Jake Riepma

Ferris State Does it Again; One Game Away from Perfection, History

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In a 28-25 game midway through the fourth quarter, the Ferris State Bulldogs scored two touchdowns in a 13-second span to secure the 42-25 win on the road against previously unbeaten Minnesota State (Mankato).

For the 15-0 Bulldogs, the win punches its ticket to the NCAA Division II National Championship game next weekend for a shot at the football program’s first ever National Championship in 111 years of existence. It also gives FSU the chance to become the first Division II program to go 16-0 in a season.

The win marked the 300th career win for head coach Tony Annese and his 75th victory in seven seasons at Ferris State. Absolutely remarkable.

Let’s not forget the FSU basketball program is coming off a national championship as well. Talk about a helluva calendar year in Big Rapids! Bulldog Nation, you guys are spoiled! No DII school has ever won the national championship in football and basketball in the same calendar year.

As for the play on the field, as I watched the game I found myself noting the different ways this Ferris State team always finds a way to win. It’s not always the same recipe every week, but for 15 consecutive games, it’s worked. On Saturday it was a couple of big plays, a season-defining seven-minute drive in the fourth quarter, and opportunistic, timely defensive plays. At this point, I’ve run out of ways to compliment the body of work this team has put together in 2018. This FSU team has proved its prowess time and time again, and once again I’m left looking like a fool for picking against them.

I have many theories to explain the Bulldogs postseason triumphs, but the one I can’t seem to shake, and thus the one I believe is most responsible for the Bulldog’s run – FSU hasn’t worn those painfully ugly gray uniforms in the playoffs and its directly equated to winning on the field.You’re welcome for putting an end to those miserable cement gray jerseys. I’m happy to do my part in helping this team.

Okay being serious for a second, when you have the nation’s best player at quarterback, a coaching staff that puts the team in the best position to win one-on-one matchups, and a team and organization that believes they will win every game, you give yourself every opportunity to be successful, and that’s what I see from this FSU team and coaching staff. From top down to bottom up or whatever you say, this program embodies what winning means and they’re one win away from perfection.

As for Minnesota State, it certainly had its fair share of success throughout the contest, but its overall lack of firepower on the offense, and its inability to stop the bleeding on defense ultimately led to the demise. 2018 marks another incredible season in Mankato, and another campaign in which the Mavericks did not lose until its final contest. Last year, MSU finished the regular season undefeated and lost to eventual National Champion Texas A&M-Commerce. 2018 very well could be the same story- the only loss to the eventual National Champion. The Mavericks will be right back in the thick of things again next year. Count on it.

To wrap it up, Ferris State football will play for a national championship and a chance at a perfect 16-0 record. That’s pretty neat to say.

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