Clarksville, TN – For the first time this productive preseason Austin Peay State University’s football team will scrimmage, 9:30am, Saturday, in Governors Stadium.
The scrimmage will be pre-formatted with series being run from the minus-35 yard line, the 50-yard line and the plus-35 yard line.In addition, the Governors will run series from inside their own 10-yard line along with the two-minute drill. Between 75-80 plays are expected to be run with the Governors’ first-team offense facing the first-team defense, followed by the second-team offense versus the second-team defense and the third-team offense against the third-team defense.
APSU’s kicking game will be interspersed appropriately.
“This will be our major evaluation scrimmage,” first-year Govs’ coach Kirby Cannon said. “We are going to look at all three units, with each working 24 plays at a minimum. From that we will begin to slot people on the depth chart for next week.
“The second scrimmage will be more of a sharpening and evaluation of the players but more so an evaluation of our plays and calls—how well our players can execute them. It will be more an evaluation of our playbook, what we need to refine for Tennessee game week.”
Cannon has seen steady progress from his program from the first week of spring practice to the Red-White game through the first day of preseason practice through two-a-days initial week. His team is starting to understand the expectations of the Govs head coach.
“We are on schedule,” Cannon said. “We are right where we want to be on our special teams installation; all our offense and defense base calls are in. We want to make sure the players in that first scrimmage are running calls they have total confidence in.“
Cannon says the Governors have not had any surprises surface in preseason simply because he expected some players to raise their performance level as practice progressed, especially some younger ones who may not have gained quantitative experience a year ago.
“I think you would call them confirmations,” Cannon said. “Players we thought would be ready to play and capable of being productive has held true.
“The key thing is we have not had any disappointments.”
As far as special teams are concerned, all kickoffs and punt returns will not be live during the scrimmage. Junior punter Ben Campbell returns for his third season handling those duties. Meanwhile, redshirt freshman Evan Toby is the leading candidate to handle the kickoff duties while junior Walter Spears and freshman Chase Dunlap will continue their battle, Saturday, for field goals and extra-point duties.