Weekly Release #9: Ferris State at Grand Valley State

Oct. 27, 2007 -- 7 p.m. (EDT)
Lubbers Stadium - Allendale, Mich.

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    Anchor-Bone Logo This Week: It’s rivalry week as the Ferris State University football team will visit nationally top-ranked and two-time defending national champion Grand Valley State Saturday, Oct. 27, for a 7 p.m. (EDT) Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) encounter at GVSU’s Lubbers Stadium in Allendale, Mich. A large crowd is expected for the contest. For ticket information, please contact the GVSU Athletic Office at (616) 331-8800. In addition, tickets can be bought online via Star Tickets Plus at

    Media Coverage: Saturday’s West Michigan rivalry game will be carried live locally by WYBR (102.3 FM) with Jason DaDay handling the play-by-play duties. A live audio webcast will also be provided on FSU’s Athletics Website at Live internet statistics via “GameTracker” will also be available during the game and can be accessed through either the FSU site or The game is also slated to be televised live by Comcast Local.

    Live Webcast: A free internet video and audio webcast of Saturday’s game will also be available live as the game has been chosen as part of NCAA Division II Football’s “Games of the Week” package in partnership with CSTV. The webcast can be found at A live link to the webcast will also be available thru FSU’s athletics website at

    Anchor-Bone Trophy: The Anchor Bone Trophy, is awarded annually to the winner of the Ferris State-Grand Valley State football game. The trophy debuted in 2002 and GVSU has maintained possession of the trophy the last four years with two wins in Allendale along with two at FSU’s Top Taggart Field in Big Rapids.

    Homecoming Setback: Ferris held a five-point lead after three quarters, but it wasn't enough as the Ashland Eagles scored the only touchdown of the fourth quarter en route to a thrilling 37-35 league victory to spoil FSU's annual Homecoming contest last Saturday (Oct. 20) afternoon at Top Taggart Field in Big Rapids. The Bulldogs, who trailed 23-21 at halftime, took the lead 35-30 on a seven-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback C.J. Van Wieren (Holland/West Ottawa) to senior receiver Robert Miller (Carson, Calif.) with 2:04 to go in the third. However, the Eagles went 72 yards in eight plays to take the lead for good with 13:18 to play on a 14-yard scoring strike from John Ferguson to David Ziegelhofer. Neither team found the endzone the rest of the way after posting 65 points thru three periods of action.

    The Records: Ferris State, presently 4-4-0 overall this year and 3-4 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 1-2 on the road to date this year. Grand Valley State currently holds a 7-0 overall and 6-0 conference mark after Saturday’s (Oct. 20) 51-20 league road win at Northwood. Last season, GVSU compiled a 15-0 overall record en route to a second-straight national championship and the program’s fourth title in the last five years. GVSU was 8-0 in road outings last season and is currently 3-0 at Lubbers Stadium this season. The nationally number-one ranked Lakers are currently riding a NCAA Division II record 35-game winning streak.

    The Coaches: Ferris State – Jeff Pierce (Ferris State, 1979), 13th season, 81-59-0 (.579) – (2-9-0 vs. GVSU). Pierce has compiled a 39-33-0 (.542) coaching mark in road contests and is 30-23-0 (.566) 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.

    Grand Valley State – Chuck Martin (Millikin, 1990), 4th season, 45-3-0 (.938) – (3-0-0 vs. Ferris State). Martin was honored as the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Division II National Coach of the Year the last two seasons. He served as an assistant coach at GVSU for four years (2000-03) and was the defensive coordinator on the Lakers' 2003 national championship team prior to becoming the program’s head coach.

    Ferris vs. Grand Valley State Series Information:

    GVSU has a 22-12-1 lead in a series which started in 1971 (10/9) with a 57-0 FSU home victory. GVSU has a six-game winning streak.

    The Bulldogs are 1-4-0 in their last five trips to Allendale and are winless in their last three encounters at Lubbers Stadium.

    FSU had its 42-game unbeaten streak (40-0-2) snapped in 1996 (9/21) with a 36-17 loss at GVSU, which also halted the Bulldogs’ 41-game Midwest Intercollegiate Football Conference (MIFC) unbeaten string (39-0-2) and their 27-game conference win streak.

    Ferris State is 8-6-0 in contests decided by 10 points or less and 2-11-0 in games decided between 11 and 30 points.

    In the last five meetings at Allendale, Ferris is averaging 21.0 points (105 total) per game while Grand Valley State has averaged 30.0 points an outing (150 total) for a 9.0 points differential.

    The last five games have been decided by 18 points or more (27.2 avg.).

    The two teams did not play in 2002 due to the death of an FSU player (Matt Sklom) in practice during the week.

    The Anchor-Bone Trophy has been given to the game’s winner the last four years and GVSU has claimed the traveling trophy all four times.

    Keep Kicking Away: Junior kicker-punter Jim Yates (Goshen, Ind.) has made a GLIAC-best nine field goals to date this year and ranks tied for sixth on FSU’s single-season leaders list. Presently, he’s listed 10th among the league leaders in scoring (6.9 ppg.) and has attempted a GLIAC-high 15 field goals to date this campaign. Yates’ 55 total points this year are the school’s most in a season since former tailback Derek Fudge netted 90 points on 15 touchdowns in 2003.

    Closing In On Mark: FSU senior slot receiver Robert Miller currently has 935 career rushing yards and is only 65 yards away from surpassing the 1,000 career yards mark. The 5-8 Miller has 2,268 career all-purpose yards in only 19 games at Ferris State. He has a team-high 24 catches this season and ranks second among the team’s rushing leaders with 404 yards on 68 carries (5.9 avg.).

    Nearly Unstoppable: Ferris State has been almost perfect in the red zone this season, including a four-of-four showing versus Ashland. FSU has scored in 27 of its 29 trips (93%) inside the opponents’ 20-yard line this season. Ferris has scored 21 touchdowns and made six field goals in its 27 scoring trips to the red zone this campaign. Conversely, the Bulldog defense has limited the opposition to 30 red zone scores in 42 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.

    The League’s Best: The Bulldog defense has returned two fumble recoveries for a GLIAC-best two touchdowns this campaign. Ferris State’s 10 fumble recoveries overall rank third in the league to date this campaign while FSU’s 57 fumble return yards is a conference-high this season.

    King Runner-Up: Bulldog junior defensive end Travis “Snoop” Eising (Marion), who’s saw action on special teams for FSU this season, was named the first runner-up for homecoming king at Ferris during a halftime presentation on Saturday. Eising was sponsored by both the FSU football program and the professional wrestling association at Ferris.

    Homecoming Notes: With Saturday’s loss to Ashland, FSU dropped to 32-33-2 (.493) all-time in its annual homecoming encounter. The Bulldogs had won 13 of their previous 17 homecoming contests prior to the loss ....... Senior quarterback C.J. Van Wieren completed 15-of-17 passing attempts in the game and accounted for four Bulldog touchdowns against Ashland. He threw for three scores and added a rushing TD.

    Offensive Production: The Bulldog offense is averaging 34 points per game over the last five contests this campaign. FSU has scored 30 or more points in five games this year, including four of the last five outings to date. Overall, the Bulldogs are averaging 31 points per game on the season.

    Great Numbers: Senior defensive end Erik Schumacher (Lake Isabella/Beal City) has a personal career-high 5.5 sacks to date this year. He has also forced three fumbles, blocked two kicks and recovered a fumble while ranking fifth among the team’s tackles leaders with 39 total stops.

    Under The Lights: Ferris is 32-44-4 (.425) in evening games going back to 1961. The Bulldogs are 12-21-2 (.371) on the road and 20-23-2 (.467) at home during that period. FSU is 1-3-0 all-time in night encounters versus GVSU (0-2-0 away – 40-10 on 9/13/03 & 30-10 on 8/27/05).

    Current NCAA Stats: FSU senior defensive end Erik Schumacher is currently listed 16th (0.38 pg.) nationally in forced fumbles, according to the latest (Oct. 22) NCAA-II National Statistics. Jim Yates ranks 18th in made field goals (1.1 pg.), quarterback C.J. Van Wieren is 25th in total offense (259.5 ypg.) and Robert Miller ranks 42nd overall nationally in all-purpose yards (135.1 ypg.). Junior middle linebacker Kevin Noe (Orleans/Belding) is listed 37th in total tackles (9.5 pg.). As a team, the Bulldogs rank 33rd in fumble recoveries (10.0) along with 39th in rushing offense (196.0 ypg.).

    In October: The Bulldogs have compiled a 49-25-1 (.660) record in October contests since 1990. FSU is 26-14-0 (.650) on the road and 23-11-1 (.671) at home during that span in the month of October.

    One Home Game Left: The Bulldogs have only one home game left this year at Top Taggart Field. After this week’s visit 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). FSU closes the season at Wayne State (Nov. 10).

    Best Year Yet: Junior middle linebacker Kevin Noe presently has a team-best 76 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 40 solo stops and 36 assisted hits this campaign.

    GLIAC Award Honorees: Ferris has had three GLIAC Players of the Week this season. Last week (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) 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.

    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 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'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: Senior defensive tackle Kurt Hout (Arvada, Colo./West) and junior defensive tackle Jake Visser were chosen as preseason All-Americans by 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 Pro Hopefuls List. The Pro Hopefuls List, which was put together by 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 ( Ferris placed fourth among the GLIAC schools featured in the College Sports Report rankings ....... 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 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 (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 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 ( and click on the B2 broadcast icon.

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