October 1st, 2011 • 6:00pm CDT
Clarksville, TN – A victory against Tennessee State, Saturday, would allow the Govs start 2-0 in the OVC for the first time since 1977.
The Govs-TSU match up will serve as each program’s first of the 2011 Sergeant York Trophy Series. In fact, Tennessee Tech is playing at UT Martin also in a Sgt. York Trophy game on Saturday.
After owning a school-record 26 seniors in 2009, the Govs had half that many (13) in 2010. This season the Govs have even fewer, eight.Junior free safety Antwaun Majors, who walked on in 2008, was named OVC Defensive Player of the Week after his 11-tackle, one-interception effort against Eastern Kentucky.
Devin Stark’s three TD catches against Eastern Kentucky were the most by a Gov since Darryl Miller had three against Tennessee Tech in 2008.
When Amius Smith tackled EKU running back Jeremiah Williams in the end zone during the first quarter, it represented APSU’s first safety since October 14th, 2008 against Murray State.
Tigers To Watch
Redshirt sophomore Trabis Ward had 20 carries for 98 total yards and a touchdown against Air Force. He has 283 rushing yards on the season. Preseason All-OVC running back Dante’ Thomas has 266 yard rushing, averaging 5.0 yards per carry. Freshman Mike German, making his first start at quarterback, completed just 6-of-17 passing against Air Force, but for 172 yards. He threw an 80-yard TD pass to Calvin McNairl, who also had an 18-yard catch.
Defensively, linebacker Rico Council, OVC Preseason Defensive Player of the Year, has accounted for 34 stops on the season, including 5.5 tackles for loss. He has 3.5 sacks on the season. Free safety Joseph Wylie has 28 stops plus an interception for the Tigers. Freshman nose tackle Samquan Evans has four tackles for loss, including two sacks. Placekicker Jamin Godfrey leads the OVC in field goals with seven and has scored 33 points.
Setting The Scene
The Series: APSU trails the series 5-8
The Govs rejoined the Ohio Valley Conference for football in 2007 after returning to scholarship football in 2006. The Govs finished eighth in the OVC a year ago with a 1-7 league mark and were 2-9 overall. The Govs are picked to finish ninth in the
Austin Peay enters the game with a streak of scoring in 65 straight games. The Govs’ last shutout loss was at Drake, 54-0, September 24th, 2005.
Austin Peay has recorded 41 first downs over the last two games, including 18 recorded 23 first downs against Memphis, Saturday, it was most first downs by the Govs since they had 24 in winning at Southeast Missouri, October 10th, 2009.
When the Governors held a 36:17-to-23:43 time-of-possession advantage against Eastern Kentucky, Saturday, it was APSU’s greatest possession advantage since it had a 36:42-to-23:18 advantage against EKU, September 27th, 2008 in a loss.
Eastern Kentucky entered Saturday’s with eight quarterback sacks while leading the nation in total tackles-for-loss per game (12.0). The Govs‘ offensive line limited the Colonels to just four tackles for loss and zero quarterback sacks, Saturday.
When Ryan White rushed for 132 yards on 27 attempts, it was the senior running back’s 11th career 100-yard game and first of 2011. He now has 2.733 career rushing yards and need just 259 yards to move into second place all-time behind Chris Fletcher’s 4,688 yards.
APSU’s two preseason All-Ohio Valley Conference selections are both on offense: senior running back Ryan White, who begins his third season as starting tailback, and junior center Tim Schmid, who has anchored the middle of the offensive line the last two seasons
Senior running back Ryan White now is eighth all-time in career all-purpose yardage with 3,019 yards. He moved pass APSU Hall of Famer John Ogles (2,960) and Henry Yarber (3,012 yards), Saturday night.
Junior quarterback Jake Ryan moved past his coach, Rick Christophel, in two career passing categories against Memphis. He is now eighth all time in pass completions with 206, passing Christophel’s 175. He also is now eighth in passing yards with 2,241. Christophel (1971-74) had 2,073 yards passing.
Jake Ryan set a career-best with his 245-yard passing effort against Memphis, the most passing yards by a Governor since Mark Cunningham threw for 261 yards in 2006. Ryan also set a personal best with 23 completions against Memphis.
Junior wide receiver Devin Stark set a personal best with a nine-catch, 109-yard effort against Memphis. It was his first career 100-yard receiving effort.
When Ryan White caught a 13-yard scoring pass from Jake Ryan with 4:55 left in the third quarter at Memphis, it was his first TD reception in his four-year career.
APSU’s offensive line has 81 career starts, led by center Tim Schmid (24), tackle James Barker (21), tackle J.P Washington (15), guard Jacob Langston (9), guard Chris Hartman (9), tackle Ben Stansfield (2) and tackle Michael Harrison (1).
Junior running back Wesley Kitts scored his first TD, a fourth-quarter eight-yard run against Cincinnati, since running for a TD in the season opener against Cumberland a year ago. Both his career TDs have come in the last two season openers.
After the Govs failed to record a sack in their season‘s first two games, they tallied four on the night against Eastern Kentucky.
After recording nine tackles for loss combined in the season‘s first two games, the Govs almost matched that number against Eastern Kentucky. They finished with eight, which was four more than Eastern Kentucky, the FCS leader in that category entering the contest.
When sophomore cornerback Steven Ragin intercepted a pass in the first quarter against Eastern Kentucky, it was the Govs’ APSU By The Numbers first interception this season. Junior safety Antwaun Majors later recorded the Govs’ second interception.
After permitting 387 yards rushing to Cincinnati in the opener, the Govs have permitted only 246 total yards on 74 carries over the last two games. Eastern Kentucky only gained 133 yards rushing against the Govs, Saturday. After playing the 2010 season with just two defensive starters back from the 2009 season, the Governors return nine starters in 2011. It would have been 10 starters had defensive end redshirt senior Preston Keck, who graduated in May, elected to play this season.
Austin Peay’s defense limited Eastern Kentucky to just 3-of-16 (18.8 percent) in thirddown conversions after permitting Memphis a 50 percent conversion ratio the previous week.
Junior free safety Antwaun Majors, who was the Govs’ co-leader in tackles a year ago, has led the Govs in tackles in each of the last two games, totalling 19 stops. The OVC Defensive Player of the Week had 11 stops and one interception against Eastern Kentucky.
Reserve inside linebacker Josh Carroll had a productive night against Eastern Kentucky. Not only was he the Govs’ second-leading tackler with nine stops, but he also was credited with 1.5 tackles for loss (one quarterback sack) and a quarterback hurry.
Local product Earnest Smith also enjoyed his best day as a Gov. The sophomore defensive end was credited with six tackles, including his first quarterback sack.
Austin Peay’s top three tacklers from Saturday, free safety Antwaun Majors, linebacker Josh Carroll and defensive end Earnest Smith, are all former walk-ons who are now on scholarship.
Although the Govs defense is more experienced in 2011, the depth chart still reveals much youth. In fact, only one senior, weak safety Amius Smith, is listed as a starter and only one other senior, reserve safety Delton Teeter, is listed on the depth chart.
With his five tackles against Memphis, senior weak safety Amius Smith now surpassed the career 200-tackle mark. He now has 205.
Austin Peay returns 8 of its top 10 tacklers from the 2010 season, including three Govs–linebacker Darrick Dillard (84), free safety Antwaun Majors (84) and weak safety Amius Smith (82). who had 80 or more tackles a year ago.
Senior safety Amius Smith was named to the Phil Steele Preseason All-OVC team as a linebacker. Smith led the Governors in tackles in the opener, with eight at Cincinnati.
Sophomore tackle Reese Bulmash has taken over as the starting nose tackle in 2010 after serving as a reserve a year ago. The Marietta, GA, native has as his backup redshirt freshman Robbie Bryant, who played offensive line a year ago. Bulmash and Bryant were prep teammates at Sprayberry High School two years ago.
Inside linebacker Zac Burkhart played for Gary Shephard at Clarksville Academy. Shephard rejoined the APSU staff as defensive line coach this summer.
Starting inside linebackers Zac Burkhart and Darrick Dillard have had interesting roads to their respective positions. Burkhart mainly was a quarterback and defensive back in high school at Clarksville Academy. Dillard, meanwhile, was signed to be a wide receiver/defensive back and appeared mostly as a wide receiver on the 2009 depth chart.
Sophomore defensive end Preston Gilbreath is following in the long-ago footsteps of Bonnie Sloan, the former two-time All-OVC (1971-72) defensive tackle who became the first deaf player to play in the NFL. The hearing-impaired Gilbreath, who started in the early stages of last season, played in all 11 games in 2010, finishing with 23 tackles. Gilbreath, who is aided by hearing aids in both ears, had two tackles for loss.
Special Teams Notes
Austin Peay limited EKU’s vaunted kickoff return game to just 44 yards on four kicks while the punt coverage team held the Colonels to 19 yards on four returns.
For a second straight season junior placekicker Stephen Stansell is on the Fred Mitchell Outstanding Placekicker nominee list and College Football Performance Awards Watch List. Stansell finished 2010 making 12 of 18 field-goal attempts, opening the season connecting on 8 of his first 9. Stansell connected on his only field-goal attempt, a 21 yarder with 1:10 left in the third period against Cincinnati.
When a botched snap prevented Stephen Stansell from attempting an extra point after the Governors only TD at Memphis, September 17th, it meant the APSU kicker failed to score in a game for only the second time in his career.
Stansell booted three field goals of 50 yards or more in 2010, setting an APSU record for most 50-yard field goals in a season. In fact, his 51-yard field goal against Wisconsin was Austin Peay’s only points and likewise against Jacksonville State when his 50-yard boot were the Govs’ lone points.
Stephen Stansell has a new holder in 2011 as quarterback Jake Ryan takes over for the graduated T.C. Jennings. Meanwhile, senior Nick Newsome is in his fourth season as the Governors starting long snapper.
With four-year starter and APSU record holder Ryan Key gone as the Govs punter, Stephen Stansell did doing double duty against Cincinnati. Freshman Ben Campbell took over at Memphis and has punted the last two games.
Graduated senior kick return specialist Terrence Holt set an NCAA record with four straight 1,000-yard kickoff return seasons. His successors, including Tee Howell and Terrence Oliver had a combined 67 yards between them entering 2011 at the college level.
Majors Earns OVC Defensive Award
The Mt. Juliet native was credited with 11 tackles, including seven solo stops, in Saturday night’s victory. The 5-10, 179-pound free safety also helped thwart an Eastern Kentucky drive by intercepting a fourth quarter pass at the Govs’ four-yard line.
TopicsAir force, Amius Smith, Antwaun Majors, APSU, APSU Athletics, APSU Football, APSU Men's Football, APSU Sports, Austin Peay State University, Ben Campbell, Ben Stansfield, Bonnie Sloan, Chris Fletcher, Chris Hartman, Cincinnati, Clarksville Academy, Clarksville TN, Colonels, Cumberland, Darrick Dillard, Darryl Miller, Delton Teeter, Devin Stark, Earnest Smith, Eastern Kentucky, Gary Shephard, Governors, Governors Stadium, J.P. Washington, Jacksonville State, Jacob Langston, Jake Ryan, James Barker, John Ogles, Josh Carroll, Marietta GA, Mark Cunningham, Memphis, Michael Harrison, Murray State, National Football League, NFL, Nick Newsome, Ohio Valley Conference, OVC, Preston Gilbreath, Reese Bulmash, Rick Christophel, Robbie Bryant, Ryan White, Scott Thomas, Sergeant York Trophy Series, Southeast Missouri, Stephen Stansell, Steven Ragin, Tennessee State, Tennessee Tech, Tigers, Tim Schmid, UT-Martin, Wesley Kitts, Zac Burkhart
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