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This Week: The Ferris State University football team returns home to host the Wayne State Warriors in its annual Homecoming contest Saturday, Oct. 18, at Top Taggart Field in Big Rapids, Mich. Kickoff for the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) tilt is set for 2 p.m. (EDT). Several activities are planned in conjunction with homecoming festivities, including a parade at noon in downtown Big Rapids. There will also be an inflatable obstacle course for kids at the stadium.
Ticket Information: Tickets will be available at the gate or for more information, contact the FSU Ticket Office at (231) 591-2888. They can also be bought online at www.starticketsplus.com. Tickets are $7 adults or $5 students (K-12), senior citizens and FSU faculty/staff. Ferris students with ID will be admitted free as will children not yet of school age.
Media Coverage: Saturday’s game will be carried live locally by WYBR (102.3 FM) with John Smith handling the play-by-play duties. A live video and audio webcast will be available through B2 Networks for a pay-per-view charge on FSU’s Athletics Website at www.ferris.edu/sports (Click on B2 Networks icon). Live internet statistics are also slated to be available. Links for all coverage will be posted on the FSU website and can be found by clicking the “internet event schedule” icon.
FSU Tops Indy In Thriller: Ferris State received a big offensive lift from an unlikely source as the Bulldogs recorded a 31-24 GLIAC road win over the Indianapolis Greyhounds last Saturday (Oct. 11) night at UI's Key Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind. Bulldog junior quarterback Kyle Parrish (Garden Grove, Calif./Santiago) replaced injured starter Tom Schneider (Jerome/Addison) in the opening quarter and completed 26-of-41 passes for 404 yards and four touchdowns, including a game-winning 44-yard TD pass to redshirt freshman receiver Seth Hubbard (Elwell/Alma) with only 18 seconds left in the contest to lift the Bulldogs to the victory. The Bulldog offense rolled up 550 total yards and 25 first downs.
Close Calls: Four of Ferris’ five wins this campaign have been decided by seven points or less. The Bulldogs scored the go-ahead touchdown in the final 37 seconds of three of those contests - at Ashland (Sept. 6), vs. Northern Michigan (Sept. 27) and at Indianapolis (Oct. 11). Six of FSU’s seven outings this season have been determined by 14 points or less and the Bulldogs are 5-1 in those contests.
Let’s Win Again: The Bulldogs can post their fifth winning season in the last six years by topping Wayne State in Saturday’s contest. Ironically, the Bulldogs also beat WSU in last year’s season finale (11/10/07) by a 17-13 score in Detroit to secure a winning campaign.
The Records: Ferris State is currently 5-2 this season and 4-2 in the GLIAC after Saturday’s 31-24 win at Indianapolis. FSU registered a 7-4-0 (including forfeit win) overall record in 2007 and placed tied for fourth in the league with a 6-4 mark. The Bulldogs were 4-2 at home and 3-2 on the road last year. Ferris is currently 2-0 in home games in 2008. Wayne State is presently 5-2 overall and 4-2 in the GLIAC after last Saturday’s (Oct. 11) 24-10 home win over Northern Michigan. WSU recorded a 3-8 overall record in 2007 and placed 12th in the league with a 2-8 conference mark. The Warriors are presently 1-2 in road games this year after recording a 2-4 record in away games last fall (2007).
The Coaches: Ferris State – Jeff Pierce (Ferris State, 1979), 14th season, 90-60-0 (.600) – (9-2-0 vs. WSU). Pierce has compiled a 45-26-0 (.634) coaching mark in home encounters and is 31-25-0 (.554) 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.
Wayne State – Paul Winters (Akron, 1980), 5th season, 18-31-0 (.367) – (0-2-0 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.
The 100th Season: The 2008 campaign represents the Bulldogs’ 100th 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 365-405-40 (.475) to date following Saturday’s win over Indianapolis.
Homecoming Games: Ferris State is 32-33-2 (.493) in its Homecoming contests dating back to 1931 and has won 13 of its last 18 such encounters ....... The Bulldogs dropped a 37-35 decision to Ashland in their 2007 (10/20) homecoming game ......... Ferris had its three-game Homecoming winning streak snapped in 2004 (10/23) with a 28-6 home loss to Michigan Tech. 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 (5-1-0) and Michigan Tech (2-4-0) are the second most common foes ........ FSU most recently faced Wayne State in its 1998 homecoming game (10/10/98) and pulled out a 37-13 win ......... FSU has claimed a win in five of its last seven homecoming outings.
FSU Still Third: Ferris remains in a four-way tie for third place in the GLIAC standings behind leader Grand Valley State (6-0) and Ashland (5-1). The Bulldogs, Michigan Tech, Saginaw Valley State and Wayne State all own 4-2 league marks with Hillsdale a game behind (3-3).
GLIAC Award Winner: Ferris’ Kyle Parrish claimed this week’s GLIAC Offensive Player of the Week honor after coming off the bench to set a new school record with 477 total offensive yards versus Indianapolis. Parrish received his first extensive game action of the season after starting QB Tom Schneider went down with an injury in the first quarter and threw for a career-high 404 yards passing with four touchdowns on 26-of-41 attempts. He also ran for a team-high 73 rushing yards on nine carries (8.1 avg.). The 6-1 Parrish threw three touchdown passes of 44 yards or more.
Record-Setting Effort: The 477 total offensive yards compiled by FSU’s Kyle Parrish against Indianapolis eclipsed the previous school record of 433 yards set by current FSU offensive coordinator and former QB Matt McCarthy at Hillsdale in 1999. Parrish led the Bulldogs to five scores and two missed field goals in his 10 drives directing the offense at Indy.
Career Night: Senior wideout Rahseem Jones-Salaam (Baldwin) caught a career-high 10 passes for 201 yards, including a 64-yard TD against the Greyhounds. His 10 catches were the school’s most in a single game since Carlton Brewster matched a school mark with 15 grabs at Ashland in 2004 (9/4). Also, his 201 yards receiving is the sixth-best single game figure in Bulldog history and the most since Clarence Coleman set a record with 248 receiving yards in 2001 (9/8) vs. Findlay.
Indy Notebook: Ferris’ win over Indianapolis came in the first meeting between the two teams since the Greyhounds recorded a 7-3 win at Top Taggart Field in 2005 (9/17) ....... Senior receiver Cole Meredith (Big Rapids) made six catches for 78 yards, sophomore Tim Hogue (Dearborn/Inkster) had five grabs for 30 yards and Seth Hubbard hauled in three passes for 79 yards along with two TD's versus the Greyhounds.
Nice Day For FSU: Kyle Parrish’s 404 yards passing at Indy was the fourth-highest single game total in school history. He's also one of only seven players in the 100-year history of Bulldog football to throw four or more touchdown passes in a single contest ...... The 404 passing yards at Indy was also the program’s fourth-highest single game team figure in FSU history and the four TD catches was one shy of matching the school record of five set three times ....... Senior safety C.J. Lee (Lockport, N.Y.) tallied a career-high nine tackles at Indianapolis........ FSU’s 92-yard march in Parrish’s initial drive was the Bulldogs’ longest of the season.
Moving Up The List: Ferris’ Jake Visser tallied a team-high 13 tackles, including 11 assisted efforts and one tackle for loss at Indianapolis. Visser continues to climb several lists in the FSU record book as he currently ranks tied for fourth place on the school's all-time sack leaders chart with 23.5 sacks in his career. Additionally, Visser presently has 349 career tackles and is in 11th place on the school list. He is also tied for first place with two former Bulldog greats in Monty Brown (1989-92) and Ed Philion (990-93), who both played in the NFL, with seven career fumble recoveries.
Lucky Seven: This year’s 5-2 mark after seven games represents the 22nd time in 100 seasons the Bulldogs have emerged victorious in at least five of their initial seven outings of a campaign, including the third time in the last five years along with 2004 and 2006. Ferris has accomplished the feat five times under head coach Jeff Pierce. The Bulldogs have went on to win at least seven games in three of the four previous times under Pierce.
Big Win For Pierce: Last Saturday’s contest at Indianapolis was the Bulldogs’ 150th contest with Jeff Pierce as head coach. The all-time winningest coach in FSU history, Pierce earned his 90th career win with the victory and owns a 90-60 (.600) career mark at the Bulldog helm.
Good Month: The Bulldogs have compiled a 50-27-1 (.641) record in October contests since 1990. FSU is 27-16-0 (.628) on the road and 23-11-1 (.671) at home during that span in the month of October.
Number Eight: Saturday’s game will be FSU’s eighth of the season. The Bulldogs own a current 13-5 record in game eight of a campaign dating back to the 1990 campaign.
Up Next: Ferris completes its two-game homestand by taking on the Northwood Timberwolves Saturday, Oct. 25, at Top Taggart Field. Kickoff is set for 12 p.m. (EDT) and the school will honor its 1968 unbeaten team as they celebrate their 40th anniversary with a special reunion.
Regional Rankings: The Bulldogs are listed ninth in this week’s Super Regional Three Rankings issued on Monday (Oct. 13). FSU is one of four GLIAC schools in the top 10 along with Grand Valley State (#1), Ashland (#3) and Michigan Tech (#4). New rankings will be announced each Monday until the end of the season.
Did You Know?: The Bulldogs need only one more win to post their 13th winning season in the last 20 campaigns. It would also give head coach Jeff Pierce his eighth winning season in his 14 years at FSU. The Bulldogs won five consecutive conference championship titles from 1992-96 and were league co-champions with Northwood in the 1999 season.
Among The Leaders: The Bulldogs are listed 32nd nationally in scoring defense (19.4 ppg.) along with 36th in rushing offense (185.4 ypg.), 43rd in pass defense (178.4 ypg.), 47th in total defense (308.8 ypg.), 49th in pass efficiency defense (112.94) and 64th in rushing defense (130.1 ypg.) according to the NCAA-II National Statistics released on Monday (Oct. 13). In the GLIAC, Ferris is second in rushing defense, third in total defense, third in scoring defense, fourth in pass defense, fourth in pass efficiency defense and fith in rushing offense to date.
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 Wednesday at 11 p.m. (ET) on Fox 33 across most of Northern Michigan.
Vote For Pierce: Bulldog fans once again have an opportunity for vote for FSU head coach Jeff Pierce as part of the 2008 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 in 2006. Go to www.coachoftheyear.com to cast your ballot.
A Great Start: This year’s 3-0 start prior to the loss at Grand Valley State (Sept. 20) was FSU’s second such start in the last 12 years along with the 2006 campaign when they won their first three outings before losing at Hillsdale in week four (29-27). Prior to 2006, FSU hadn’t won three in a row since the 1996 campaign when they made their last trip to the NCAA-II Playoffs. The 2008 season marked the 10th time in 100 seasons the Bulldogs had started the year with three consecutive victories.
NCAA Region Change: The NCAA adjusted the way in which regions are named for selection purposes effective this season. Previously labeled geographically, regions have now been renamed “super regionals” and are categorized numerically so as to not create confusion with the geographical-based labels in Division II’s regionalization model. Thus, effective with the 2008 championship, the four “super regionals” for football selection purposes are: Super Regional One (composed of the Atlantic and East regions), Super Regional Two (South and Southeast regions), Super Regional Three (Central and Midwest regions) and Super Regional Four (South Central and West regions). The GLIAC schools are in Super Regional Three.
Team Captains: FSU’s team captains for the 2008 campaign are senior receiver Cole Meredith (Big Rapids) and junior quarterback Eric Grozenski (Rochester Hills/Notre Dame Prep) on the offensive side along with senior defensive tackle Jake Visser (Coopersville) and senior linebacker Jordan Moore (Ada/Lowell) on the defensive side. Visser is the lone player of the four who also served as a team captain last season.
Preseason All-Americans: FSU senior defensive tackle Jake Visser, senior cornerback Terrell Heggins (Lansing/Everett) along with senior middle linebacker Kevin Noe were chosen as 2008 preseason All-Americans by various sources. A returning All-American, Visser earned consensus preseason acclaim by being named to the 2008 Lindy's College Football Preview All-Division II Preseason First Team along with the D2football.com Preseason All-America First Team, the Consensus Draft Services (CDS) Division II Preseason All-America Second Team and the Sporting News Division II Preseason All-America Team. Lindy's also selected Visser as its Division II Preseason Defensive Player of the Year. Heggins was chosen as a first-team pick by Lindy’s College Football Preview while Noe attained CDS First Team honors. Noe also earned honors from CDS by being named to its 2009 All-Underappreciated Third Team from all levels.
Game Day Promotions: Ferris will have a special game day promotion for each of its remaining home contests this season. Homecoming is set for Oct. 18 when the Bulldogs host Wayne State with a 40th Reunion Day for the school’s 1968 undefeated team planned in conjunction with the Northwood game (Oct. 25). Senior Day activities will take place Nov. 8 during FSU's regular-season home finale against Saginaw Valley State.
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 2008 Ferris State University Football Yearbook is available to view online in a PDF format. The 68-page publication features such information as 2008 player rosters, season outlook, player biographies, coaching staff information, 2007 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 2008 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.