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This Week: The Ferris State University football team returns home to host the Ashland Eagles in its annual Homecoming contest Saturday, Oct. 20, 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). Tickets for all home games are available at the gate or may be purchased in advance by contacting the FSU Athletics Ticket Office at (231) 591-2888. In addition, tickets can be bought online at www.starticketsplus.com.
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.
FSU Explodes For Win: Ferris State exploeded for an impressive 48-14 triumph over the Gannon Golden Knights in league action Saturday (Oct. 13) at Gannon University Field in Erie, Pa. The Bulldogs tallied 21 points in the opening quarter en route to a 38-0 halftime advantage. Senior quarterback C.J. Van Wieren (Holland/West Ottawa) ran for 122 yards on 13 carries in the opening half and scored two touchdowns before sitting out the final half. FSU built the lead to 41-0 following three quarters before reserves played most of the fourth frame. The win came in FSU’s first-ever visit to Gannon University Field.
GLIAC Honoree: Senior defensive end Erik Schumacher (Lake Isabella/Beal City) claimed this week’s GLIAC Defensive Player of the Week honor after his performance in the win over Gannon. The 6-4 Schumacher tallied eight tackles, including four solo stops in helping the Bulldogs shut down the GU offense. He also had 2.5 tackles for loss, which resulted in -15 yards. Schumacher also registered 1.5 sacks for a total loss of 14 yards. His performance helped the FSU defense limit the Knights to 218 total yards, most of which came in the final quarter.
Points Well Taken: Ferris’ 48 points versus Gannon were the school’s most since beating Northern Michigan 62-42 two years ago (10/18/05) at FSU’s Top Taggart Field. The production was the Bulldogs’ most on the road since a 48-23 win at rival Grand Valley State to close out the 1999 campaign (11/13) at Allendale, Mich. .......... The victory over Gannon was Ferris State’s fourth win in five all-time trips to Erie as the Bulldogs previously held a 3-1 mark versus Mercyhurst ....... Ferris State also improved to 16-14-2 (.531) all-time against Pennsylvania-based colleges with the triumph and is now 2-0 versus Gannon in the series’ to date.
The Records: Ferris State, presently 4-3-0 overall this year and 3-3 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 are currently 3-1 at home to date this year. Ashland currently holds both a 4-1 overall and conference mark after Saturday’s (Oct. 13) 47-21 league home win over Northern Michigan. Last season, AU compiled a 4-6-0 overall record and placed ninth in the league standings with a 4-6-0 GLIAC ledger. AU was 2-3 in road outings last season and is currently 2-1 in such games this year.
The Coaches: Ferris State – Jeff Pierce (Ferris State, 1979), 13th season, 81-58-0 (.583) – (6-4-0 vs. AU). Pierce has compiled a 42-25-0 (.627) coaching mark in home contests and is 30-22-0 (.577) 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.
Ashland – Lee Owens (Bluffton, 1977), 4th season, 22-15-0 (.595); Career: 13th season, 62-76-0 (.449) – (1-2-0 vs. Ferris State). Owens previously served as head coach at NCAA Division I Akron (Ohio) from 1995-2003 and guided the Zips to a share of the Mid-American Conference (MAC) East Division title in 2000.
Homecoming Contests: Ferris State is 32-32-2 (.500) in its Homecoming contests dating back to 1931 and has won 13 of its last 17 such encounters. The Bulldogs recorded a 35-14 victory over Gannon in their 2006 Homecoming game (10/14) ......... Ferris had its three-game Homecoming winning streak snapped in 2004 (10/23) with a 28-6 home loss to Michigan Tech before rebounding to post a 62-42 triumph over Northern Michigan in 2005 (10/18). 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 foe ........ FSU has faced Ashland in the Homecoming game once before (10/16/99), but lost a 26-22 decision.
First Start: Redshirt freshman offensive lineman Scott Shattuck (Lowell/Ionia) made his first career start in the win over Gannon. Shattuck, who has been FSU’s primary backup center this season, made the start at right guard in place of injured senior captain Bill Bourdlais (Newberry). He earned Ferris team offensive MVP kudos for his efforts in the game.
In The Zone: Ferris continued its impressive showing in the red zone this campaign as the Bulldogs were a perfect five-for-five versus Gannon. FSU has scored in 23 of its 25 trips (92%) inside the opponents’ 20-yard line this season. Ferris has scored 17 touchdowns and made six field goals in its 23 scoring trips to the red zone this campaign. Conversely, the Bulldog defense has limited the opposition to 25 red zone scores in 35 tries (71%). Ferris ranks as the GLIAC’s leader in offensive red zone efficiency and is third in red zone defense to date this season.
First Touchdown: Redshirt freshman tailback Charles Wasson (Orchard Lake/Detroit Jesuit) scored his first collegiate touchdown in the second quarter at Gannon on a fake punt run from 46 yards away. The ball was snapped to Wasson, who was the upback, and he raced untouched up the middle for the score.
King Candidate: Bulldog junior defensive end Travis “Snoop” Eising (Marion), who’s saw action on special teams for FSU this season, is one of four candidates remaining to be this year’s homecoming king at Ferris State. Eising is being sponsored by the FSU football program and the professional wrestling association at Ferris. The announcement will be made at halftime of Saturday’s contest.
On Defense: FSU’s defense limited Gannon to 218 total yards, including only 76 yards in the opening half. The Bulldogs finished the game with 11 tackles for loss, which resulted in minus -53 yards. FSU also had five quarterback sacks, forced a fumble and blocked a punt in its first-ever visit to Gannon University Field.
Personal Bests: Ferris junior running back Leonard Curry (Detroit/Kettering) ran for a personal career-high 76 yards at Gannon. Sophomore backup quarterback Eric Grozenski’s (Rochester Hills/Notre Dame Prep) game-high 88 yards on a four-of-six effort versus the Knights also marked a career-best effort ...... Redshirt freshman linebacker Kyle Fitzpatrick (Vestaburg) and sophomore middle linebacker Nick Butler (Midland) both tallied a career-high five tackles at Gannon.
Current NCAA Stats: FSU senior defensive end Erik Schumacher is currently listed eighth (0.43 pg.) nationally in forced fumbles, according to the latest (Oct. 15) NCAA-II National Statistics. Junior kicker-punter Jim Yates (Goshen, Ind.) ranks eighth in made field goals (1.3 pg.), quarterback C.J. Van Wieren is 22nd in total offense (261.0 ypg.), junior defensive back Terrell Heggins (Lansing/Everett) is 25th in passes defended (1.4 pg.), and senior receiver Robert Miller (Carson, Calif.) ranks 43rd overall nationally in all-purpose yards (136.0 ypg.). Junior middle linebacker Kevin Noe (Orleans/Belding) is listed 29th in total tackles (9.7 pg.) with Schumacher ranked 33rd in pass sacks (0.8 pg.). As a team, the Bulldogs rank 13th in fumble recoveries (10.0) along with 36th in rushing offense (197.4 ypg.) and 49th in total offense (389.9 ypg.).
In October: The Bulldogs have compiled a 49-24-1 (.669) record in October contests since 1990. FSU is 26-14-0 (.650) on the road and 23-10-1 (.691) at home during that span in the month of October.
Two Home Games Left: Including Saturday’s homecoming game versus Ashland, the Bulldogs have only two home games remaining this year at Top Taggart Field. After a visit next week (Oct. 27) to rival Grand Valley State, the Bulldogs take on Northwood in their regular-season home finale Saturday, Nov. 3, with kickoff for the annual Senior Day game set for 2 p.m. (EDT).
GLIAC Award Honorees: Ferris has had three GLIAC Players of the Week this season. In addition to Erik Schumacher’s recognition this week, FSU’s C.J. Van Wieren earned the league’s weekly offensive distinction after the Bulldogs’ 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.
Leading The League: The Bulldog defense has returned two fumble recoveries for a GLIAC-best two touchdowns this campaign. Ferris State’s 10 fumble recoveries overall rank tied for second in the league to date this campaign.
Up Next: FSU hits the road to square off against archrival Grand Valley State in the Anchor-Bone Classic Saturday, Oct. 27, at GVSU’s Lubbers Stadium in Allendale, Mich. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. (EDT) with the game’s winner receiving the Anchor-Bone Trophy sponsored by Huntington Bank. The game will be televised by Comcast Local. A free internet video and audio webcast will also be available as the game has been chosen as part of NCAA Division II Football’s "Games of the Week" package in partnership with CSTV. Visit the FSU Athletics Website (www.ferris.edu/sports) for more information on the webcast.
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 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: 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.
Over The Mark: FSU’s C.J. Van Wieren surpassed the 2,000 career passing yards mark in FSU’s loss at Michigan Tech (Oct. 6). He currently ranks 12th in FSU history with 2,092 passing yards. Van Wieren’s 618 rushing yards and 1,209 passing yards this campaign both represent personal seasonal efforts.
It’s Miller Time: Bulldog receiver Robert Miller currently has 2,139 all-purpose yards in his two-year Bulldog career. Miller’s tallied 858 rushing yards, 675 receiving yards, 591 kickoff return yards and 15 punt return yards to date at Ferris State.
Keep Tackling: Ferris’ Kevin Noe presently has 68 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 34 solo stops and 34 assisted hits this campaign.
More Than Ever: FSU senior outside linebacker Jordan Moore (Ada/Lowell) has a personal career-best 52 total tackles to date this campaign.
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.