The Ferris State football team will be looking to get back to their winning ways this upcoming fall as they kick off the season on Sept. 3.
The Bulldogs broke their streak of three consecutive years with a winning season as they finished the 2009 campaign with an abysmal 1-10 record. Their only win was against winless Tiffin University. It was the team’s second losing season in the past nine years. Head Coach Jeff Pierce will be returning to the program for his 16th season as a Bulldog. The Bulldogs have recorded nine winning seasons out of the 15 years that Pierce has spent at the helm.Ferris will be looking to a large recruiting class to come in and start contributing right away as they will be welcoming a total of 24 new student-athletes to the program for the 2010 campaign. The new recruits will consist of 13 players on the defensive side of the ball and 11 on offense.
The Bulldogs are expecting a total of 13 returning starters from last year as they will have seven players on the offensive side of the ball, four on defense, and both kickers returning.
Ferris will be looking to continue the development of chemistry on the offensive side of the ball as they attempt to revive their offensive attack, which finished last in the GLIAC in total offense this past year. In 2009, Ferris finished in the bottom two of every offensive category. Chris Boden, the off-season hire offensive coordinator, has his work cut out for him as he attempts to resurrect the Bulldog attack. Senior fullback Leon Curry will be looking to help get the offense headed in the right direction with his physical play.
“We’re going to bust our tails during the offseason so we can get six yards and score six,” said Curry.
One bright spot from last year was on the defensive side of the ball, as Ferris was very good against the pass. The team finished second overall in the GLIAC in passing defense. In the 11-game season, opposing offenses scored 14 touchdowns through the air as the Bulldogs were able to hold them to an average of only 149 passing yards a game.
Ferris will open the 2010 season on the road against the Hillsdale Chargers in a non-conference bout on Sept. 3. Last year, the Chargers obliterated Ferris at FSU’s Top Taggart Field as they galloped to an easy 59-14 win. Hillsdale made the playoffs last year as they finished with a record of 10-3 overall and 8-2 within the GLIAC.
“They’ve got a very good team and are coming off an outstanding season so it will be a big test for us to start the year,” said Pierce.
Ferris will also be traveling to play Lake Erie College and Ohio Dominican University who will be joining the GLIAC for the first time. Both schools had previously competed at the Division III level and are currently going through the process of being accepted as full-fledge Division II members.
The team will play their regular season finale at Northwood on Nov. 13. Ferris will not play back-to-back games on the road or at home during the season as away and home games alternate every week. The Bulldogs certainly will have their work cut out for them, but they have many of the tools already in place for a successful season. They are just going to have to take full advantage of those tools and hope to get a few balls to bounce their way as the 102nd season of Bulldog football approaches.
“We are going to have to play well every Saturday in order to win,” said Pierce.