Ferris State will be looking to ride the momentum from their week one win against Tiffin as they host the nationally-ranked Ashland Eagles at Top Taggart Field.
The Bulldogs will be hoping for a similar result from last year as they blocked a game winning field goal attempt as time expired which preserved a 25-24 win. The Bulldogs are 9-12 all-time against the Eagles, 10 of those games were at Top Taggart Field but the Bulldogs have managed just three wins. They will have a chance to improve that mark with their week two match-up which kicks off Sept. 5 at 7 p.m.
The defense will have to rise to the challenge as they face a very talented Ashland offensive attack. In their first game, the Bulldog defense displayed a lot of speed and play making ability as they held the Dragons to only 64 first half yards.
Junior outside linebacker Kyle Fitzpatrick knows the defense is tough depsite their youth.
“We’re young, but were fast, exciting, and will make a lot of plays this year,” said Kyle Fitzpatrick.
They will need to display that speed and playmaking ability as they attempt to shut down Ashland, which averaged 34.8 ppg last year. During week one they were able to force four turnovers, one of which Fitzpatrick returned for a touchdown. Ferris will be looking to keep up their aggressiveness and force some more big plays on the defensive side of the ball.
On the offensive side of the ball the Bulldogs showed that their running attack is a force to be reckoned with. The offensive line paved the way in their first game as they were able to rack up 258 yards on the ground. Sophomore tailback, D.J. Freeman led the rushing attack with 89 yards on 13 carries.
“The O-line was very good, opening a lot of holes for us all night,” said Freeman.
While the running game flourished the passing game struggled as quarterback Kyle Parrish went 9-of-26 passes for 64 yards and one interception. With those struggles through the air it raises the question if we will see Tom Schneider at all as they take on Ashland.
Ferris has a lot of players that can step into different roles and contribute. This is also a team that has a tremendous amount of speed at a lot of positions in which they displayed in week one. The Bulldogs will need that versatility and team speed as they look to upset Ashland for the second year in a row. The Eagles offensive line allowed six sacks in their week one loss.
“This group definitely does not lack any confidence and they always have the attitude that they will win no matter what happens” said Coach Pierce.