Facing Giants

Richard Mead-Ferris State Torch

Ferris State foot­ball is here, and the road to a cham­pi­onship starts with the daunt­ing task of fac­ing one of the NCAA’s best.

Ferris ended the 2012 sea­son with a 7–4 over­all record, and are prepar­ing to add a few more notches in the win col­umn. With a solid group of return­ing play­ers and one of, if not the best recruit­ing classes in Division II foot­ball. The Bulldogs have a shot at a championship.

This sea­son marks the sec­ond year Ferris has been led by head coach Tony Annese, and with astound­ing off­sea­son recruit­ment and the addi­tion of new defen­sive coor­di­na­tor Lou Esposito, the Bulldogs look to be tak­ing the next step towards build­ing a cham­pi­onship team.

“[Esposito] has brought a lot of inten­sity to our defense,” Ferris junior wide receiver A.J. McEwen said. “Scheme wise they will be much more aggres­sive to increase the num­ber of forced fum­bles. The defense has taken the same inten­sity that coach Esposito coaches with.”

The sea­son will not be a stroll in the park though, as Ferris will start the 2013 sea­son pit­ted against the defend­ing NCAA Division I FCS cham­pi­ons, North Dakota State.

The Bison are com­ing off a 14–1 sea­son where they took home Football Subdivision Championship crown. The Bulldogs, though, have are not known to back down from a fight.

“I feel like it’s a great oppor­tu­nity to show the world that we won’t back down from any­one,” Ferris senior run­ning back Korey Ringer said. “The off­sea­son has been great; we have a lot more play­ers buy­ing into the sys­tem who are com­mit­ted to winning.”

Another sight to look for­ward to is the much antic­i­pated return of last year’s explo­sive sig­nal caller, Jason Vander Laan, who led the team in pass­ing yards and rush­ing yards just a year ago.

With the return of vet­er­ans and also new addi­tions, the Bulldogs will hope­fully give the Bison a solid competition.

“We’re not going to sneak up on any­one the way we may have in cer­tain games,” head coach Tony Annese said at media day. “I think we’re at least a team that will have to be more reck­oned with.”

With the sea­son nearly here, coaches and play­ers alike have all bought into the win­ning atti­tude needed to become cham­pi­ons. The open­ing game against NDSU should be a great barom­e­ter of what is to come.

When asked what kind of team we will see come the opener, Ferris junior run­ning back Jamaal Jackson said, “You will see a very explo­sive, fun­da­men­tally sound offense that scores a lot of points, and you will see a lock-down defense that forces a lot of turnovers. We play foot­ball for big games like this.”

View the original article at-http://www.fsutorch.com/2013/09/04/sports/facing-giants/

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