Bulldogs To Commemorate 100th Season With Five Home Games

Bulldog Football
Ferris State will commemorate its 100th season with five home games in 2008
Five home games and a number of special ceremonial activities are on tap as the Ferris State University football program embarks on its 100th season of varsity competition this coming fall. The Bulldogs' 2008 gridiron slate was recently announced by FSU Athletics Director Tom Kirinovic.

The Bulldogs will play three of their first four contests on the road in 2008, but the squad will close the year with three of its last four outings on the artificial surface at Top Taggart Field in Big Rapids where several special events will take place to commemorate the 100th season.

FSU's 11-game regular-season schedule features six road contests after the Bulldogs previously played six home games in 2007. Road matchups against two Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) teams (Grand Valley State and Ashland) which reached the NCAA Division II Playoffs a year ago are another highlight of the 2008 schedule.

“The GLIAC has emerged as one of the most competitive leagues across the country in Division II football and the caliber of teams we're playing each and every Saturday continues to get better and better,” said Ferris State head coach Jeff Pierce, who enters his 14th season at Ferris State this fall. “Due to the strength of our conference, it really forces us to get up and be at the top of our game each week.

"We expect this year to be no different and the schedule will be as challenging as ever," added Pierce, the school's all-time winningest coach.

The Bulldogs will open the 2008 slate on the road with their lone non-conference outing at Tiffin (Ohio) Saturday, Aug. 30, in the first-ever series' meeting against the Dragons starting at 2:30 p.m. (EDT). TU, which officially joins the GLIAC this summer, will return the favor by playing a non-league game at FSU in 2009 as the two team's are not scheduled to play each other in conference action the next two years.

"It was nice to add Tiffin and it worked out well since they are joining the league and we weren't scheduled to play them the next two years," Pierce said. "It was also extremely helpful in terms of our travel in setting up a two-year agreement with them."

FSU continues its season-opening road stretch with its first GLIAC game Saturday, Sept. 6, at Ashland. The Eagles finished 22nd in the final 2007 American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Division II Coaches' Top 25 Poll.

After the two back-to-back road games to open the year, the Bulldogs finally play their first home game Saturday, Sept. 13, by entertaining Findlay in the annual Community & Fireworks Night contest at Top Taggart Field. Kickoff for FSU's lone evening home game in 2008 is set for 7 p.m. (EDT) with the traditional Fireworks Night festivities taking place following the contest.

Ferris State will square off against defending GLIAC champion and perennial national power Grand Valley State on Sept. 20 in Allendale, Mich. The league matchup will represent the 37th meeting in the all-time series between the West Michigan archrivals with the game's winner being presented with the seventh annual Anchor Bone Trophy. Grand Valley State concluded the 2007 season ranked third nationally with a 12-1 overall mark after falling to Northwest Missouri State 34-16 in the national semifinals.

The Bulldogs then close out September by hosting Northern Michigan on Sept. 27 in the school's ninth annual Bulldog Hall of Fame game. This year's inductees will be recognized in conjunction with the league contest.

FSU will play back-to-back league road games the first two weeks of October at Michigan Tech (Oct. 4) and Indianapolis (Oct. 11) before returing home to take on Wayne State in its 82nd annual Homecoming contest on Oct. 18. Kickoff will be at 2 p.m. (EDT) for the homecoming game, which opens a two-game homestand. As part of the 100th season celebration, all Bulldog football alumni will be invited back to reunite during Homecoming weekend.

The following weekend, the Bulldogs will hold a 40-year reunion celebrating the school's first-ever unbeaten team from 1968. The event will be held in conjunction with FSU's Oct. 25 conference home tilt against Northwood, which features an early noon kickoff. Ferris then closes out the road portion of its schedule at Hillsdale the next Saturday (Nov. 1).

The school's annual Senior Day game and regular-season finale is Nov. 8 versus Saginaw Valley State. The final encounter at Top Taggart Field will also start at 12 p.m. (EDT).

"Many of the people who have played football here at Ferris over the last 100 years continue to support us and it will bring back many memories for them," said Pierce. "The 1990's really elevated the expectations of our program, but everyone who's been associated with Bulldog Football over the last 100 years has dedicated themselves into achieving success and that in terms has really created a unique identity for our school."

Ferris has compiled a combined 141-152-13 (.482 winning pct.) all-time record against its 2008 opponents. The opposition for the 2008 season registered a combined 70-49 (.588) ledger a season ago.

The Bulldogs posted a 6-5 overall record on the field during the 2007 campaign, which represented the program's eighth winning campaign in 13 years under Pierce and marks the 13th time in the last 19 years the Bulldogs have finished above .500 for the year. However, the record was recently changed to 7-4 overall in the GLIAC standings, reflecting Saginaw Valley State's decision to forfeit four games this campaign. FSU placed tied for fourth in the conference as the school's final league record was 6-4 following the earned forfeit.

Tickets for all home games in 2008 will be available at the gate and more information on ticket sales will be available in the near future.

2008 Ferris State Football Schedule

Aug. 30 at Tiffin 2:30 p.m.
Sept. 6 at Ashland* 1 p.m.
Sept. 13 Findlay* 7 p.m. (Community & Fireworks Night)
Sept. 20 at Grand Valley State* 7 p.m. (Anchor-Bone Classic)
Sept. 27 Northern Michigan* 2 p.m. (Hall of Fame Game)
Oct. 4 at Michigan Tech* 1 p.m.
Oct. 11 at Indianapolis* 6 p.m.
Oct. 18 Wayne State* 2 p.m. (Homecoming & Football Alumni Reunion)
Oct. 25 Northwood* 12 p.m. (Reunion of 1968 Unbeaten Team)
Nov. 1 at Hillsdale* 2:30 p.m.
Nov. 8 Saginaw Valley State* 12 p.m. (Senior Day)
All starting times are Eastern and subject to change
*Denotes Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) game
All home games are in bold and will be played at Top Taggart Field

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