The biggest game of the year comes to Jack Miller Stadium Saturday

Football Preview vs. Ferris State

Zach Read

After bouncing back from a tough week one loss at home, the Ashland University football team will be headed back to Jack Miller Stadium on Saturday to host No. 2 in the country Ferris State.

The Eagles (1-1) were able to secure a 34-12 win against Walsh in week two at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium.

“Offensively we finished and we answered a couple times, that was big,” AU head coach Lee Owens said. “We didn’t turn it over as much and we didn’t make as many mental mistakes.”

The Bulldogs (2-0) are the Division II national runner-ups after losing to Valdosta State a year ago in the National Championship game 49-47.

Ferris State returns the reigning Harlon Hill Trophy winner (NCAA Division II Player of the Year) in senior quarterback Jayru Campbell who is arguably the most dangerous player in Division II football.

“We played him last year and I thought we played him pretty hard,” Owens said. “You have to be kind of careful, he’s that dynamic player with his legs and he can hurt you there as much as he can with his arm.”

Campbell did not play in week one but last week against Central Washington he led the Bulldogs to a 62-28 route with 271 passing yards completing 17 of 29 attempts and scoring three touchdowns.

“We have to give him different looks, we can’t give him the same look all the time,” Owens said. “Tim does a pretty good job at that… he’s probably done as good a job defending them as anyone in the country has done.”

Campbell, a dual-threat quarterback, also led the Bulldogs with 13 rushing attempts. However, backup sophomore quarterback Evan Cummins ran for 75 yards on 12 attempts and three touchdowns as a wildcat-type runner. Junior running back Tyler Minor found the endzone twice on just two total rushing attempts that combined for 115 yards.

Campbell will have to face the stout Ashland defense who only allowed 196 total yards of offense a week ago with only giving up 49 yards on 34 rushing attempts.

“Teams are still struggling to run the ball against us and as long as that’s the case it’s going to be tough to put a lot of points on the board,” Owens said.

A year ago, the Eagles were able to hold a Ferris State team who averaged 39.3 points per game to only 28 points as Ashland lost by a touchdown in 2018.

With a win on Saturday, it would be the 500th win in program history for the Eagles as well as one of the bigger upsets in program history.

“This is the best team in Division II college football with the best player in Division II college football,” Owens said.

The biggest game of the year comes to Jack Miller Stadium Saturday as the Ashland Eagles will play host to the No. 2 Ferris State Bulldogs at 7 p.m. Live coverage can be heard on 88.9 WRDL.