback to West Michigan rival Grand Valley State (10/28), which went on to capture the NCAA-II National Championship.
In October: The Bulldogs have compiled a 48-24-1 (.664) record in October contests since 1990. FSU is 25-14-0 (.641) on the road and 23-10-1 (.691) at home during that span in the month of October.
Brewster Now A Bronco: The National Football League's (NFL) Denver Broncos signed former Ferris wide receiver Carlton Brewster (Grand Rapids/Creston) to their practice squad last Thursday (Oct. 4). Brewster (5-foot-11, 208 pounds) joins the Broncos from San Diego, which released him from its practice squad on Sept. 25. The 24-year-old entered the NFL with Cleveland as a college free agent in 2006 and also saw time on Green Bay’s practice squad during his rookie season. In the spring, Brewster earned All-NFL Europa honors with the Berlin Thunder after leading the club with 37 receptions for 548 yards (14.8 avg.). He competed in Green Bay’s 2007 training camp and was waived by the club on Aug. 24 before signing with San Diego’s practice squad on Sept. 12. He made one reception for 10 yards and returned three kickoffs for 23 yards in three preseason outings with the Packers. A 2005 American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) All-American and an Associated Press (AP) Little All-America Second-Team selection, Brewster concluded his Bulldog career in 2005, ranking second among Ferris' all-time receiving leaders with 3,184 career yards and 25 TD’s on 234 receptions in 43 games.
Did You Know?: Gannon completed its move from non-scholarship football to the scholarship level in 2003 and participated in the GLIAC for the first time in 2004. The Golden Knights posted a school-best 9-1-0 overall record in 2003 while setting school marks for most victories in a season and best winning percentage since 1949 (8-0 record). Gannon recorded a 4-7-0 overall mark in its inaugural 2004 GLIAC season after being picked to finish last in the preseason conference coaches’ poll.
Two Home Games Left: The Bulldogs have two home games remaining this year at Top Taggart Field in Big Rapids, Mich. Homecoming is set for Oct. 20 when the Bulldogs host Ashland with the Senior Day activities taking place Nov. 3 during FSU's regular-season home finale against Northwood.
GLIAC Award Honorees: Ferris has had two GLIAC Players of the Week this season. C.J. Van Wieren earned the league’s weekly offensive distinction after FSU’s season-opener versus Kentucky State (Sept. 1) while Jim Yates claimed the special teams honor 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.
Up Next: FSU returns home to host the Ashland Eagles in its 67th homecoming contest Saturday, Oct. 20, at Top Taggart Field in Big Rapids, Mich. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. (EDT). Three of Ferris’ final five games this year, including Saturday’s outing at Gannon, will be on the road this campaign.
Leading The League: The Bulldog defense has returned two fumble recoveries for a GLIAC-best two touchdowns this campaign. FSU’s nine recoveries overall rank tied for second in the league to date.
Over The Mark: FSU’s C.J. Van Wieren surpassed the 2,000 career passing yards mark in the loss at Michigan Tech. He currently ranks 12th in FSU history with 2,025 passing yards. Van Wieren’s 496 rushing yards and 1,142 passing yards this campaign both represent personal seasonal efforts.
It’s Miller Time: Bulldog receiver Robert Miller currently has 2,042 all-purpose yards in his two-year Bulldog career. Miller’s tallied 821 rushing yards, 618 receiving yards, 591 kickoff return yards and 12 punt return yards to date at Ferris State.
Keep Tackling: Ferris’ Kevin Noe presently has 58 total tackles this season, which is his most in a season at FSU. Noe tallied 28 total tackles in each of his first two seasons with the Bulldogs. He currently has 28 solo stops and 30 assisted hits this campaign.
More Than Ever: FSU’s Jordan Moore has recorded a personal career-best 48 total tackles to date this campaign. His previous career-best seasonal effort was 29 stops last season.
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 (Coopersville) 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: Defensive tackles Kurt Hout and 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.