APSU Sports: Austin Peay Football
Clarksville, TN – It will be the offense versus the defense, 11:00am, Saturday, when Austin Peay State University’s football team holds its annual Red-White spring game at Governors Stadium.With Austin Peay down to one healthy quarterback, walk on Timarious Mitchell, the Governors coaching staff had to devise a scoring system that would be fair to both the offense and defense.
“It’s the best solution we came up with for the situation we are in,” APSU coach Kirby Cannon said. “I think it will be for both sides.”
The Governors were down to two quarterbacks prior to last Saturday’s scrimmage when freshman Gage Scurlock elected to leave the program. Then redshirt sophomore Jacob Sexton suffered a thigh injury during early action, leaving it in Mitchell’s hand for the scrimmage’s remainder.
In the first half, Saturday, the game will feature the first-team offense against he first-team defense as well as the second-team offense against the second-team defense. Two series will initiate from the minus-15 yard line followed by four from the minus-35 and two more from the plus-35 heading into halftime.
In the second half, the ones will face the twos with a matching sequence of series repeated from the first half.
The game represents a culmination of the Governors first spring practice under new head coach Kirby Cannon.
“We hope (in this game) to show the improvement in all the areas we wanted to emphasize this spring,” Cannon said. “We have come a long way since Day 1 already as far as our discipline, focus sand effort. Those are things that are issues with any football team, but in particular with this year’s version.
“There is enough talent in the room to be competitive and win games. But we need to show we can have the discipline to not jump offsides in a critical situation, have the discipline to throw the ball away or not to throw it in those situations. We still have need for that focus. I think our margin for error will be very small this fall. We need to make sure teams are beating us and that we are not beating ourselves.”
“We want our players to play as hard and fast as possible,” he said. “We have limited our offense and our defense so the players know exactly what to do. I hope that results in a culmination of those things on Saturday.”
The strength of the football team could be in the lines, although the offensive line has played without starting tackle Ben Stansfield and guard Chris Hartman much of the spring. On the defensive side, the Governors are working to increase consistency and avoid needless mistakes, like lining up in the neutral zone.
If the defensive line is not one of the team strengths, the people behind them certainly are. Josh Carroll has started for the last two years and is flanked by Craig Salley, who led the team in tackles (72) last season. Last year’s No. 2 tackler (68 stops), Steven Rich, has been converted to linebacker from safety. Senior Josh Owens, when healthy, has been a steady contributor at the position since his arrival while sophomore Adam Noble (35 tackles) may be the most improved player on the defense.
Offensively, Reco Williams and Terrence Oliver offer a little bit of smash and dash at the running back position.
The receiver position is still a position of uncertainty because of the inconsistency at quarterback during the spring. Returnee Darryl Clack has been out with a leg injury the latter part of the spring.
The scoring system will be as follows
APSU – Spring Game 2013
|*1st Down Coming Out (-10yd lline)||2|
|*3 and Out||1|
|*Stop Coming Out (-10yd lline)||2|
Note = Team cannot accumulate more than 7 points per drive