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Austin Peay Governors vs. Murray State

 

November 12th, 2011 • 1:00pm CST
Murray, KY • Roy Stewart Stadium (16,800)

Austin Peay State University GovernorsClarksville, TN – Last Saturday’s game with Central State was Senior Day. It marked 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 J.P. Washington, center Tim Schmid and long snapper Nick Newsome. After owning a school-record 26 seniors in 2009, the Govs had half that many (13) in 2010.

Devin Stark makes a spectacular catch for a touchdown. APSU Football.

Devin Stark makes a spectacular catch for a touchdown. APSU Football.

With its 40-0 victory against Central State, the Governors recorded their first shutout since November 1st, 2003, when they defeated St. Joseph’s, 17-0. However, it was APSU’s first shutout as a scholarship program since the 1986 season when the Govs defeated Middle Tennessee, 7-0.

When Austin Peay defeated Tennessee State, 37-34, October 1st, 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.

Racers To Watch

Junior quarterback Casey Brockman, a Walter Payton Award nominee, has thrown for 2,777 yards, including a 600-yard game earlier this season against Tennessee State. He has completed 66 percent of 394 passes and has tossed 22 TD passes. Ja-Vonta Trotter is the leading receiver with 42 catches for 487 yards while Walter Powell and Hannibal Beauford have 39 catches. Running back Mike Harris has rushed for 754 yards and nine TDs.

Linebacker Qua Huzzie, a transfer from Kentucky, was National Player of the Week for his effort against Eastern Kentucky. Middle linebacker Sam Small has a team-leading 89 stops. Defensive end Kevin Robinson has five sacks. Record-setting kicker/punter Kienan Cullen was OVC Specialist of the Week against Tennessee Tech

Setting The Scene

The Series: Austin Peay trails the series, 13-31
Last Meeting: Nov. 13th, 2010: Murray State 61, Austin Peay 35

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, Murray State, after a strong 2010 finish, was picked to finish second in OVC preseason poll, but are 3-3 in league play this season. The Racers are coming off a 38-37 road victory against then- OVC co-leader Tennessee Tech.

Offensive Notes

Ryan WhiteAustin Peay enters the game with a streak of scoring in 71 straight games. The Govs’ last shutout loss was at Drake, 54-0, September 24th, 2005.

Senior running back Ryan White rushed 20 times for 146 yards against Central State. It was the 14th time in White’s career he rushed for more than 100 yards. It also was the third straight game he has accomplished that feat and fourth this season.

Senior running back Ryan White enters the game with 868 rushing yards in 2011. If he can run for 132 yards over the final two games he will reach 1,000 yards for the second time. It also will be only the ninth 1,000-yard rushing achievement in APSU history.

Wes KittsIn totalling 407 rushing yards on 57 carries against Central State, he the Governors had four players rush for more than 50 yards—Ryan White-146, Wesley Kitts-85, Ean Pemberton-82 and Tee Howell-52.

The 57 rushing attempts against Central State was the most single-game Governors rushing attempts since October 24th, 2009 when they had 54 times carries against Eastern Kentucky.

The Govs’ 407 rushing yards against Central State was the first time APSU rushed for more than 400 yards in a game since November 23rd, 1996, when they had 554 yards against UTMartin.

Landon CurtisFreshman quarterback Landon Curtis made his first career start against Eastern Illinois. He completed 14 of 30 passes for 111 yards. He wasn’t quite as productive against Central State, completing 3-of-8 passing for 65 yards.

Over the last two games, junior running back Wesley Kitts rushed for 174 yards on 20 carries, averaging 8.7 yards per carry.

In his final home game, senior wide receiver Scott Thomas opened the game at quarterback–his prep position–and closed the contest at the same position. In fact, he ran for an APSU fourth-quarter score. The previous week junior wide receiver Devin Stark lined up at quarterback in the “Wildcat” formation against Eastern Illinois. Stark was an all-region quarterback in Memphis.

Scott ThomasJunior quarterback Jake Ryan suffered a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee against Southeast Missouri and missed the last two contests. 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 3,318). His predecessor, Chris Fletcher (4,688) is the all-time leader.

The Govs final scoring drive against Central State went 98 yards. It was the second time this season the Govs had a 95-yard or better drive. Against, SEMO, October 22nd, APSU went 95 yards on 13 plays to open the ball game.

Devin StarkJunior wide receiver Devin Stark has five TD pass receptions, the most by a Govs’ receiver since Lanis Frederick had seven in 2006.

Junior wide receiver Devin Stark has 42 receptions on the season, the most by a Gov since Lanis Frederick grabbed a career-best 70 in the 2006 season.

Jake Ryan threw for a career-high 314 yards on 21-of-41 passing, including two TDs against Tennessee State, October 8th.

Jake RyanWhen 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, October 28th, 2006, at Charleston, W.Va., meaning Ryan’s passing effort was the best by a Govs quarterback since returning to scholarship football.

Senior running back Ryan White now is sixth all-time in career all-purpose yardage with 3,709 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).

Tee HowellJunior 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.

Defensive Notes

After permitting 105 points in the first half of their current four-game losing streak, the APSU defense has allowed just 36 points over the last three games.

Amius SmithWhen Central State rushed for only 86 yards against the Governors, Saturday, it was the first time since October 24th, 2009 against Eastern Kentucky (83 yards)that Austin Peay has held an opponent to fewer than 100 yards rushing.

Although the Govs rank eighth in the OVC in sacks, they picked up a pair against Central State. In fact, both came from sophomore defensive end Iosua Siliva, his second and third career sacks.

A pair of youngsters, freshman safety Steven Rich (seven tackles) and walk-on sophomore linebacker Jared Sexton (six tackles) led APSU in tackles against Central State.

Antwaun MajorsAfter intercepting just three passes over the first seven games, Austin Peay has intercepted a pair in each of the last two games, giving them seven on the season.

Despite allowing just 19 points to EIU, Austin Peay ranks eighth in the OVC in scoring defense (36.4 ppg).

Sophomore defensive end Zach Lane, who had missed the last four weeks with a dislocated toe, returned to action against Central State and was credited with a pair of quarterback hurries.

Sophomore linebacker Josh Carroll led the Govs in tackles with nine against Eastern Illinois.

Rip RowanSenior weak safety Amius Smith tallied two straight double-digit tackle efforts against Jacksonville State (10) and Southeast Missouri (11).

Junior free safety Antwaun Majors still leads the Govs in tackles with 65, followed by Amius Smith (62). 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.

Steven RaginWhen 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.

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 249.

Reese BulmashSenior 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

Ben CampbellOver the past five games, freshman punter Ben Campbell is averaging 41.1 yards per punt, with four punts over 50 yards, three downed inside the 20 and five being fair caught. Central State failed to record a punt return against him.

Tee Howell’s 65-yard punt return touchdown against Central State was the first punt return for a score since November 14th, 2009, when Terrence Holt returned a punt 71 yards against Tennessee State.

Junior placekicker Stephen Stansell connected on a pair of field goals against Central State, giving him nine on the season. He has booted five field goals over the past three games. In fact, his only misses during the recent stretch have been from 60, 52 yards and 51 yards.

Ben Campbell averaged 48.8 yards per punt against Central State, making it the first time a Gov punter has averaged better than 45 yards per punt in a game since October 10th, 2010 when Ryan Key averaged 47 yards per punt against Tennessee Tech.

Stephen StansellStephen 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.

Nick NewsomeWhen 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.


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