November 5th, 2011 • 1:00pm CDT
Clarksville, TN • Governors Stadium (10,000)
Clarksville, TN – This Saturday’s game with Central State will be Senior Day. It marks the last home performance for eight Govs’ seniors: safety Amius Smith, running back Ryan White, wide receiver Scott Thomas, offensive lineman Devon McVea, offensive tackle James Barker, offensive tackle James Washington, center Tim Schmid and long snapper Nick Newsome.
The 19-10 loss to Eastern Illinois was APSU’s fourth straight loss. Austin Peay is amidst its fourth straight season in which it has lost three or more games.Austin Peay finished October with a 1-4 record. The Govs are now 1-8 in the month of October over the past two seasons.
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 beat 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.
Marauders To Watch
Senior quarterback Jeff Brooks has thrown for 1323 yards, completing 49 percent of his passes. He ran for two scores against Kentucky Wesleyan. Running back Darryl Conley rushed 91 yards against Kentucky Wesleyan while Terrell Clements added 68. Linebacker Darius Wilson entered the Kentucky Wesleyan game ranked fourth in Division II in tackles, averaging 11.86 per contest.
Linebacker Robert Martin has had four double-digit tackle performances and is ranked in the Top 25 in both tackles and tackles for loss–he had a tackle for loss against Kentucky Wesleyan. Defensive back Wayne Matthews picked off a pair of passes against Kentucky Wesleyan.
Setting The Scene
The Series: First Meeting
Last Meeting: N/A
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 were picked to finish ninth in the 2011 OVC Preseason Poll. Meanwhile, Central State is a Division II independent, but will be joining the Great Lakes Valley Conference as an associate football member in 2012. The Marauders are coached by former Alabama star and longtime NFL linebacker E.J. Junior. They snapped an 18-game losing streak just last Saturday by downing Kentucky Wesleyan, 36-0.
Senior running back Ryan White rushed 23 times for 115 yards against Eastern Illinois. It was the 13th time in White’s career he rushed for more than 100 yards. It also was the second straight game he has accomplished that feat and third this season. White has rushed for 100 or more yards three times in his career against Eastern Illinois.
Freshman quarterback Landon Curtis made his first career start against Eastern Illinois. He completed 14 of 30 passes for 111 yards. He drove the Govs for a game-opening score, going 71 yards in 11 plays.
Junior running back Wesley Kitts rushed for 86 yards on 11 carries against the Panthers. His 37-yard third-quarter run was the game’s longest rush.
Junior wide receiver Devin Stark lined up at quarterback at a couple of occasions on Saturday. He opened up the second Govs’ series in the “Wildcast” formation and rushed nine yards on his only carry. Stark was an all-region quarterback in Memphis.
Junior quarterback Jake Ryan suffered a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee against Southeast Missouri and missed the EIU contest. His status is considered week-to-week.
With his 148-yard rushing performance against Southeast Missouri, Ryan White moved past John Ogles and Jay Bailey into second place in career rushing (he now has 3,172). His predecessor, Chris Fletcher (4,688) is the all-time leader.
The Govs opening drive against SEMO went a season-long 95 yards on 13 plays, eating up 6:46 on the clock. It was Austin Peay’s longest touchdown drive since they drove 99 yards in 11 plays against Illinois State, September 9th, 2009.
Junior wide receiver Devin Stark has five TD pass receptions, the most by a Govs’ receiver since Lanis Frederick had seven in 2006.
Senior wide receiver Scott Thomas has a career-best 24 receptions along with a career-high 264 receiving yards.
Jake Ryan threw for a career-high 314 yards on 21-of-41 passing, including two TDs against Tennessee State, October 8th.
When Jake Ryan threw for 314 yards against Tennessee State it was the first time a Govs quarterback threw for more than 300 yards in a game since Mark Cunningham’s 308-yard performance,
A week after freshman wide receiver Darryl Clack caught his first career TD pass–a 72 yarder against Tennessee State–another freshman, Jamaar Embry, was on the receiving end of his first career TD catch,a 10 yarder from Jake Ryan against UT Martin, October 15th.
Senior running back Ryan White now is seventh all-time in career all-purpose yardage with 3,563 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 the first TD reception in his four-year career.
After permitting 105 points in the first half of their current four-game losing streak, the APSU defense has allowed just 36 points overthe last two games.
The Govs rank eighth in the OVC in sacks. After failing to record a sack in the previous three games, the Govs recorded two against Southeast Missouri. However, they failed to record a sack against Eastern Illinois.
Austin Peay intercepted two passes against Eastern Illinois, giving them just five on the season.
Despite allowing just 19 points to EIU, Austin Peay ranks eighth in the OVC in scoring defense (36.4 ppg).
Sophomore linebacker Josh Carroll led the Govs in tackles with nine against Eastern Illinois.
Sophomore conrerback Sheldon Wade was credited with his second career interception against Eastern Illinois. In fact, fellow sophomore starter Stevin Ragin also had an interception, his second of the season.
Junior free safety Antwaun Majors still leads the Govs in tackles with 63, followed by Amius Smith (59). Majors has had a team-best three double-digit tackle efforts this season.
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 recording nine tackles for loss 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.
With five tackles against Memphis, senior weak safety Amius Smith surpassed the career 200-tackle mark. He now has 240.
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 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
Over the past four games, freshman punter Ben Campbell is averaging 39.5 yards per punt, with two punts over 50 yards, two more downed inside the 20 and five being fair caught. Eastern Illinois returned two punts against him for just three yards.
When junior placekicker Stephen Stansell connected on a 21-yard second-quarter field goal against Eastern Illinois, it gave him three straight field goals. That streak ended when he narrowly missed a 60 yarder right before half. He then had a 52 yarder blocked in third quarter.
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.
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, October 8th. It was APSU’s first defensive extra point conversion since Tyrone Wilson returned a blocked kick against Western Kentucky, September 21st, 1996.
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.
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.
Stephen Stansell had a new holder in 2011 as quarterback Jake Ryan took over for the graduated T.C. Jennings. With Ryan out, backup placekicker Walter Spears is handling the chore. Meanwhile, Nick Newsome is in his fourth season as the Govs 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 each game since.