Underrated defense delivering big for Ferris State in playoff run

The Bulldogs have forced 11 turnovers in 3 postseason games
Posted at 6:58 PM, Dec 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-15 18:59:20-05

BIG RAPIDS, Mich. — The Ferris State football team held one final practice at Top Taggart Field on Wednesday before leaving for McKinney, Texas where the Bulldogs will take on Valdosta State for the division II national championship on Saturday.

Ferris leads the nation in scoring offense, but the defense has been very good especially during the playoffs forcing 11 turnovers in three games.

"Our offense is elite, we have always been elite so we are known for that," Bulldogs defensive end Caleb Murphy said. "My coach always tells us fans come to see touchdowns they don't come to see stops so it is always OK when you see that."

The defense may not get the headlines that the offense does, but in last Saturday's semifinal game Ferris State held Shepherd, the nation's leader in scoring offense at the time, to just seven points.

"Last Saturday there is a level of comfort when you know the number one scoring offense has seven through three quarters," ninth-year Bulldogs head coach Tony Annese said. "They have been able to create a lot of turnovers in the playoffs which is key and given us some short fields. Sometimes people look at how many points we have scored in the playoffs but some of those scores have really been engineered by our defense."

Ferris State will need one more big effort Saturday against a Valdosta State team that leads division II in yards per game.