APSU Men’s Football
Clarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University’s football team will scrimmage for the first time this spring, Saturday morning, in Governors Stadium.
The Govs will hit the field 9:00am, with the scrimmage starting approximately 20 minutes later. APSU is planning on running somewhere between 75-80 plays in seven-play increments. The scrimmage will conclude APSU’s second week of spring practice.“We want to see how well we run around defensively,” APSU coach Rick Christophel said, “and how much we have improved stopping the run.
“On offense, we want to get the ball into the hands of guys who we think can make plays.”
Saturday’s scrimmage nears the midpoint of the Govs’ spring practice, limited to just 15 days by NCAA rule, with a maximum of 12 in pads.
“The kids are working hard and improving every day,” Christophel said. “There are a few guys that are out this spring because of injuries and there a few other guys we are holding out, but overall I am pleased where we are and what we have done so far.”
Christophel, in particular, has been impressed with the defensive line under the tutelage of Ryan Taylor.
“We are thin on the defensive line, but I have seen really good improvement,” Christophel said. “We only have seven guys practicing this spring, with two or three out. What that has done is helped guys, who were backups last fall, get more reps this spring.
“Offensive line is the same way. The offensive line is very young but we have seen some really, really good improvement. That also has allowed us to see our young running backs (Dontavious Brown and Ean Pemberton).”
The offensive line is transitioning to Tyler Trent, who recently was named as Steve Haywood’s replacement as offensive line coach.
“The biggest thing is Tyler knows the system,” Christophel said of the former Governors lineman. “I think it is going to take a season for them to get adjusted to his personality. It is going to take a spring to understand what is expected of him as a coach compared to a player. All in all it has been okay so far.”
Although Christophel has been able to gain increased practice times for a rather deep offensive line, quarterback is just the opposite. Junior Jake Ryan is the only quarterback on the roster at this point, although wide receiver Scott Thomas, a former prep quarterback, also has taken some repetitions at the position.
“Jake is getting better and better as we go along,” Christophel said. “the thing now, as we have said before, is for him to become a consistent football player. There are flashes when he is consistent and doing the right things that our offense runs very smoothly. As long as he continues to do that and plays within the confines of the offense we will improve and he will improve.”