Posted: Oct 12, 2021
PREVIEW: Ferris State Faces Rival Grand Valley State In Anchor-Bone Classic This Saturday
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This Week's Action
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This Week's Action
The unbeaten and second-ranked Ferris State Bulldogs square off against archrival and seventh-ranked Grand Valley State in the Anchor-Bone Classic on Saturday night at Lubbers Stadium in Allendale. Kickoff for the clash between the longtime West Michigan rivals is set for 7 p.m. (ET).
The Bulldogs are currently 5-0 overall and are coming off a bye week, which came on the heels of a 67-25 road win at Northwood on Oct. 2. FSU reached the national semifinals and claimed the GLIAC Championship for the second consecutive season in 2019 with a 12-1 overall record and 8-0 GLIAC mark.
Meanwhile, Grand Valley State is also 5-0 and 2-0 in the GLIAC after a 70-19 home win over Northwood on Saturday. The Lakers finished 8-3 overall and 5-3 in the GLIAC in 2019.
School Record Streak
FSU has now won 33 consecutive regular-season games, which is a school record. The Bulldogs had won 28-straight from 2013-16. Ferris State has also presently won 18 consecutive games played on the road and not at a neutral site. FSU's last true "road" & regular-season loss was a 20-3 setback at Ashland back in 2017 (9/23). The road stretch includes three road wins in the NCAA Division II Playoffs.
Saturday's game will be carried live locally by the Bulldog Sports Network and Sunny 97.3 FM with the veteran broadcast team of Rob Bentley (play-by-play) and Sandy Gholston (color) calling the action. An extended pregame show gets underway at 6 p.m. (ET). A live video webcast will be offered at GVSULakers.com.
Home Ticket Information
Tickets for all Ferris State football home games can be purchased online in advance at FerrisStateBulldogs.com/Tickets. The Bulldogs' next home matchup is Saturday, Oct. 30, when FSU plays host to Northern Michigan for a 1 p.m. (ET) non-league homecoming matchup at Top Taggart Field.
Second-Straight GLIAC Title
Ferris State secured the program's 11th GLIAC Championship in 2019. The Bulldogs went unbeaten in conference action for the fourth time in the last six seasons. The Bulldogs claimed the outright league championship by beating Grand Valley State in the regular-seson finale. FSU has won its last 26 GLIAC games in a row dating back to 2017.
Great Bulldog Stretch
The Bulldogs reached the NCAA Division II National Championship game for the first time in school history in 2018, matching an all-time NCAA record with 15 victories (15-1). Over the two seasons of action in 2018 and 2019, not counting 2020 in which FSU did not play due to COVID-19, the Bulldogs were a combined 27-2 overall.
Memorable Bulldog Run
Over the last six plus seasons at Ferris State, the Bulldogs have now compiled a 77-9 overall record and claimed four conference championships, posted four unbeaten regular-seasons, captured three regional titles and reached the national quarterfinals four times. Ferris State has also accumulated three Harlon Hill National Player of the Year trophies, twice had a student-athlete tabbed as the nation's National Scholar-Athlete of the Year and won 12 postseason games in addition to an appearance in the 2018 NCAA D2 National Championship Game.
Preseason Top Three Team
Ferris State was a consensus top three team nationally in virtually every preseason Division II national poll, including as high as #1 by the Massey Ratings and CompughterRatings.com. FSU was also picked third by Lindy's Sports along with D2Football.com and the American Football Coaches Association.
National Power & State's Best
Now in the ninth season under head coach Tony Annese, the Bulldogs have become a national power on the Division II level. FSU has posted a 92-16 overall mark in his tenure and the Bulldogs have also posted the best winning percentage of all 21 collegiate programs in the state of Michigan along with the GLIAC since his arrival. Overall, Annese has won 85% of his games as a head coach on the collegiate and prep levels and owns 317 wins to date, which is the most of any current GLIAC member head coach at all levels.
Current National Rankings
Ferris State remains #2 nationally in the D2Football.com national poll this week after the bye week along with #3 in the AFCA Coaches poll. FSU is also currently #2 in the NCAA.com D2 Power Rankings and is currently first in the CompughterRatings.com online poll along with fourth nationally this week in the Massey Ratings.
The Head Coaches
Ferris State – Tony Annese (Alma, 1983), 9th season, 92-16-0 (.852) – 8-2 vs GVSU). Annese recorded a 195-41 (.826) mark as a head coach in four stops at the high school level before totaling a 30-4 (.882) record in three years as the head coach at Grand Rapids Community College. His overall career mark at all levels is 317-61 (.839) to date and includes three prep state championships and two national JUCO crowns. He claimed his 300th win in 2018 with the national semifinal victory at Minnesota State.
Grand Valley State - Matt Mitchell (Cornell, 1997), 11th season, 100-28 (.781); Career: 11th season, 100-28 (.781) - (4-8-0 vs. Ferris State). Mitchell took over as the seventh head coach in GVSU history in 2010 and was the first Laker coach to win his first eight games. The former Cornell letterwinner was a six-year Laker assistant, including the final two years as defensive coordinator. He previously was an assistant coach at Wartburg (Iowa).
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 won the first nine matchups before FSU maintained possession of the trophy four consecutive years from 2012-15. The Lakers reclaimed the trophy in the regular-season in 2016 before the Bulldogs won a thrilling 28-27 decision at Top Taggart Field in 2017 in the NCAA Division II National Game of the Week. FSU beat the Lakers 35-31 in its last visit to Lubbers Stadium in 2018 and then topped Grand Valley State 21-16 at home in Big Rapids in 2019 as part of the televised kickoff event to Fox Sports Detroit's "Football Week In Michigan" promotion.
Both teams head into Saturday night's contest ranked among the top 10 teams in the nation and it will represent the 12th time in series' history in which both squads have been ranked in the major D2 national poll at kickoff. FSU was ranked third in the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Division II Rankings last week with GVSU seventh in the listing. Both teams are ranked among the country's top 10 in virtually every D2 poll.
Saturday's game will mark the sixth-straight regular season matchup in which both teams have been ranked among the top 15 nationally at kickoff time and the eighth consecutive time overall, including postseason games in both 2015 and 2016. Six years ago, when the Bulldogs notched a decisive 61-24 regular-season victory in 2015 in Allendale, it represented the first time both teams had been in the top 15 in 20 years since a 30-21 FSU victory over the Lakers on Sept. 30, 1995, in Big Rapids.
Ferris State has captured seven of the last eight regular-season matchups between the two West Michigan rivals. The two teams have both also squared off in the NCAA Division II Playoffs twice in recent history with GVSU winning in 2015 in Big Rapids before FSU returned the favor with a 47-32 triumph over the Lakers in 2016 in Allendale in the Super Region Four Championship game. Bulldog head coach Tony Annese, who ranks as the nation's winningest active head coach at all NCAA levels (.850), owns an overall 8-2 mark against GVSU in his career. GVSU holds a 29-20-1 all-time series' advantage entering Saturday's showdown between the two schools with FSU having won the last three games and eight of the past 10 overall.
More Rankings History
Overall, the two squads have both been found previously in the national rankings at kickoff time in the regular-season in 1993, 1994, 1995, 2008, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 seasons along with postseason matchups in both 2015 and 2016. FSU owns a 6-3-1 mark all-time against the Lakers when both squads are nationally-ranked.
The Bulldogs are 26-1 in the month of October dating back to 2014 ... Ferris State has not dropped a regular-season game to a current GLIAC school other than Ashland or Grand Valley State since October 5, 2013, versus Saginaw Valley State .... The Bulldogs are 31-4 in October in nine seasons under Tony Annese .... FSU has won 16-straight games in the month of October dating back to 2016 entering Saturday's game.
School Record Performance
Ferris State sophomore quarterback Mylik Mitchell earned the GLIAC Offensive Player of the Week after he threw for a school-record 508 passing yards and six touchdowns in the Bulldogs' most recent 67-25 road win at Northwood (Oct. 2). He topped both FSU's all-time single game passing and total offense marks, completing 29-of-39 (74.4%) throws and added three yards on the ground. The FSU signal caller helped the Bulldogs generate 693 total yards in the game and became the eighth different starting QB under head coach Tony Annese to register five or more touchdowns in a single game. Both his passing yardage and total offense totals rank fourth all-time in GLIAC single game history.
Five Touchdowns Plus
Every starting quarterback under FSU head coach Tony Annese has now accounted for five touchdowns or more in a single game after Mylik Mitchell became the eighth QB to do so at Northwood (Oct. 2). Ferris State junior QB Evan Cummins earned the start against Saginaw Valley State the week before in place of the injured Jared Bernhardt and accounted for six TD's in the win over SVSU. Bernhardt totaled seven TD's in this year's season-opening win over Findlay.
Road Win Streak
Ferris State is currently riding a school all-time best 18-game winning streak on the road dating back to its last true road loss at Ashland in September of 2017. FSU closed its 2017 campaign by winning its last four road tilts, including a playoff win at Fort Hays State, and won seven games on the road in 2018 along with five in 2019 and one earlier this year at Ashland. In 2018, FSU also posted a decisive neutral site win over Michigan Tech in the "Battle At The Ballpark" played at the home field of Minor League Baseball's West Michigan Whitecaps at Fifth Third Ballpark in Comstock Park. FSU's only setback away from home since 2017 came in the 2018 D2 National Champiosnhip game when the Bulldogs fell to Valdosta State in a neutral site tilt in McKinney, Texas.
The Ferris State defense registered its first shutout of the year against Davenport (Sept. 25), holding the Panthers to less than 170 yards of total offense in a decisive 38-0 triumph. The shutout was FSU's second in its last six regular-season games, dating back to a 52-0 victory at Michigan Tech in November of 2019. The shutout was Ferris State's second in four all-time matchups against the Panthers as FSU recorded a 26-0 road win in 2017 in Caledonia.
Senior tailback Marvin Campbell moved into 10th place all-time at Ferris State in career scoring with the 27th touchdown of his Bulldog career against Davenport and now has 28 overall. He ranks eighth in career rushing yardage with 2,250 total yards ... FSU wideout Tyrese Hunt-Thompson hauled in the first TD pass of his career with a 71-yard score against Saginaw Valley State in week three and has now scored four times in the past three games this year ... Wideout Brandon Childress, a local product from Baldwin who transferred from Central Michigan, hauled in the first TD pass of his FSU career with a 28-yard grab from Evan Cummins against Davenport (9/25) ... Bulldog junior slot Marcus Taylor completed the first pass of his career with an 83-yard TD pass to wideout Xavier Wade in the Bulldogs' week two victory at Ashland, which gave FSU a 14-0 lead in the opening quarter ... Five different Bulldog players scored touchdowns in the victory over Ashland ... The Bulldogs had not played a road game since early November of 2019 prior to the win at Ashland .... Ferris State H-Back Mason Pline caught his first Bulldog touchdown pass in the week one win over Findlay on a four-yard completion. Pline spent the previous three seasons as a member of the Ferris State men's basketball squad ... The Bulldogs utilized four QB's in the week one victory and 11 different players carried the ball with 10 different receivers catching at least one pass ... Jared Bernhardt's seven total touchdowns in week one marked the most by a starting QB in his debut contest under head coach Tony Annese .... The Bulldogs generated 625 yards of total offense against Findlay.
Among The Best In The Nation
The Bulldogs began their 112th season of varsity competition this fall with their sights set on making a seventh consecutive trip to the NCAA Division II Playoffs. FSU has now made four-straight NCAA Division II National Quarterfinal appearances and is currently one of only four teams in all of college football to win at least 11 games each of the past six years (not counting the 2020 COVID season). The Bulldogs along with Northwest Missouri State are the only programs in Division II football to make the playoffs each of the past six seasons.
Ferris State picked up a 21-16 win over rival Grand Valley State in its regular-season finale on Nov. 9, 2019, behind the play of then senior quarterback Travis Russell. The Bulldogs held onto the Anchor-Bone Trophy for the seventh time in eight seasons and FSU head coach Tony Annese improved to 8-2 in his career against the Lakers as FSU captured the outright GLIAC Championship before a crowd of nearly 8,000 fans and a national television audience on Fox Sports Detroit.
Nation's Top Coach
Bulldog head coach Tony Annese is currently the winningest (.852) active coach among all FBS, FCS & D2 schools in the country, according to the NCAA based on a minimum of six years as a coach, topping names such as Dabo Swinney, Nick Saban & Jimbo Fisher. Overall, among all levels including NCAA Division III, he's listed fourth among active coaches at all NCAA levels in winning percentage (.852) for more than five years and second among those who have been a head coach for more than seven years. Those listed ahead of him are all D3 coaches.
Bulldog Graduates On The Field
The Bulldogs have a total of 10 student-athletes who are included in a group of collegiate standouts announced by the National Football Foundation (NFF) who have already completed their degree requirements and are playing as graduates this fall on the college football level. The list of Bulldog graduates includes:
Brandon Childress (grad transfer)
Marouf Hamade (grad transfer)
Jared Bernhardt (grad transfer)
Several Bulldog players received preseason recognition. Lindy's Sports tabbed a pair of Bulldogs as Preseason All-Americans, including senior offensive tackle Dylan Pasquali (Trenton) as a first-team honoree and junior wide receiver Sy Barnett (Willamston) as a second-team choice. Pasquali was also chosen to the 2021 College Football America Division II Starting Lineup as a Preseason First-Team pick along with senior back Marvin Campbell (Detroit), who was featured as the headliner of the team. Bulldog junior Mohammed Amen (Dearborn Heights) has earned recognition as one of the country's top 20 long snappers going into the fall by various sources.
The 100th Game Under Annese
FSU's Nov. 9, 2019, win over Grand Valley State represented the Bulldogs' 100th game under head coach Tony Annese dating back to his initial season in 2012. Prior to Annese's tenure, the Bulldogs had went 35-45 (.438 ) in their previous 80 contests, but they have now registered a 92-16 (.852) mark since his arrival. The Bulldogs currently have won 26-straight conference games and 33 consecutive regular-season games overall dating back to the 2017 campaign. Overall, FSU is 41-3 (.932) in its last 44 outings to date counting playoff action.
Streaks Continue After 2019 Season
Ferris State continued two impressive streaks in 2019. The Bulldogs have now made the national quarterfinals four consecutive years, which is the longest such streak in Division II football. The Bulldogs have now also won 11 games or more six-straight years and was one of only four teams in all of college football to accomplish the feat over the six-year stretch prior to the 2020 COVID season along with Ohio State, North Dakota State and Alabama.
Follow On Twitter
In addition to radio and internet coverage, Bulldog fans can also follow Saturday's contest with live scoring updates on several official social media platforms. Visit www.twitter.com/FerrisFootball to follow the tweet-by-tweet coverage with periodic scoring updates or visit www.facebook.com/FerrisFootball.
300 Career Victories
Ferris State head coach Tony Annese notched his 300th career victory at all levels with FSU's 2018 NCAA Semifinal win over Minnesota State. Annese took over the Bulldog program following three impressive years as the head coach at Grand Rapids Community College, which came on the heels of a highly successful 25-season stint at the prep level. Annese has won championships at every level, including three high school state championships and two national titles on the junior college level. He is 317-61 (.839) at all levels in his head coaching career.
Great Road Record
In eight seasons under head coach Tony Annese, the Bulldogs have been a dominant road team. Presently, the Bulldogs are 45-7 (.865) under his direction in games played away from Top Taggart Field over the course of his seven seasons at the helm. Ferris State's mark is even better outside of his first two seasons as the Bulldogs own a 36-4 mark since the start of the 2014 season away from Big Rapids.
Latest Home Game Ever
FSU's most recent home game against West Florida in the 2019 NCAA Division II National Semifinals represented the latest home game ever for the Bulldogs. FSU closed the 2017 season at home against Harding (Ark.) in the NCAA National Quarterfinals at Top Taggart Field, falling 16-14 on a game-ending field goal by the Bisons on Dec. 2, 2017. The game represented the first-ever home football playoff game in the month of December and the latest home game ever for FSU at the time. The Bulldogs also hosted quarterfinal-round playoff action in 1994, 1995 and 1996, but those games were played in late November. In 2018, the Bulldogs won their first two playoff games at home in November before winning two-straight on the road en route to the title game.
FSU Keeps The Anchor-Bone
With the 2019 regular-season win over rival Grand Valley State, Ferris State held onto the Anchor Bone Trophy awarded annually to the winner of the Ferris State-GVSU football game. The trophy debuted in 2002 and GVSU won the first nine matchups before FSU maintained possession of the trophy four consecutive years from 2012-15. The Lakers reclaimed the trophy in the regular-season in 2016, but the Bulldogs have now won the last three regular-season matchups. Head Coach Tony Annese improved to 8-2 versus GVSU with the win and is also 4-1 against the Lakers on the road at Lubbers Stadium.
Best In The Country
Since the start of the 2014 season, the Bulldogs have the most wins of any NCAA Division II team in the country. The Bulldogs recorded back-to-back 11-1 seasons in 2014 and 2015 before a 12-3 mark in 2016 followed by an 11-2 showing in 2017 and a 15-1 mark in 2018 along with a 12-1 record in 2019 for a cumulative 76-9 record counting this year. Under head coach Tony Annese, the Bulldogs have lost only three regular-season games over the past seven years dating back to mid-October of 2013. The Bulldogs now own a 71-3 (.959) regular-season mark since closing the 2013 season by winning their final four games.
Only Team In The Nation
The Bulldogs are the nation's only team to reach the NCAA Division II National Quarterfinals each of the past four seasons. Ferris State claimed the Super Region Championship in 2016 with a decisive road win at rival Grand Valley State in the quarterfinals to reach the national semifinals for the second time in school history. In 2017, the Bulldogs also made it back to the national quarterfinals, but fell to Harding on a game-ending field goal at home in Big Rapids. FSU reached the national title game in 2018 and the national semifinals in 2019 before falling at home to eventual national champion West Florida.
Big Win Seasons
The 2019 season marked only the eighth time in school history in which the Bulldogs had won at least 11 games in a campaign, but also the sixth year in a row. In 2016, FSU matched the school-record of 12 wins set in 1995 (12-1) and the Bulldogs topped the feat in 2018 (15-1). The last six years on the field marks the first time FSU has won 11 games in a row for six-straight years.
Michigan's Best Team
Ferris State was chosen by SB Nation as the state of Michigan's best college football team each of the past two seasons, regardless of division. It came on the heels of a similar recognition in 2017 by Hero Sports as the state of Michigan's best college football team, regardless of division. Hero Sports unveiled its top team from every state, regardless of division, and the Bulldogs were chosen tops among the 21 collegiate programs in Michigan. The award is the result of an equation created to level the playing field across all divisions of college football using specialized criteria.
Big Home Stretch
The Bulldogs have now won 45 of their last 51 home games overall at Top Taggart Field dating back to the 2013 season. In 2018, the Bulldogs went a perfect 7-0 at home in Big Rapids. In each of the previous five years, the Bulldogs lost a single game on their home field, posting records of 4-1 (2013), 5-1 (2014), 6-1 (2015), 7-1 (2016) and 6-1 (2017) including regular-season and playoff action. FSU finished 7-1 at home in 2019.
Did You Know?
This year marks the fifth time in the past six years (not counting 2020) the Bulldogs were tabbed as one of the country's top three teams in at least one preseason national ranking.
GLIAC Preseason Poll
The Bulldogs were picked again to finish at the top of the league as the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) unveiled its 2021 GLIAC Football Preseason Poll with the Bulldogs first overall. Ferris State picked up 49 total points and seven of a possible eight first-place votes. Behind FSU was Grand Valley State in second place with 43 points and the other first-place mention.
Did You Know?
Ferris State has been the last GLIAC school standing in the NCAA Division II Playoffs each of the past four seasons. The Bulldogs reached the national semifinals in 2016 and the quarterfinals in 2017. In 2018, FSU avenged a setback to Harding in the 2017 Super Region Three Championship Game by beating the Bisons 21-19 at home in round one of the postseason on Nov. 17. FSU eventually went on to reach the national championship game for the first time in school history. The Bulldogs were the lone GLIAC school to make the field in 2019.
FSU Matches School Record
With a national semifinal win at Minnesota State in 2018, FSU tied the school-record of 15 consecutive victories, which was also recorded in 2013 and 2014. The Bulldogs won their final four games in 2013 under head coach Tony Annese before reeling off a perfect 11-0 regular-season in 2014 prior to a playoff setback. FSU's 15-game streak in 2018 represented the longest streak inside of a single-season in school history. The Bulldogs had a 28-game regular-season winning streak from 2013-16 and owned a 42-game regular-season unbeaten (40-0-2) streak from 1992-96.
Former Bulldogs In The NFL
The Bulldogs had a total of seven different players in a NFL Preseason Camp this summer, which was the most of any D2 school in the country. The 'Dawgs who took part in NFL camps this summer includes former DB Tavierre Thomas (Houston), DL Zach Sieler (Miami), DT Justin Zimmer (Buffalo), WR Jake Lampman (New Orleans), WR Malik Taylor (Green Bay), DL Austin Edwards (Kansas City) and DT Chris Okoye (LA Rams). Four made NFL 53-man opening day rosters, including Thomas, Sieler, Zimmer and Taylor, tops among all D2 schools.
Last season, a total of six Ferris State alums saw action in at least one NFL regular-season game and eight were with various NFL franchises, which were the most of any NCAA Division II school in the country and topped many current NCAA Division I institutions. The Bulldog alums in the NFL have also included former linebacker Brady Sheldon and former two-time Harlon Hill Trophy winner Jason Vander Laan. Eight of the alums have played in at least one NFL regular-season game over the past four years. Three former Bulldogs were part of team's that made the NFL Conference Championship Games a year ago in Taylor, Zimmer and Edwards. Sieler became FSU's first-ever NFL Draft pick when he was chosen by the Ravens in 2018 in the seventh round.
Nation's Winningest Active Coach
Ferris State head coach Tony Annese currently ranks as NCAA Division II's winningest active head coach, based on a minimum of four seasons, with a 92-16 (.852) overall record in eight plus years. His current mark tops Lenoir-Rhyne's Mike Jacobs, who is in second according to the NCAA
Consensus Top Team In the Country
Ferris State was a consensus top three team in the country in every Division II preseason poll, including as high as #1 in the current Massey Online Computer Ratings and the CompughterRatings.com rankings. FSU was also picked third in the preaseson by Linday's Sports, D2football.com and the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA).
Under head coach Tony Annese, the Bulldogs have lost only three regular-season games over the past seven years on the field dating back to mid-October of 2013. Two of the setbacks came in 2016 when the Bulldogs eventually made their deepest postseason run at the time with a trip to the NCAA-II National Semifinals. Since the middle part of the 2013 season, FSU has only lost once to Grand Valley State and twice to Ashland in regular-season action. The Bulldogs own a 71-3 (.959) regular-season mark since closing the 2013 season by winning their final four games.
Best Stretch In School History
Ferris State's 77 wins in the last seven plus years (2014-21) marks the Bulldogs' best stretch in school history. In addition, the 85 wins in the past eight plus seasons (85-11) from 2013-21 tops the 1991-97 era for the most wins over the span in program history. FSU went 52-8-2 while capturing five-straight Michigan Intercollegiate Football Conference (MIFC) crowns from '92-96.
The 112th Season
The 2021 campaign represents the Bulldogs' 112th 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 in addition to 2020. Additionally, no scores are available from either the 1912 or 1916 seasons. Ferris has an all-time mark of 470-445-40.
GLIAC Players Of The Week
The Bulldogs have had four players combine to win a GLIAC Player of the Week Award a total of five times to date in the 2021 campaign. FSU senior quarterback Jared Bernhardt (Longwood, Fla.) was chosen as the GLIAC's Offensive Player of the Week while senior cornerback Sidney McCloud (Miramar, Fla.) garnered the defensive player of the week recognition following the week one win over Findlay. Meanwhile, Bernhardt also grabbed the offensive honor after the Bulldogs' week two road win at Ashland while senior nickel back Cyntell Williams (Battle Creek) attained the defensive honor following the overtime home win over Saginaw Valley State in the third week of the campaign. Mylik Mitchell then claimed the offensive distinction after FSU's road win at Northwood.
Bernhardt, who sparkled in his collegiate football debut in week one, was the NCAA Division I National Lacrosse Player of the Year at Maryland last spring. He accounted for seven touchdowns in his first college football game and also won the D2Football National Offensive Player of the Week honor.
NCAA Playoff Berth
The 2019 season marked Ferris State's 11th all-time NCAA Division II Playoff appearance and the school's sixth in a row after previously not making the field since 1996 prior to the 2014 season. Overall, FSU has now compiled a 17-11 all-time playoff record with four consecutive national quarterfinal or better finishes. In 2016, the Bulldogs made their second-ever trip to the national semifinals and matched the 1995 squad, which fell on the road at North Alabama, for the highest finish in school history before reaching the national title game for the first time in 2018. Along with making the playoffs in both 2014 and 2015, the Bulldogs also captured back-to-back GLIAC Championships and completed the feat again in 2018 and 2019. Before the recent stretch, FSU had not won a league title since 1999. The 2014 outright title was the school's first since 1996. Overall, the 2019 season represented the 11th conference title in Bulldog football history and fourth in six years.