The Ferris State Bulldogs host Shepherd in the DII semifinals on Saturday over at Top Taggart Field in Big Rapids, Michigan. The winner of this game punches their ticket to the championship game in McKinney, Texas.
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The game (3:30 p.m. ET start time) isn’t on TV anywhere, but anyone in the US can watch Ferris State vs Shepherd live on ESPN+:
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Ferris State vs Shepherd Preview
The Bulldogs continue their amazing run in the Division II playoffs. The home team find themselves in the middle of their seventh consecutive post-season run and now find themselves just a game away from disputing the championship yet again.
Since 2018, this team is amongst one of the winningest sides at this level with a combined 39-2 record. To give you a better view of how dominant they are in this seven years, their record is 84-9.
With a win on Saturday, Ferris State could give coach Tony Annese his 100th win at the school.
For this to happen, the top-ranked Bulldogs will have to continue their dominance on offense against a team that they are facing for the first time in their history.
What they have successfully done is get to a quick start and pressure the opposition to keep the pace. That is quite the task when you have a team that can grind you down with an offense that can possess the ball for extended drives.
Ferris State’s defense might not have had dominant numbers defensively, but there were two that were quite telling and dictated how timely they were in key moments. Against them, Northwest Missouri State only converted in 3-of-12 third downs. Also, the Bulldog defense had five sacks.
With all of this and an interception, the offense responded and was able to extend their lead en route to a 41-20 victory.
For the Shepherd Rams, this is the tallest task they had up to this season. While Saturday’s opponents were convincing in the playoffs, they have had to battle to very tight victories. Shepherd is coming off an enormous win against Kutztown State on the road 30-28.
Tyson Bagent helped his team seal the win with a dramatic 42-yard Hail Mary pass to Alex Wetzel in the final play of the game to win the Super Region One Title in a wild finish.
Bagent, who was an All-America selection and Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Player of the Year, threw for 248 yards and threw a touchdown in that game.
For Bagent, it was yet another performance that stated his case for both Harlon Hill Trophy consideration as well as receiving first-team All-America honors. He was one of the best offensive players this year as he led the country in total offense (345.5 ypg), passing yards (4,751), passing touchdowns (52), and points responsible for (332).
The 13-1 Rams have the second-best offense in DII in total offense (541.8) and third in passing offense (343.6).