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Huskies Entertain Ferris State on Senior Day

Huskies Entertain Ferris State on Senior Day

Michigan Tech Game Notes (PDF)    Ferris State Game Notes (PDF)
Sat., Nov. 11, 2017 • 12:00 p.m. (ET) • Sherman Field (3,200)
Michigan Tech (4-6, 3-5 GLIAC) vs #11 Ferris State (8-1, 7-1 GLIAC)
Radio Broadcast: WKMJ 93.5 FM (Josh Ylitalo, Brad Isaacson)
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Michigan Tech suffered a 14-7 setback on the road at Tiffin in a Great Lakes Inetrcollegiate Athletic Conference showdown last Saturday. The Huskies held a 7-0 advantage at halftime, but the Dragons were able to tie the game in the third quarter and notch the go ahead score in the fourth. The Huskies had two more possessions in the final minutes of the fourth quarter, but were unable to score. After a turnover on downs, the Huskies' defense got the ball back by stopping Tiffin at the Tech 33 on a fourth four with 17 seconds to go. With a couple of pass completions and a 15-yard face mask penalty against the Dragons, Tech had one final play at the Tiffin 20-yard line to try and get in the end zone. Unfortunately, Young's pass fell incomplete and Tiffin was able to hang on for the win.

The Michigan Tech football program will honor the 2017 Seniors prior to Saturday's kickoff against Ferris State. Hilding Beaudoin, Cayman Berg-Morales, Jake Brown, Derek Cingel, Antwon Curtis, Derrick Diver, David Falish, Adam Francis, Josef Iwanicki, Sam Kitts, Spencer Moran, Carl Pietila, Mitchell Ryan, Luke Schulz, Alex Sherbinow, Cory Williams, and John Williams. This group of seniors went unbeaten against Northern Michigan and helped lead the Huskies to the NCAA Playoffs in 2014.

Michigan Tech senior defensive back Spencer Moran blocked his third kick of the season at Tiffin last week and leads the GLIAC in blocked kicks. Moran deflected a 17-yard field goal attempt by the Dragons in the first quarter to keep it a scoreless contest. Moran got his hands on an extra point against Wayne State in week eight at Sherman Field with his first block of the season taking place against Northern Michigan in the Miner's Cup game. That block also came on a field goal attempt. Moran is fourth nationally in NCAA Division II with three players tied for first with four apiece. All of his career blocks have come this season for the Huskies. In addition to his blocked kicks, Moran recorded 10 tackles this past week and has 73 total going into the weekend against Ferris State. Moran's tackles total and tackles for a loss total (9) are both second best on the team.

The Huskies generated 226 yards through the air this past week which is second most in a game this season. They were able to do it with some big plays down the field, including a 41-yard strike from freshman quarterback Garrett Young to sophomore fullback Alex Sherbinow. Young also connected with sophomore wide receiver Weston Butler for a 29-yard reception, sophomore wide receiver Ben Hartley for a 22-yard touchdown, and senior running back John Williams hauled in a 20-yard catch. Young made his second start of the season at quarterback and has thrown a touchdown pass in each of the first two weeks.

Butler came up big for the Huskies' offense this past Saturday with his first three career receptions. Butler reeled in a 26-yard catch late in the first quarter which help setup Tech's touchdown with 14:20 remaining in the second quarter. Butler caught two additional throws from Young, a 29-yard pass in the second quarter and 12-yard strike in the fourth quarter. He paced the Huskies in total receiving yards (67) and averaged 22.3 yards per catch.

Senior running back John Williams is second in the GLIAC and is 27th in NCAA Division II with 11 rushing touchdowns going into this weekend. Willams had one against Wayne State and NMU to go along with three at SVSU, one against GVSU, two at Hillsdale, and three in week one against Truman State. Williams ranks sixth in the GLIAC in rushing yards (818) and is averaging 90.9 yards per game which is sixth best in the GLIAC. Jacob Wenzlick is third in the GLIAC in combined kickoff return yardage (545). The Huskies are fourth in the conference for fewest tackles for a loss allowed per game (5.10). Tech's six blocked kicks is tops in the GLIAC and ninth most in NCAA Division II. The Huskies continue to be one of the least penalized teams in the country, ranking first in fewest penalty yards (262), penalty yards per game (26.20), and penalty yards (262). Moran leads the GLIAC in blocked kicks with three and is 4th in NCAA Division II.

Ferris State enters the weekend with an overall record of 8-1 and 7-1 against GLIAC opponents. The Bulldogs are second in the conference standings, with their only loss of the season coming at GLIAC leader Ashland on September 23rd, 20-3. Ferris State is battling for a spot in the NCAA Division II playoffs and boasts a No. 4 ranking in the most recent Super Region Three Poll. The Bulldogs are 11th in the most recent AFCA Coaches' Top 25 Poll.

Although the Bulldogs like to spread the field, they are very much a run oriented type offense. They lead the GLIAC with 2020 rushing yards as a team coming into Saturday's game. They are first in yards rushing per game (224.4), rushing touchdowns (25), and first downs gained on the ground (108). Ferris State can also hurt opponents through the air, as evidenced by a 218.8 yards per game passing average. All combined, the total yardage per game adds up to 443.2 yards which is a major contributor to their 32.4 points per game scoring average. Running back Jahaan Brown averages 5.8 yards per carry and has two scores while quarterbacks Travis Russell along with Reggie Bell have combined for 10 rushing TD's. Russell and Bell have also teamed up for a combined 11 TD throws.

Teams can't afford to overlook the Ferris State defense which is limiting opposing offenses to just 15 points and 285.7 yards per game. The Bulldogs have combined for 12 interceptions and have forced 16 total turnovers. Linebacker Terrell Porter powers the defense with 67 total tackles while defensive end Zach Sieler has 14.5 tackles for a loss. Ferris State has four players who have two interceptions or more on the year, making it difficult for opposing quarterbacks to find an open spot on the field to place the football.

Michigan Tech enters the weekend with a 34-28-4 lead in the all-time series between the two programs. However, the Bulldogs have had the upper hand in each of the last five games, including a 30-28 decision at Sherman Field a year ago. Prior to Ferris State's run of five straight wins, the Huskies prevailed in nine consecutive games from 2003-2011. The most recent win came via a 41-14 decsion at Sherman Field on November 5th, 2011. The Huskies built a 27-7 at halftime that day and never looked back. Quarterback Tyler Scarlett was 21 of 27 passing for 211 yards and two touchdowns while Akeem Cason carried the ball 17 times for 117 yards and two scores. The first game in the series was played on October 18th, 1947 in Houghton with FSU coming away with a 2-0 win. There have been four ties, with the most recent a 7-7 result on September 13th, 1980 in Houghton.

Michigan Tech Athletics is hosting Military Appreciation Weekend this Friday through Sunday. The Huskies host six events and have partnered with the Wounded Warrior Project to honor both active and retired military personnel. The weekend is being sponsored by Keweenaw Chevrolet, TV6, and Pepsi of Houghton. The Huskies will be hosting Wounded Warriors Jon French and Joe Tormala at hockey and football. Anybody wearing camouflage to any Tech Athletic event can buy a Husky Deal at concessions stands for $5. A Husky Deal is a hot dog, popcorn, and a pop.

Huskies' team captains for the 2017 season are defensive lineman Cayman Berg-Morales, running back John Williams, quarterback Jake Brown, and defensive back Mitchell Ryan.

Michigan Tech is picked to finish 6th (38 points) in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Preseason Poll, announced at the beginning of August by the conference office. Grand Valley State and Ferris State are at the top of rankings at No. 1 and No. 2 respectively. The Lakers edged the Bulldogs for the top spot by two points with 77 points. Ashland (#3, 67 points), Wayne State (#4, 54 points), and Saginaw Valley State (#5, 41 points) round out the top five in this year's poll.

New Head Coach Steve Olson takes the reigns of the program after serving as an assistant coach under Tom Kearly for six seasons, including the past three as defensive coordinator. Olson's defenses have been some of the best in the GLIAC year in and year out in multiple statistical categories.

The Michigan Tech coaching staff went through some transition during the offseason. Steve Olson was named the head coach after serving as the defensive coordinator during the 2016 campaign. Dan Mettlach returned to Tech to join the coaching staff after an outstanding career as a player. He was named the offensive coordinator after Eric Ieuter joined the staff at the University of Florida. Former Husky running back Phil Milbrath returned to Tech as the new running back's coach earlier this month and Ken Klein returned as an assitant coach on the defenisve side of the ball. Bryan Thomas and Josh Wood were promoted to co-defensive coordinator roles. David Sartin continues in his role as offensive line coach with Tim Callahan assisting on the offesnive side of the ball while Michael Donnelly is an assistant coach for the defense.