Week 7 Football Preview
Ferris State University football webpage
The Chargers are smarting from a 24-21 loss at Wayne State last week and look to get back on the winning track this weekend with their second straight road game, at Ferris State University for a 2:00 kickoff Saturday afternoon. Both teams are 4-2 overall and are involved in a five-way tie for first place in the GLIAC North Division with 4-1 conference records.
This game is Ferris State's homecoming.
These teams come into this clash from very different places. Hillsdale statistically dominated 18th-ranked Wayne State last week, only to lose a 24-21 decision to the Warriors. The Chargers had more rushing yards and passing yards and held a big time of possession advantage on Wayne State. But the Warriors capitalized on four Hillsdale turnovers, one of them an 82-yard interception return for touchdown, that played a big part in the game.
On the other hand, Ferris State hit a high point under first-year head coach Tony Annese, when it whipped previously No. 3-ranked Grand Valley State 40-24 in Allendale last Saturday night, defeating the Lakers for the first time this century. GVSU raced out to a 17-0 lead in the game, only to see the Bulldogs dominate the final three quarters, outscoring the Lakers 40-7 en route to the win.
FSU freshman quarterback Jason Vander Laan was named the GLIAC Offensive Player of the Week last week when he ran for 185 yards and passed for 79 in the win over Grand Valley State. Vander Laan can certainly be classified as a running quarterback, since he has more rushing yards this season than passing yards (693 rushing, 566 passing). However, this week he will be going up against a Hillsdale defense that is number one in the GLIAC in fewest total yards allowed per game, at 266.
In last week's loss at Wayne State, the Charger defense stepped up over the final three quarters, allowing the Warriors only 116 total yards over the game's final 42 minutes. It will take that kind of effort against Ferris State's top-ranked rushing offense to try to keep one of the GLIAC's most impressive streaks alive.
Hillsdale hasn't lost back-to-back games within the same season since Sept. 9-16, 2006. The Chargers have won 20 straight games following a regular-season loss since 2006, the longest such streak in the GLIAC.
Winning at Ferris State has been a challenge for the Chargers over the years. Hillsdale has lost four of its last five games in Big Rapids, including a 20-17 contest in the 2011 season opener. Hillsdale's only win over Ferris State at Top Taggart Field since 2000 came in a 59-14 thrashing on Halloween 2009.