Ferris football ready for Grand Valley game


GREAT RAPIDS – The showdown is here.

The second unbeaten Ferris State Bulldogs face off against their great rival and seventh Grand Valley State in the Anchor-Bone Classic on Saturday night at Lubbers Stadium in Allendale.

Clash between longtime rivals in West Michigan kicks off at 7 p.m.

The Bulldogs are currently 5-0 overall and are coming off a week off, following a 67-25 road win at Northwood on October 2.

Meanwhile, Grand Valley State is also 5-0, 2-0 in the GLIAC after a 70-19 home win over Northwood on Saturday, October 2. The Lakers were 8-3 overall and 5-3 in the GLIAC in 2019. Ferris was 12-1, 8-0.

“It’s very important,” Ferris State coach Tony Annese said of the game. “It’s not like it’s new. It’s been like this every year for many years now. Everything is at stake. The winner has a good chance of winning a conference championship. The winner also has a good chance of being well placed in the region (for the playoffs).

“There are a lot of issues and both teams know it. I can’t wait to get there. It’s always exciting to go there. We beat them four out of five there. We are confident to go. It’s a great electrical environment, we are delighted.

FSU has now won 33 straight regular season games, which is an academic record. The Bulldogs had 28 straight wins from 2013-2016. Ferris State also won 18 straight games played on the road, not on a neutral venue. The FSU’s last real loss on the road and in the regular season was a 20-3 loss to Ashland in 2017. The road stretch includes three road wins in the NCAA Division II playoffs.

Ferris State remains No. 2 nationally in the D2Football.com national poll this week after the week off with No. 3 in the AFCA Coaching Survey. FSU is also currently No. 2 in the NCAA.com D2 power rankings and is currently first in the ComputerRatings.com online poll with fourth nationally this week in the Massey rankings.

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 clashes before FSU retained the trophy for four consecutive years from 2012 to 2015.

The Lakers claimed the trophy in the regular season in 2016 before the Bulldogs won an exciting 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 on their last visit to Lubbers Stadium in 2018, then topped Grand Valley State 21-16 at home in Big Rapids in 2019 as part of the promotion launch televised event. Fox Sports Detroit Football Week In Michigan. .

Both teams will head to Saturday night’s competition ranked among the top 10 teams in the country and it will represent the 12th time in series history in which both teams have been ranked in the big national D2 kickoff poll. mail. FSU was ranked third in the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Division II rankings last week with GVSU seventh on the list. Both teams are ranked in the nation’s top 10 in virtually every D2 poll.

“They are ranked No. 3 in the country in terms of offensive scores,” Annese said. “They are a legitimate offensive team. Their defense is excellent too. It’s all in the game. It’s fun to have the opportunity. We will need to play football without errors, run our system and be who we are.

“I also say focus on Ferris State. We have to be at our best. I hope we have a well-played game on Saturday.

Saturday’s game will mark the sixth consecutive regular season game in which both teams have been ranked in the nation’s top 15 at kick-off and the eighth consecutive time overall, including playoff games in 2015 and 2016 .

Ferris State has won seven of the last eight regular season clashes between the two rivals from West Michigan.

Annese, who ranks as the nation’s most successful active head coach at all levels of the NCAA (0.850), holds an 8-2 overall rating against GVSU during her career.

GVSU holds a 29-20-1 advantage in the all-time series heading into Saturday’s showdown between the two schools, with FSU winning the last three games and eight of the last 10 overall.

“We had great support from the fans when we went to Grand Valley,” Annese said. “I don’t know how we get so many Ferris in there. We have great support there. Our guys travel well and are confident on the road.

“That’s what you play for.” These games have been a chore. We have kept this trophy. But these are close wins. We will have to play very well on Saturday.

Ferris State Athletics contributed to this report


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