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Austin Peay Governors take on the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders

 

September 9th, 2010 • 6:00pm CDT
Murfreesboro, Tennessee • Johnny “Red” Floyd Stadium

Austin Peay State University GovernorsAustin Peay Governors Football travels to Murfreesboro Tennessee this friday to take on the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders.

Austin Peay has not played Middle Tennessee since November 8th, 1997, when the Govs dropped a 59-10 decision in Murfreesboro. That was APSU’s first year transitioning to non-scholarship football after announcing their intent in December. 1996.

Since 2000, Austin Peay has begun 2-0 just twice, in 2002 under Bill Schmitz during the non-scholarship era and in 2007 during Rick Christophel’s first season as head coach.

Last Thursday’s victory against Cumberland allowed Austin Peay to gain back-to-back season-opening victories for the first time since the Govs defeated Kansas State, 26-22, in 1987 and Kentucky State, 20-14, in 1988.

Austin Peay has enjoyed only 18 winning seasons in 73 years of football and only two winning seasons since the turn of the century–a 7-5 mark in 2002 as a non-scholarship program and a 7-4 record in 2007 in Rick Christophel’s first season.

There is more to the APSU-MTSU connection than the OVC. Middle Tennessee defensive line coach John Palermo served one season (1990/0-11) as Austin Peay head coach while Blue Raiders safeties coach David Bibee served two seasons (1981-82) as the Governors secondary coach. In addition, MTSU defensive coordinator Randall McCray is the brother of former APSU head coach Carroll McCray.

Two first-year freshmen started the season opener against Cumberland–cornerback Sheldon Wade and offensive tackle Kyle Harrison.

APSU Football HelmetAgainst Cumberland, the Govs were penalized 17 times for 187 yards, the most penalty yards since they totaled 138 yards on 13 penalties versus Tennessee Tech, October 3rd, 2009.

Terrence Holt is Austin Peay’s first preseason All-Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Year. He was named the league’s preseason Offensive Player of the Year. The Govs had just four players earn postseason OVC Player of the Year honors. Carlton Flatt (1964) and Sonny Defilippis (1980) earned offensive honors while Bob Bible (1977) and Mike Betts (1978) earned defensive honors.

Blue Raiders to Watch

Quarterback Logan Kilgore, playing in the place of the suspended Dwight Dasher, completed 13 of 18 passes against Minnesota for 172 yards and a TD…Sancho McDonald caught a picture perfect pass between two defenders for Kilgore’s only TD pass…Malcolm Beyah had 3 catches for 65 yards in the game…Phillip Tanner, who missed 2009 with a knee injury, returned to action against Minnesota and rushed for 75 yards on 8 carries…Linebacker Antwan Davis had 12 tackles against Minnesota, including five for loss…Fellow linebacker Justin Jones added 10 stops…Tackle Dwight Smith is considered the defensive anchor… Safeties Jeremy Kellem and Kevin Brown offer great experience to the Blue Raiders defense, now having 55 starts between them.

APSU vs. Middle Tennessee: Setting the Scene

The Series: APSU trails the series 12-38-2, losing the last 11. APSU last win, 7-0 OT. October 4th, 1986.
Last Meeting: November 8th, 1997; MTSU 59, Austin Peay 10

The Govs rejoined the Ohio Valley Conference for football in 2007 after returning to scholarship football in 2006. The Govs finished sixth in the OVC a year ago with a 3-5 league mark and 4-7 overall. The Govs are picked to finish tied for seventh in 2010.

Meanwhile, Middle Tennessee was a member of the OVC from 1952 until leaving after the 1997 campaign,. They were an independent for two seasons before joining the Sun Belt Conference for the 2001 season. The Blue Raiders finished 10-3 a year ago and a second-place 7-1 SBC record. They are predicted to win the Sun Belt in 2010.


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