October 15th, 2011 • 6:00pm CDT
Clarksville, TN • Governors (10,000)
Clarksville, TN – When Austin Peay defeated Tennessee State, 37-34, it allowed the Govs to open 2-0 in the OVC for the first time since 1977.
When APSU rallied from being down 27-6 to be at Tennessee State, October 1st, that 21-point deficit was the largest overcome by the Governors in school history. The previous largest deficit was 17 points, October 28th, 1978, when the Governors rallied from a 17-0 deficit to defeat Middle Tennessee, 28-17.
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.Austin Peay has allowed 691 passing yards in the last two games, including 387 by UT Martin, Saturday.
The Governors have permitted a special teams touchdown in each of the last two games, including a 76-yard punt return by UT Martin.
Defensive end Rip Rowan not only blocked an extra point in the third quarter against UT Martin, but he as well picked it up and ran 90 yards for the two-point defensive conversion.
Gamecocks to Watch
Former Georgia running back Washaun Ealey has rushed for 470 yards. Running back Calvin Middleton has 287 yards rushing. Sophomore quarterback Coty Blanchard took over for injured incumbent Marques Ivory in the opener has passed for 730 yards (60.6 percent passing) and has rushed for 219 more.
Wide receiver Trey Smith has caught two TD passes. Linebacker Rashad Smith has 37 tackles in five games, including 27 solo stops. Linebacker Clarence Jackson was named OVC Defensive Player of the Week for his effort against Murray State. He had three tackles for loss, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, an interception and blocked kick along with 20 tackles so far this season.
Defensive end Rodney Garrott and tackle Jamison Wadley each have five tackles for loss. Brooks Robinson has 24 stops. Kicker James Esco is perfect on four field goals so far this season.
Setting The Scene
The Series: APSU trails the series 6-12-3
Last Meeting: October 23rd, 2010; Jacksonville State 56, Austin Peay 3
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
2011 OVC Preseason Poll.
Meanwhile, Jacksonville State, which finished second a year ago in the OVC race, was picked to finish first in the league preseason poll. Since rejoining the OVC, the Govs and Gamecocks have played four times, with Govs losing all four previous games and being outscored 161-44.
Austin Peay has recorded 85 first downs over the last four games, including 20 against UT Martin.
After committing one turnover total in the previous two games, the Govs committed two in less than two minutes late in the second quarter at UT Martin.
Senior wide receiver Scott Thomas led the Govs with five catches for 64 yards against UT Martin. He now has 17 catches in five games this season, one less than his career-best 18 receptions a year ago.
With his three TD passes against UT Martin, Jake Ryan now has a career-best nine scoring tosses, two more than a year ago.
Jake Ryan threw for a career-high 314 yards on 21-of-41 passing, including two touchdowns against Tennessee State. As a result, Ryan jumped into seventh-place all-time for APSU career completions with 245.
When Jake Ryan threw for 314 yards against Tennessee State it was the first time a Governors quarterback threw for more than 300 yards in a game since Mark Cunningham’s 308-yard performance, October 28th, 2006 at Charleston, W.Va., meaning Ryan’s passing effort was the best by a Govs quarterback since returning to scholarship football.
Devin Stark is now ranked in the Top 20 in two receiving categories. His 6.75 receptions per game are tied for 14th best in FCS statistics while his 86.50 yards per game are ranked 20th best.
A week after freshman wide receiver Darryl Clack caught his first career TD pass–a 72 yarder–another freshman, Jamaar Embry, was on the receiving end of his first career TD catch,a 10 yarder from Jake Ryan. In addition, sophomore wide receiver/kick returner Kamron Johnson also caught his first career TD pass against the Skyhawks.
When Ryan White rushed for 132 yards on 27 attempts against Eastern Kentucky, September 24th, it was the senior running back’s 11th career 100-yard game and first of 2011. He now has 2,786 career rushing yards and needs just 206 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 is in 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 seventh all-time in career all-purpose yardage with 3,168 yards. Along the way, he passed the only two football Govs to have their respective jerseys retired, Harold “Red” Roberts (3,061) and John Ogles (2,960).
Junior quarterback Jake Ryan moved past his coach, Rick Christophel, in two career passing categories against Memphis, pass completions (Christophel had 175) and passing yards (Christophel had 2,073). Christophel played quarterback for APSU from 1971-74.
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).
After forcing five turnovers combined in the previous two games, the Govs failed to force a turnover against UT Martin.
APSU’s defense has permitted 300 or more yards passing in each of the last two games, including 387 by UT Martin.
Austin Peay’s defense has not recorded a sack in the last two games, spanning 63 pass attempts.
Sophomore linebacker Josh Carroll led the Govs in tackles at UT Martin with nine.
Sophomore defensive end Rip Rowan blocked an extra point and returned it for the defensive two-point conversion against UT Martin. He also had a tackle for loss and two quarterback hurries against the Skyhawks.
After two straight games with 11 tackles, junior free safety Antwaun Majors collected seven at UT Martin, including a team-high five solo stops. He had an interception against Eastern Kentucky and recovered what proved to be the game-turning fumble versus TSU.
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’ first interception this season. Junior safety Antwaun Majors later recorded the Govs’ second interception.
Junior free safety Antwaun Majors, who was the Govs’ co-leader in tackles a year ago, has led the Govs in tackles in three of the Govs five games, totalling 37 stops. He was OVC Defensive Player of the Week after tallying had 11 stops and one interception against Eastern Kentucky, September 24th.
Inside linebacker Josh Carroll had a productive night against Eastern Kentucky in his first college start. 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. He came back with eight tackles against Tennessee State, including one for loss.
APSU’s top three tacklers versus Eastern Kentucky, safety Antwaun Majors, linebacker Josh Carroll and end Earnest Smith, are former walk-ons who are now on scholarship.
With five tackles against Memphis, senior weak safety Amius Smith surpassed the career 200-tackle mark. He now has 219.
Sophomore tackle Reese Bulmash has taken over as the starting nose tackle in 2011 after serving as a reserve a year ago. The Marietta, GA, native’s back up is redshirt freshman Robbie Bryant, who played offensive line a year ago. Bulmash and Bryant were prep teammates at Sprayberry High School two years ago.
Special Teams Notes
Rip Rowan blocked an extra point and returned it nearly 90 yards for the two-point defensive conversion during the third period against UT Martin. It was APSU’s first defensive extra point conversion since Tyrone Wilson returned a blocked kick against Western Kentucky, September 21st, 1996.
Freshman punter Ben Campbell bombed punts of 53 and 57 yards against UT Martin and ended with his first 40-yard average (42.2 yards per punt).
Austin Peay has allowed a special teams touchdown in each of the last two games–a 100-yard kickoff return to Tennessee State and a 76-yard punt return by UT Martin.
Junior placekicker Stephen Stansell broke his streak of misses at three with a 46-yard field goal in the first quarter against Tennessee State. He proceeded to hit three straight, including the game winner from 35 yards out with 10.1 seconds left. As a result of his three field-goal effort against Tennessee State, Stansell was named OVC Specialist of the Week.
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.
The usually reliable Stephen Stansell missed three straight field goals, including missed both field goal opportunities against Memphis and then missed a 47 yarder against Eastern Kentucky. He also missed a 49 yarder against UT Martin.
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 double duty against Cincinnati. Freshman Ben Campbell took over at Memphis and has punted the last three games.