October 16th, 2010 • 6:00pm CDT • Clarksville, TN • Governors Stadium (10,000)
Clarksville, TN – Since rejoining the Ohio Valley Conference the Governors own a 2-1 record against Southeast Missouri. However, both wins came in Cape Girardeau, MO, including last season’s 24-14 decision. Two seasons ago the Redhawks rallied from a 10-point second-half deficit to defeat the Governors, 33-30, in Governors Stadium, in the season finale.
Austin Peay enters the contest on a two-game losing streak. The Govs have endured no worse than a three-game losing streak in five of the last six seasons.
Southeast Missouri moved into the national rankings last week (now No. 18 in The Sports Network/Fathead.com poll and No. 20 in FCS Coaches Poll) for the first time since the 2003 season. SEMO comes to town with its longest winning streak (five games) since 1989.
Austin Peay comes into the game ranked 109th (out of 117 teams) or higher in three defensive categories–rushing defense (114th/243.20 ypg), total defense (110th/454.40 ypg) and scoring defense (109th/37.80 ppg). Meanwhile, Southeast Missouri comes to Clarksville with the No. 3 rushing offense (277.33 ypg) and the No. 35 total offense (380.50 ypg).
Austin Peay enters Saturday’s contest with a 93-162-2 OVC record (36.6 percent) compared to 51-96 (34.7 percent) by Southeast Missouri.
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.
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.
Redhawks To Watch
Henry Harris ranks fourth in FCS rushing, averaging 144.7 yards per game and 868 yards for the season. He has enjoyed five straight 100-yard rushing games, including 188 yards rushing on 29 carries against Tennessee State, Saturday. He also ranks first in FCS statistics averaging 227.0 all-purpose yards per game. Quarterback Matt Scheible also rushed for more than 100 yards (128) against Tennessee State. He has completed 61 of 93 passes (65.6 percent) for 619 yards and three TDs. Senior wide receiver Miles Edwards has 14 catches for 208 yards.
Free safety Tylor Brock has four interceptions, tied for the OVC lead, and 32 overall stops. Linebacker Justin Woodlief leads the Redhawks with 44 tackles…fellow linebacker Darrick Borum has 30 stops, including seven tackles for loss. Included in that number are four quarterback sacks. Borum also had an interception, forced two fumbles and recovered two others.
Setting The Scene
The Series: APSU trails the series, 6-8
Last Meeting: October 10th, 2009: Austin Peay 24, Southeast Missouri 14
The Govs rejoined the OVC 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 were 4-7 overall. The Govs are picked to finish tied for seventh in 2010…Meanwhile, Southeast Missouri was picked to finish tied for seventh with the Govs in the OVC after going 2-9 (1-7 OVC) a year ago. However, this year the Redhawks completely have turned it around, including a stunning win at perennial Missouri Valley power SIU, 24-21. SEMO now has its first five-game winning streak since moving up to Division I-AA /FCS in 1991.
Running back Ryan White, the 2009 OVC rushing leader, rushed for 86 yards on 18 carries against Tennessee Tech. He bounced back from a seven-yard rushing performance against Wisconsin, Sept. 25. White has had one 100-yard rushing performance so far this season, that (112 yards) coming against Tennessee State, September 18th. That also was White’s eighth career 100-yard rushing performance.
After the first four weeks, the Govs were efficient in the Red Zone, scoring 9 times in 10 opportunities, including four TDs and five field goals. However, APSU only scored twice in four chances in the Red Zone against Tennessee Tech while the Golden Eagles responded with four Red Zone scores, including three TDs, in five chances against APSU’s defense.
Sophomore wide receiver Devin Stark has been nothing but versatile this season. At Tennessee State, September 18th, he carried the ball on a reverse for 13 yards. In the season opener, he threw the Govs’ first TD pass of the season, a 30-yard strike. He also had five catches for 109 yards, including a 41-yard catch at TSU. Against Tennessee Tech, he also had five catches for 52 yards, including a spectacular fourth-down five-yard TD reception from Jake Ryan late in the first half.
After catching just one total pass in the season’s first two games, Adrian Mines, the Govs’ leading receiver the past two seasons, had 7 catches for 84 yards against Tennessee State, including the seven-yard snag and stretch for the game-winning TD with 40 seconds left. He also had five catches, including an eight-yard TD reception against Tennessee Tech.
Sophomore quarterback Jake Ryan, after setting career highs for TD passes (2), yards (224), and completions (16) at Middle Tennessee, enjoyed a strong performance against Tennessee State. He completed 13 of 21 passes for 178 yards and one TD. He was a perfect 4-for-4 for 49 yards on the game-winning drive, including the TD pass to Adrian Mines. Ryan then broke his own personal best for completions with 17 (25 attempts) against Tennessee Tech.
After not allowing a sack in the season’s first two games, the Govs offensive line permitted two sacks to the Tennessee State formidable front and two more at Wisconsin. However, the Govs failed to permit a sack to Tennessee Tech and rank tied for 12th in the nation in that category.
In throwing two TD passes at Middle Tennessee, it represented the first time in Jake Ryan’s career that he tossed multiple TD passes in a game. He matched it with two scoring tosses against Tennessee Tech.
After forcing eight turnovers in the first two games, the Govs defense has been unable to force a turnover in the last three games.
Sophomore linebacker Zac Burkhart returned to the starting lineup after missing four games with a torn ulnar collateral ligament. He finished with eight tackles, including a sack. He also had an interception return for a TD that was called back because of a penalty.
Free safety Antwaun Majors led the Governors in tackles against Tennessee Tech with nine. It is the second straight game Majors either has led or been the co-leader. He had eight tackles at Wisconsin.
Defensive tackle Steven Johnson returned to the starting lineup against Tennessee Tech after sitting out the Wisconsin contest with shoulder issues. However, Johnson reinjured his shoulder in the second half against Tennessee Tech. He left the game with five tackles.
True freshman were responsible for 16 of the Governors’ 79 tackles against Tennessee Tech, led by freshman cornerback Tyreon Clark’s five stops and defensive end Iosua Siliva’s four.
In two games against FBS teams, the Governors permitted 654 yards to Middle Tennessee and 618 to Wisconsin.
Safety Jeremy Ross, the OVC Co-Defensive Player of the Week for his three fumble-recovery performance at Middle Tennessee, had seven first-half stops, including being involved in a quarterback sack against Tennessee State. He finished with nine tackles. He had seven tackles, including the team’s only sack, against Wisconsin. He had four stops against Tennessee Tech, including a tackle for loss.
Freshman defensive end Preston Gilbreath, in his third college start, recorded his first career quarterback sack late in third quarter against Tennessee State. He had four stops, including a tackle for loss against Wisconsin.
Special Team Notes
Sophomore kicker Stephen Stansell is a perfect 10-of-10 on extra-point attempts and 8-of-10 on field goal attempts so far this season. Stansell endured only his season’s second miss Saturday against Tennessee Tech when he missed on a 31-yard first-quarter attempt.
Senior Ryan Key enjoyed another outstanding punting day against Tennessee Tech. He finished with three punts for a 47.0-yard average. He was named honorable mention punter performer by the College Football Performance Awards. It was the fifth straight game he has averaged 40 yards or more per punt. He currently is averaging 43.7 yards per punt to rank sixth in the country. APSU’s single-season best punting average is 40.9 yards per punt, set by Reid Barr in 1986.
Sophomore placekicker Stephen Stansell was one of 32 kickers who received September recognition for the Fred Mitchell Award. The annual Fred Mitchell Outstanding Place-Kicker Award (also known as the Fred Mitchell Award) is provided to the nation’s top collegiate place-kicker among more than 600 Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), Division II, III and NAIA football teams. Stansell was one of 11 FCS placekickers to be recognized along with eight Division II, 10 Division III and three from NAIA.
Kicker Stephen Stansell, who tied a school record with four field goals as the Govs rallied for a 26-23 win against Tennessee State, September 18th, was named FCS College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) Placekicker Co-Performer of the Week. The 5-11, 183-pound sophomore from Athens was a perfect 4-for-4 on the day against TSU at LP Field, scoring 14 of APSU’s 26 points. The four field goals tied the school record originally set by Tom McMillan, September 5th, 1987, at Kansas State.
In four games Stansell has recorded five touchbacks on kickoffs. In 27 kickoffs, the opponents average field position after kick is the 30-yard line.
Earlier this season senior punter Ryan Key boomed a career-best 70-yard fourth-quarter punt at Middle Tennessee. It was the Govs’ longest punt since Jaime Iracheta booted one 65 yards against Morehead State, September 4th, 1997.
College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) named Ryan Key honorable mention Punter Performer of the Week after he averaged 44.7 yards per punt, including a 70 yarder, at Middle Tennessee. September 11th. The 44.7 average was the second best of his career.
With his eight combined returns at Wisconsin, Holt set the FCS record for total kick (kick + punt) returns. He now has 212.
All-America kick returner Terrence Holt has chalked up at least 1,100 yards in kickoff returns in each of his three previous seasons. He has 545 yards in kick returns entering this week’s game.
Senior linebacker Ricky Thomas has blocked six kicks during his career, including three last season.