FSU focuses on last regular-season games

ferris-football-2-10-31-copyBIG RAPIDS — The football schedule shows two more regular-season games for Ferris State University.

But Bulldogs are hoping there will be more game than that, which will depend on how they do in the next two weeks.

In a battle of nationally-ranked Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference peers on Saturday, No. 22 Ferris (7-2, 7-2) got the best of No. 19 Wayne State 7-2, 7-2 at Top Taggart Field.

Ferris got the best of WSU in rushing yards 29-5-207 and passing yards 250-212 with an impressive performance on both sides of the ball.

“Part of the reason why we’re statistically speaking (struggling) in the conference (pass defense) because we’ve faced a lot more balls in the air,” Ferris State coach Tony Annese said. “People throw on us a lot because our run defense is first in the league. It’s one of those things where we’ll see the pass a lot more. But all-in-all, I’d say it was a steady performance by our defense and our secondary. Our secondary has grown and is playing with a lot of confidence.”

Quarterback Reggie Bell has been able to complement both the passing and running game against Wayne State with 239 yards passing and 189 rushing.

“It helps a lot because they really don’t know what to expect,” Bell said. “This would have been done without our O line.”

Ferris is at Hillsdale (3-4, 4-4) on Saturday and then returns to Top Taggart on Nov. 12 against Saginaw Valley State University for the regular-season finale. It’s probably necessary for the Bulldogs to win both games to keep alive their NCAA playoff hopes.

“I hate to say this, but I’ve been here five years and there’s only one team we haven’t beaten, and that’s Hillsdale,” Annese said. “My first year, they beat us here for homecoming. We went there the second year, and that was our last regular-season loss until it got broken by Ashland this year. We haven’t played them two years in a row. They went up to Northern Michigan and won a big game (Saturday).”

A familiar face patrols the sidelines for Hillsdale.

“We have to be ready for them,” Annese said. “They’re well coached Keith Otterbein, former Ferris State head coach, is one of the best coaches in the GLIAC. We’re going to be challenged.”

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Posted by John Raffel

John is a sports reporter with the Pioneer as well as the Herald Review and The Lake County Star. He also coordinates the weekly Pioneer sports outdoors page. He can be reached at (231) 592-8356 or by email at jraffel@pioneergroup.com.

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