Dragons take on 15th-ranked Bulldogs

Amon'Ra Clay and the Dragons have a huge test on the road at 15th-ranked Ferris State.
Amon'Ra Clay and the Dragons have a huge test on the road at 15th-ranked Ferris State.

Tiffin University takes to the road to tangle with 15th-ranked Ferris State in a big GLIAC matchup Saturday, Oct. 7. Game time is 1 pm.

THE SERIES: Tiffin trails the Bulldogs 6-0 in the overall series. Results have not been kind to the Dragons in recent history, though they have played FSU only twice in the last five years. In those two meetings, TU lost both, allowing 56 or more points in both contests. They fell in 2015 56-21 at home and lost the last time they were at Ferris State 68-20 in 2014. In the 2011 season TU played FSU for the first time in the Gary Goff era and fell 48-13.  
 
LAST TIME OUT: Tiffin took advantage of big plays on offense and defense to dispatch Northwood 31-28. Every touchdown TU scored covered 35 or more yards, while the defense had 3 sacks, 10 tackles for loss, and an interception to preserve the win. 
 
Ferris State, meanwhile, obliterated Wayne State 59-17, scoring 38 points before halftime. They racked up 26 first downs to WSU's 12, including 17 on the ground. The defense also stepped up, posting two interceptions and a sack. Travis Russell combined for 255 yards passing and rushing to lead FSU.
 
Ferris State Notes
 
Ferris State Offense
 
The Bulldogs clobbered the Wayne State Warriors last Saturday, taking the game by the final count of 59-17. The Bulldogs scored at least 14 points in three of the four quarters against the Warriors. Offensively Ferris State is a run heavy offense, averaging 279.8 yards per game, leading the GLIAC and checking in at 6th in the nation in the category. The quarterback position looks like it may be up in the air as injuries have caused some recent changes. Quarterback Reggie Bell has missed the previous two games as Travis Russell has been thrust into the spotlight as a sophomore. Last week Russell finished 12-18 for 199 yards and a touchdown. Russell has been susceptible to the interception, tossing five in two games. Travis is also a threat to run, gaining 93 yards and scoring two touchdowns. The leading running back for the Bulldogs is Jahaan Brown with 44 carries, 228 yards and a score. Malik Taylor leads the receivers with 20 catches for 329 yards and two scores. The offensive line kept Russell clean for the most part last week, allowing only one sack to the Warriors.
 
Ferris State Defense
 
The Bulldogs are as advertised, chewing up and spitting out opponents. Even in their lone loss this season, the defense was impressive, allowing Ashland University to gain only 248 yards of total offense and 71 yards rushing. Thus far this season, Ferris State is allowing 288.3 yards per game, 107 rushing yards per game, and 181.3 passing yards per game. In their tilt with Wayne State the Bulldogs forced three turnovers and allowed the Warriors to complete only 33% of their passes. Linebacker Terrell Porter leads the Bulldogs in total tackles with 24. Defensive end Zach Sieler is a monster off the edge, leading Ferris State in tackles for loss. BJ Powell is the leader in interceptions with two. Powell also has made nine tackles. 
 
 
 
Ferris State Special Teams
 
The Bulldogs have been disruptive on special teams, blocking a pair of kicks, including one against Wayne State that resulted in a touchdown. Sophomore defensive back DeShaun Thrower has blocked both kicks. Wyatt Ford is 4 for 5 on field goal attempts with a long of 42 yards. Jackson Dieterle is the punter for Wayne State, averaging 43.7 yards per attempt. Dion Earls has returned 8 of Ferris State's 13 kickoff returns. He's averaging 26 yards per attempt with a long of 41 yards. 
 
 
Tiffin notes
 
Tiffin Offense
 
It was a big play kind of day for Tiffin in their 31-28 homecoming win over Northwood, relying on two passing touchdowns in excess of 70 yards and a 45-yard rushing touchdown to get past the Timberwolves. Nick Watson completed 9 of 16 passes for 245 yards and three touchdowns. Watson did throw a crucial interception in the red zone, only his third of the season. So far, Nick has thrown for 990 yards and seven touchdowns while completing 59.7% of his passes. On the ground, Watson rushed for 39 yards on 15 carries. He has 195 yards rushing this season and four touchdowns. JaQuan Hardy is Tiffin's featured back, toting the rock 84 times this year for 579 yards and four touchdowns. Nationally, Hardy is 22nd in yards per game, 18th in rushing yards and 17th in yards per carry (6.89). Tony Shead had a great game for Tiffin, snagging three balls for 94 yards and a touchdown. Tyler Denton also scored for Tiffin, rumbling 71 yards on a catch and run. Tyler Denton continues to improve each week, averaging 18.2 yards per reception and two touchdowns. 
 
Tiffin Defense
 
The Dragons allowed for only the second time this year 25 or more points. As a unit, Tiffin's defense is allowing 19.6 points per game, 4th in the GLIAC. Tiffin is 2nd in the conference in yards per game allowed, passing yards per game allowed, and are 1st in sacks. Charlie Cleveland leads the Tiffin defensive line, collecting 21 stops, 3.0 sacks, and 5.5 tackles for loss. At linebacker, Brandon Burks has been everywhere, leading Tiffin with 42 tackles. Burks leads the GLIAC with 4.0 sacks and 9.5 tackles for loss. Nationally, Brandon is 32nd in sacks per game and 15th in tackles for loss per game. Carrington Contee had a career day for the Dragons against Northwood, finishing with 14 total tackles, 11 of which were of the solo variety. Contee also picked off his first pass of the year against the Timberwolves. In the GLIAC, Contee is 9th in total tackles, 3rd in tackles per game, and leads the GLIAC in solo tackles. Nationally, Carrington is 23rd in solo tackles per game. As a unit, the Dragons' defense continues to trend up in the national rankings. Tiffin is 5th in 3rd down defense, 17th in 1st down defense, 6th in passing yards allowed, 23rd in sacks, 19th in tackles for loss, and 12th in total defense. 
 
Tiffin Special Teams
 
The Dragons won the special teams battle against Northwood, as Joe Metcalf added another field goal to his season total. Metcalf is now 8 for 11 this year and 20 of 21 on extra points. He leads the GLIAC in field goals made, extra points made, and is 2nd in points. In the national rankings, Metcalf is 6th in field goals made per game, 28th in total points, 35th in scoring, and 42nd in field goal percentage. Harry McCollum averaged 38.2 yards per punt against Northwood, downing four inside the 20 yard line. Harry leads the GLIAC in punts downed inside the 20 yard line. Dontrael Brown leads Tiffin in kickoff returns, averaging 30.2 yards per return. He is second in the GLIAC in yards per return and 16th nationally in kickoff return average.
 
Tiffin Football Record Countdown
 
 
Tiffin University Career Top 10
Receptions – 190 – T3rd all-time – needs 37 to be the all-time leader
Yards – 2627 – 2nd all-time
Touchdowns – 30 – 2nd all-time
Scoring – 30 - touchdowns 5th all-time
Points – 180 – 8th all-time
Most 100-yard receiving games – 10 – 2nd all-time
Most 200-yard receiving games – 3 – 2nd all-time
 
GLIAC Career Records within reach
Receiving Yards – 2239 – Needs 453 to move into 10th all-time
 
Tony Shead
 
Receptions – 174 – 5th
Yards – 1997 – 5th 
Receiving Touchdowns – 12 – T10th 
Kickoff Returns – 55 – 4th
Kickoff Return Yards – 1237 – 5th
All Purpose Yards – 3137 – 9th