APSU Men’s Football
Clarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University’s football team will scrimmage approximately 9:20am, Saturday.
However, if interested fans show up at Governors Stadium, they will be watching APSU’s track meet.
If they want to find the football scrimmage, they will have to venture out to Morgan Brothers Soccer Field.
For the first time since the former Austin Peay football practice field was converted into the home of the Lady Govs soccer team will APSU’s football team scrimmage on grass—APSU has used it for occasional practices in the past. The Tennessee Titans did use the soccer field for scrimmages when they were in Clarksville for training camp in 2006.“(APSU soccer coach) Kelly (Guth) is kind enough to allow us to use the field,” APSU coach Rick Christophel said. “I am kind of looking forward to it to see what happens. Of course, it is a wider field and we will have to some adjusting and we will use cones to mark off the field and the yard lines.”
Inclement weather and/or wet field conditions would prevent the scrimmage on the soccer field. If such occurs, the scrimmage would be moved back to Governors Stadium, Saturday night.
Other than the location and field adjustments, Christophel hopes his team will continue its focus on improving each day, something the Govs were not able to do to a great degree in Spring 2010. The Governors had so few numbers in spring practice a year ago because of a senior-dominated (26) roster from the previous fall.
“More than anything I want to see overall improvement of our football team and alignments,” Christophel said. “In the first scrimmage we didn’t have officials because of the potential weather problems. This time we will have officials so we know better how we are lining up.”
In watching video from last Saturday’s scrimmage Christophel’s belief was confirmed that his defense is showing marked improvement from last fall. A year ago spring, the Govs had so little secondary depth they had to slow their practice and scrimmage pace. Last fall, the Govs often times lined up with not only freshmen as the starting cornerbacks, but the reserves as well were first-year players as well.
Now both Sheldon Wade and Steven Ragin have a year’s experience under their respective belts. Another 2010 freshman, Tyreon Clark, is expected to rejoin the team during the summer. In addition, two-year starting safety Jeremy Ross has been moved to cornerback “to better take advantage of his athletic ability,” Christophel said.
The safety position is the only one in question this spring as two-year starter Amius Smith, along with offensive lineman James Barker, is not practicing because of “personal issues.”
Antwaun Majors, who started at free safety much of last season, provides experience as does Chris Taylor, who has moved from cornerback. Rising senior Delton Teeter also offers game experience along with EnRiques Perry, another first-year player who gained much playing time last fall.
“I really liked what I saw from our defensive front last Saturday, and when I say the front, I mean the front six—our linebackers and defensive linemen,” Christophel said. “We still have some things we need to take care of in the secondary, but we are getting better. We are doing some things that are going to help us.”
Offensively, Christophel again would like to see his two young running backs, redshirt freshman Ean Pemberton and sophomore Dontavious Brown along with junior Wesley Kitts build on last week’s performance. Rising senior Ryan White, a two-year starter, again will see limited action, Saturday.
Rising junior quarterback Jake Ryan again will gain most of the snaps behind center as wide receiver Scott Thomas will handle a few plays during the scrimmage.
“Jake continues to improve,” Christophel said. “I thought he had a very consistent scrimmage last week and took care of the football.”
Christophel anticipates the offensive evolvement to continue this week as the young running back and receiving corps continues to gain experience while a deep offensive line continues to acclimate itself to new coach Tyler Trent. Defensively, the Governors just want to better execute their assignments.
”Certainly being able to run the football Saturday is important,” Christophel said, “but we also want to get the ball into our playmakers’ hands.
“Defensively, our goal will be not to give up the big plays. For the most part, we did that last Saturday. If we can continue to cut down on those type mistakes we will continue to improve on that side of the football.”