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Governors ready for OVC football opener this Saturday

 

APSU Sports Information: APSU Football
Eastern Kentucky vs. Austin Peay – September 24th – Governors Stadium – 6:00pm

Austin Peay State University GovernorsClarksville, TN – The last time Eastern Kentucky came to Clarksville, Austin Peay claimed its most monumental victory since returning to scholarship football.

In fact, that 24-20 victory in 2009 snapped a 22-game losing streak to the Colonels, dating back to the 1977 season.

The Governors would like nothing better than to repeat that victory 6:00pm, Saturday, against the Ohio Valley Conference’s most storied and successful program. It will be the two teams’ OVC opener while it also serves as the 0-2 Govs home opener.

APSU Men's Football. (Courtesy: Austin Peay Sports Information)

APSU Men's Football. (Courtesy: Austin Peay Sports Information)

The Colonels come in at 1-2, having narrowly lost to Kansas State in Week 1 before defeating Missouri State, 28-24, in Week 2. However, EKU incurred a rather rare home loss, to No. 14 Chattanooga, 23-14, last week.  

The Colonels bring one of the OVC’s staunchest defenses to Clarksville. In fact, the Colonels rank first in Football Championship Subdivision in tackles for loss per game (12.0) and fourth in fumbles recovered and 14th in turnovers gained. They are led by cornerback Jeremy Caldwell, a Buck Buchanan Award nominee for the FCS top defensive player. He also is one of the top return specialists in the league as well. Fellow defensive back Patrick McClellan was a second-team All-OVC selection a year ago.

Linebacker Tyson Patrick has 6.5 tackles for loss while fellow backer Ichiro Vance, who ranks second in the OVC in tackles per game (10.7), has five. The Colonels have five players ranked in the OVC Top 10 in tackles for loss.

Devin StarkOffensively, junior quarterback T.J. Pryor (29-50, 310 yards) is in his third season as a starter, with Tyrone Goard leading the way with 11 catches. Juco transfer running back Jeremiah Williams has rushed for 186 yards over the first three weeks.

The Govs lamented the loss to Memphis, a contest that saw them blow some early chances to take the lead before the Tigers reeled off 20 straight points.

Quarterback Jake Ryan threw for a career-best 245 yards in the loss, while junior receiver Devin Stark enjoyed his first 100-yard receiving game while catching a career-best nine passes. Senior running back Ryan White also had 87 yard rushing.

Jake RyanDefensively, the Govs showed marked improvement over the Cincinnati game, in particular in handling the run. However long pass plays contributed greatly to the Govs’ undoing.

“The key to this game is turnovers,” APSU coach Rick Christophel said. “We have to take care of the football-and we have to get some turnovers. It is hard to win when you have more turnovers than the opposition.

“We also have to continue to get better at stopping the run and we also have to eliminate the big plays.”


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