2022 Davenport vs Ferris State

GLIAC Games Of The Week: Davenport Looks To Make A Championship Statement

GLIAC Games Of The Week: Davenport Looks To Make A Championship Statement

Undefeated Davenport can keep its GLIAC title hopes alive against reigning national champion Ferris State in a marquee Week 10 matchup.

Nov 3, 2022 by Ron Balaskovitz
Highlight: Ferris State Vs. Northern Michigan

As the GLIAC enters its final two weeks of the season, the conference title race remains very much in doubt, and depending on this week’s results, could set up either a winner-take-all showdown next week, or set the table for a three-way tie atop the league.

The league also has potentially locked in three playoff teams, with a potential fourth still clinging to hope.

This week’s slate sees a showdown between two of those teams still in the running for a conference title, another in the conference race facing a bottom feeder, and the playoff hopeful hoping to impress down the stretch.

Davenport at Ferris State

There is a ton on the line in this game, and not just for the two teams involved. Grand Valley supporters will have reason to pay attention to this outcome.

At 8-0 and 4-0 in the GLIAC, Davenport is one of the biggest surprises in college football this season, and a win over Ferris State would prove that the Panthers’ success has been no fluke.

A win over the Bulldogs would also set up a winner-take-all showdown with Grand Valley next week for the GLIAC title, while a Ferris State win would leave both teams a game back of GVSU with a prospective three-way championship split.

Davenport picked up its most impressive win of the season last week, knocking off Top-25 ranked Saginaw Valley on the road. Brendan Sherrod and Jason Whittaker hook up for a 27-yard pass with under 10 minutes to play, forcing a quick SVSU three-and-out, then going on an amazing eight-plus minute drive that killed the remainder of the clock and secured the win.

Davenport outgained SVSU by nearly 130 yards, passing for over 300, and doubling SVSU’s time of possession, while the defense forced four turnovers.

Ferris State went on the road and crushed Northern Michigan, putting up 42 first-half points to put the Wildcats away quickly.

The Bulldogs put up arguably their best offensive showing of the season, totaling over 600 yards of offense, that was evenly split with 308 passing and 301 rushing yards. Carson Gulker finished with over 330 yards of offense and five total touchdowns in the win.

Meanwhile, the Ferris State defense continued to show why it’s one of the nation’s best, giving up 311 yards and allowing NMU to run just 45 plays.

Ferris State rolled in a pair of games last season, winning in Big Rapids by a 38-0 final in a non-conference matchup, then 50-14 in a league tilt in Grand Rapids.

Wayne State at Grand Valley

Regardless of what happens in the Davenport-Ferris State game, GVSU will play for the GLIAC title if it can beat slumping Wayne State.

The Lakers continue to show why they’re the top-ranked team in Division II, dominating Michigan Tech last week by a 42-7 final to reach 9-0, and 4-0 in the conference.

After Tech pulled within 14-7 in the second quarter, GVSU scored the final 38 points of the game and dominated on defense, holding the Huskies to just 167 yards of offense and eight first downs, while forcing six punts and a pair of turnovers on downs.

The Laker offense was a machine against a solid Tech defense, rolling up 552 yards of offense on just 61 plays, and controlling the ball for over 38 minutes of gametime. GVSU faces a Wayne State team that is well-rested coming off a bye week, but the Warriors ride a six-game losing skid into Week 10. Wayne State boasts a solid rushing attack, and will need to lean on it to try and keep GVSU’s offense off the field.

Saginaw Valley State at Northern Michigan

Although 6-3 Saginaw Valley State’s three losses are all close margins against teams that are combined 24-1, it may be too little, too late for SVSU’s playoff hopes. Still, an impressive showing against Northern Michigan gets them to seven wins and possibly impresses the selection committee.

The Cardinals have to be left wondering ‘what if’ after giving the ball up four times last week in a one-point loss to Davenport, as well as an inability for the defense to get off the field in the fourth quarter.

Northern Michigan, meanwhile, was was 3-2 on the season, and 1-0 in the GLIAC at one point. The bottom has since fallen out as the Wildcats have lost four straight, and have the lowest scoring offense in the league, tied with Wayne State at 191 points, but have played one game fewer than the Warriors.

With two opportunities left to make a statement, expect Saginaw Valley to come out firing in this one.