Football

Weekly Release #4: Ferris State vs. Hillsdale

Sept. 22, 2007 -- 7 p.m. (EDT)
Top Taggart Field - Big Rapids, Mich.

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    Ron Hardy This Week: The Ferris State University football team returns home to host the Hillsdale Chargers Saturday (Sept. 22) evening in a 7 p.m. (EDT) Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) tilt at FSU’s Top Taggart Field in Big Rapids, Mich. The game will serve as FSU’s “Community Health Night” with various health-related activities and promotions planned in conjunction with the contest. 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.

    Last Week: The Bulldogs dropped their first road game of the 2007 campaign at Saginaw Valley State this past Saturday (Sept. 15) by a 24-13 count. FSU held a 13-7 advantage after three quarters of the league contest, but the Cardinals rallied to score 17 points in the final period to earn the victory before 4,192 fans at Wickes Memorial Stadium.

    Century Mark: FSU senior quarterback C.J. Van Wieren (Holland/West Ottawa) surpassed the 1,000-yard career rushing mark in Saturday’s game at SVSU. The 6-4 Van Wieren presently has tallied 1,007 career rushing yards on 227 attempts while scoring 15 touchdowns. He’s also completed 116-of-218 career passing attempts for 1,576 yards, which ranks 13th to date on the school’s career passing chart. His 2,583 yards of total offense represents FSU’s 15th-highest career performance.

    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.

    First Catch: Redshirt freshman offensive lineman Matt Wellman (Portland), who’s the Bulldogs’ starting left tackle, made his first career reception at SVSU. Wellman caught the ball off a deflected pass in the opening stanza of the contest for a five-yard gain.

    The Records: Ferris State, presently 1-2-0 overall this year, 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. Hillsdale currently leads the league standings with both a 3-0 overall and conference mark this year. HC posted a 49-28 home win over Ashland last Saturday (Sept. 15) at Hillsdale, Mich. The Chargers topped Gannon at home 59-3 in week one (Sept. 1) and recorded a thrilling 42-41 triumph at Northern Michigan in the second week (Sept. 8) of the year. Last season, the Chargers compiled a 5-6 overall record and placed eighth with a 5-5 GLIAC record. HC was 1-4 in road outings last season.

    The Coaches: Ferris State – Jeff Pierce (Ferris State, 1979), 13th season, 78-57-0 (.578) – (8-4-0 vs. HC). Pierce has compiled a 40-25-0 (.615) coaching mark in home contests and is 30-22-0 (.577) in September contests to date. Pierce, who played at Ferris (defensive back) from 1974-77, is the 12th head coach in Ferris State’s history.

    Hillsdale – Keith Otterbein (Hillsdale, 1979), 6th season, 25-33-0 (.431); Career: 15th season, 85-72-3 (.541) – (2-3-0 vs. Ferris State). Otterbein served as head coach at Ferris State for nine seasons (1986-94) and then spent seven years (1995-01) as the recruiting coordinator and running backs coach at NCAA Division I Ball State.

    Key Game Facts: Saturday’s game against Hillsdale will mark the first time the Chargers have visited Big Rapids since the 2004 campaign. Ferris played on the road at Hillsdale each of the last two seasons. The Chargers have claimed victory only once in their last six visits to Top Taggart Field, but own a 10-9 all-time record in Big Rapids.

    Welcome Back: Hillsdale head coach Keith Otterbein previously served as FSU’s head coach from 1986-94. He led the Bulldogs to a 60-39-3 (.603) ledger in his nine years at the Bulldog helm. FSU made trips to the NCAA-II playoffs in each of his final three seasons.

    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.

    Preseason All-Americans: Senior defensive tackle Kurt Hout (Arvada, Colo./West) and Jake Visser were chosen as 2007 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 earlier this summer 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.

    Solid Performance: Senior slot receiver Robert Miller (Carson, Calif.) compiled 214 all-purpose yards versus Saginaw Valley State. He had a game-high 100 yards rushing on eight carries (12.5 avg.) and added six catches for 35 yards, which led all Bulldog receivers. Miller also returned three kicks for 74 yards (28 avg.) and had a single punt return for five yards in the contest.

    Top Scorer: Junior kicker-punter Jim Yates (Goshen, Ind.) accounted for seven of FSU’s 13 points versus Saginaw Valley State. Yates converted his only PAT attempt of the day and added field goals of 40 and 34 yards. His 40-yard made field goal with 3:14 left in the second frame gave FSU a 10-7 halftime advantage and matched his career-long field goal.

    SVSU Game Notebook: The contest at SVSU represented the Bulldogs’ initial road outing of the year .... Redshirt freshman wide receiver Ron Hardy (Grand Rapids/Ottawa Hills) grabbed a career-high three receptions for 41 total yards in the game ......... Freshman slot receiver Tim Hogue (Dearborn/Inkster) made his Bulldog debut in the contest. He lost four yards on his lone rushing attempt of the day, but returned one kickoff for 15 yards.

    Current NCAA Stats: FSU’s Jim Yates is currently listed fourth (1.7 pg.) nationally in made field goals per game, according to the latest (Sept. 17) NCAA-II National Statistics. Ferris’ C.J. Van Wieren is presently ranked 17th nationally of 500 players listed in total offense (291.0 ypg.). Robert Miller is 19th overall in all-purpose yards (177.3 ypg.). Defensive tackle Jake Visser presently is found 21st nationally in solo tackles per game (6.0 pg.) while junior defensive back Terrell Heggins (Lansing/Everett) currently ranks 22nd in interceptions (0.7 pg).

    At Top Taggart Field: Ferris State is 81-58-2 (.582) at Top Taggart Field since 1980 and sports a 67-47-2 (.586) conference home ledger during that span. The Bulldogs are 60-31-2 (.656) overall since 1990, which includes a 53-28-2 (.651) league record at home.

    Time Difference: Ferris has averaged only 25:45 in offensive time of possession through three games, compared to the opponents’ 34:11 figure for a difference of eight minutes and 26 seconds with the ball.

    Historic Milestone: Jeff Pierce became Ferris State’ s all-time winningest coach in the 2004 season (9/4) as a result of the Bulldogs’ 23-17 overtime conference win at Ashland. Pierce surpassed current Hillsdale head coach Keith Otterbein (1986-94; 60-39-3) for the program’s top honor.

    Brewster Signed By San Diego: The National Football League's (NFL) San Diego Chargers signed former Ferris receiver Carlton Brewster to its practice squad last week. The 5-11 Brewster, who was released by the Green Bay Packers in August, made one reception for 10 yards and returned three kickoffs for 23 yards in three preseason outings with the Packers. Brewster, who has been assigned jersey #11 with San Diego, is the only non-rookie on the Chargers' current eight-player practice squad. A 2005 American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) All-America Team member and an Associated Press (AP) Little All-America Second-Team selection, Brewster concluded his four-year Bulldog career in 2005, ranking second among Ferris' all-time receiving leaders with 3,184 career receiving yards and 25 TD’s on 234 receptions in 43 outings.

    In The Red Zone: The Bulldogs’ offense is operating at 92% efficiency in the red zone by converting 11 of 12 times inside the opposition’s 20-yard line this year. FSU has scored seven touchdowns and made four field goals in its 12 trips to the red zone. Conversely, the Bulldog defense has limited the opposition to 11 red zone scores in 16 tries (69%).

    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.

    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).

    Game Day Promotions: Ferris will have a special game day promotion for each of its final four home contests at Top Taggart Field. FSU's game against Hillsdale (Sept. 22) will represent Community Health Night while the Northern Michigan (Sept. 29) matchup will mark the school's eighth-annual Hall of Fame Day contest. 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.

    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.

    Big Award Winner: Former Ferris linebacker Mike Klobucher, who concluded his eligibility last season, has been selected as the 2006-07 Great Lakes Region Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year by the NCAA Division II Conference Commissioners Association (CCA). Klobucher was among 16 regional winners with eight men and eight women to receive the award co-sponsored by the CCA and Disney Sports Attractions. A male and female Division II Scholar-Athlete of the Year will be chosen from the 16 regional award recipients. Klobucher wrapped up his four-year (2003-06) football-playing career as one of the most decorated players in Ferris State's history. The three-year starter at middle linebacker not only was the 2006 recipient of the Jack H. McAvoy Award for outstanding character and leadership on the field, but also received ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America Football First-Team accolades as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) and was tabbed a 2006 American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Division II Coaches All-America Team honoree.

    Up Next: Ferris continues its homestand by taking on the Northern Michigan Wildcats Saturday, Sept. 29, in a 2 p.m. (EDT) league outing at Top Taggart Field. It will be FSU’s eighth-annual Hall of Fame Game as this year’s inductees will be honored at halftime. Former Bulldog football standout Mike Brooks (1992-95) is among eight individuals slated to be inducted this fall. Brooks ranks as the program’s all-time leading tackler with 667 career stops (351 solo).

    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.

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