APSU Sports Information: APSU Football
Clarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University’s football team has had two weeks to resolve issues that arose in a season-opening loss to Cincinnati.
After a bye week, the Govs head to Memphis’ Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, 6:00pm, Saturday, to play a Tigers team that is experiencing some of the same issues.“We have had two good weeks of work, I am anxious to see how much we have improved,” APSU coach Rick Christophel said.
This is the first meeting between the two Tennessee teams since 1957. Austin Peay has never won a game in the previous six meetings, including five in Memphis. However, this will be the Govs’ first game in the Liberty Bowl-the first one was played at the Fairgrounds in 1937 and the remaining four were played at Crump Stadium.
This is Govs’ second straight Football Bowl Subdivision foe and for them to achieve their first win against an FBS team since 1987 (Kansas State, 26-22), they must make significant improvements on defense. In the opener, Cincinnati gashed the Governors for more than 561 yards total offense, including 390 on the ground, in the 72-10 contest.
“We had so many areas we needed to improve on,” APSU coach Rick Christophel said, “that we had to go back and do some fundamental things, especially on defense…things like tackling, making sure we are getting aligned right, improving our angles. ”
Memphis, meanwhile, feels the Govs pain. The 0-2 Tigers have been gouged for 106 points in the season’s first two games, including 47 last week by Arkansas State. Defensive coordinator Jay Hopson resigned this week.
“This game will be a good measuring stick for us,” Christophel said. “Memphis also is a program that is going through a transition period. They are an FBS school-they have athletes. Memphis has 24-25 more scholarships than we have so it is not like they don’t have good football players. They are working to get better-I know they have gone to work on fundamentals and they are going to be a good football team this week.”
Although the Govs’ defense had its issues at Cincinnati, the offense also had problems. APSU lost three fumbles-one coming on special teams-and two interceptions, both bouncing off would-be receivers hands.
“Offensively this week our focus has been taking care of the football and taking advantage of scoring opportunities when they presented themselves,” Christophel said. “You just can’t have that many turnovers and be a successful football team.”