2023 Saginaw Valley vs Ferris State

GLIAC Week 6 At A Glance: Saginaw Valley Travels To Face No. 1 Ferris State

GLIAC Week 6 At A Glance: Saginaw Valley Travels To Face No. 1 Ferris State

The GLIAC season rolls along with a full week of conference action on tap. Saginaw Valley looks to take down No. 1 Ferris State after a close match in 2022.

Oct 5, 2023 by Ron Balaskovitz

The GLIAC season rolls along with the second full week of conference action on tap. The opening week saw no big surprises, with the top three teams in the league all rolling to big wins, including a record-setting performance from top-ranked Ferris State.

This week sees another trio of league games, while Grand Valley State is the lone team to play a non-conference game.

Saginaw Valley (2-3, 0-1) at No. 1 Ferris State (3-1, 1-0)

  • Where: Top Taggert Field; Big Rapids, Michigan
  • When: 1 PM ET
  • Last Week: Saginaw Valley State lost to Grand Valley State, 55-14; Ferris State defeated Northern Michigan, 78-3
  • Series History: Ferris State leads, 27-19-1; Ferris State won last season, 33-28

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On paper, this matchup heavily favors the Bulldogs, who come in off a school record 78 points in a romp over Northern Michigan, while SVSU comes in stumbling, having lost three straight after a 2-0 start to the season.

But that’s why they play the games, including the 2022 version of this same showdown where a heavily favored FSU squad had to pull out a narrow 33-28 win, trailing 28-20 going into the fourth quarter before rallying, with the winning touchdown coming with just 1:11 left on the clock.


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The Bulldogs will enter this week hitting on all cylinders, in their historic win, they racked up 705 yards of total offense, including 497 yards on the ground, both totals that are among the five best totals in FSU history. Quarterback Trinidad Chambliss earned GLIAC Offensive Player of the Week honors after rushing for 125 yards and two touchdowns, while also hitting on 4-of-7 passes. His two touchdown runs came from 25 and 68 yards in the opening half on the way to a 55-3 halftime lead.

That massive game vaulted the Bulldogs into the Top-10 in the nation in scoring at 45 points per game, despite being held to 10 by FCS power Montana in their lone loss.

While the offense was rolling, the defense absolutely dominated Northern Michigan, holding the Wildcats to just 98 yards of offense, while picking off a pair of passes.

On the year, Ferris is 14th in scoring defense, allowing just 15 points per game through four contests.

It all adds up to a tough task for the Cardinals, who after a 2-0 start that saw the offense rack up 65 combined points, have dropped three straight, albeit against three ranked opponents, while scoring just 31 total points in those three games. Last week’s loss to Grand Valley State was closer than it appeared, with the Cardinals putting a scare into GVSU for the better part of the game.

In last week’s rivalry showdown, SVSU kept the Lakers within striking distance into the third quarter, getting a pick-six late in the first half, then scoring a touchdown late in the third to pull within six points, but the Lakers answered with a kick return for a touchdown and a punt return for a touchdown in the span of two minutes, turning a six-point game into a 20-point game on the way to 35 unanswered points over the final 18 minutes of the game.

If SVSU is going to pull the upset, they’ll need those big plays again from the defense, while getting more from their offense. Despite trailing all day, the Cardinals managed just 142 yards in the loss and turned the ball over three times. 

Since posting around 450 yards per game in the two wins to open the season, the Cardinals have averaged just under 250 yards per game in the last three.

SVSU will also look to replicate last season’s recipe for nearly knocking off the Bulldogs when they forced three turnovers while posting three scoring drives of 60 yards or more.

GLIAC Games at a Glance

*All games scheduled for Saturday

Michigan Tech (3-1, 0-1) at Wayne State (1-4, 0-0)

Tech makes the long drive down from the UP to Detroit in the league opener for Wayne State, with both teams looking to rebound after tough losses a week ago. Tech had been out to a 3-0 start, but were handled on the road by Top-25 Davenport in a 28-0 defeat where the Huskies were limited to just 117 yards of offense, and were forced to punt nine times.

Despite that loss, the Huskies can be a strong offensive team, averaging over 34 points per game in their three-game winning streak to open the season.

Wayne State is looking for something to go right after a 1-4 start and is currently riding a three-game losing streak after dropping a home game to undefeated NAIA Concordia last week. Concordia pulled off the in-state upset with a touchdown in the final minute. The Warriors did find life in their ground game in the loss, racking up 203 yards on the ground.

Northern Michigan (0-5, 0-1) at No. 16 Davenport (4-0, 1-0)

The last undefeated team left in the GLIAC, the Panthers cemented their place among the top tier of the league with a convincing 28-0 win over previously undefeated Michigan Tech last week. The Panthers have done it on both sides this year, with the defense showing big improvement, yielding just over 15 points per game in the early going, while the offense has been efficient and protective of the ball, giving it up just one time so far.

That adds up to a tough ask for winless Northern Michigan, who looks to move on after last week’s bludgeoning at the hands of Ferris State. The Wildcats are last in the league in scoring and scoring defense. Northern is 1-10 in its last 11 games dating back to last season.

Kentucky State (1-4) at No. 7 Grand Valley State (3-1, 1-0)

After some defensive struggles in the first handful of games, the Lakers have settled in, giving up 21 total points in the last two games, while the offense has continued to roar, averaging over 45 points per game, tops in the GLIAC.

Last week it was special teams and defense that helped the Lakers pull away from rival SVSU, getting two kick returns for scores and a pick-six in the fourth quarter to blow open what had been a six-point game in the third quarter.

Kentucky State comes in on a four-game slide, having won its opener against Clark Atlanta, then dropping four straight SIAC games. If there’s any solace for the Thorobreds, it’s that two of their losses have come by a single score, so they have been in games against tough opponents.