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Clarksville, TN – After failing to play a Southeastern Conference opponent in its first 76 seasons of football existence, Austin Peay will play its second in as many weeks when the Governors travel down the road to Nashville, 6:30pm, Saturday, to play Vanderbilt in Vanderbilt Stadium.The Governors come in after a 45-0 defeat at Tennessee to open the 2013 season. Vanderbilt, meanwhile, is coming off an excruciating 49-45 home loss to Ole Miss. With the game being played a week ago Thursday, one good thing is the Commodores have had a few extra days to get over the disappointment.
This is a Vandy team, however, that posted a 9-4 record—the most wins since World War I—in 2012 and are coming off a back-to-back bowl appearances, including a drubbing of Tennessee last season.
“Tennessee and Vanderbilt are similar in some ways,” APSU coach Kirby Cannon said. “Offensively, though, they have evolved into a more two-back, H-back running team. That’s different than Tennessee. They throw it just as well as Tennessee, but a more spectacular player in (Jordan) Matthews on the outside who is going to be a match-up issue for everyone they play.
“Defensively, they want to control the run up front. They are conservative in the secondary and don;’t blitz a whole bunch. Neither did Tennessee. There is more similarity on defense than on offense.”
After playing in front of 97,000 people a week ago, the Vanderbilt crowd (Vanderbilt Stadium capacity is 40,350) should not be an issue as far as nerves and communication issues are concerned.
“The Tennessee environment was incredible and served to focus us more than distract us,” Cannon said. “It is also Vanderbilt, which is a very good football team. Playing in front of 95,000 was something but playing in front of 45,000 is pretty good. I think our players are enjoying playing at that level.”
After getting off to a slow start offensively, the Governors offense settled down with a couple of impressive double-digit play drives, one resulting in a missed field goal and a second that ended with an interception. Head coach Kirby Cannon his team will display expected improvement in Week 2.
“I think some our areas stood up well in the first game, but you want to see improvement in those areas as well. I don’t think Ben Campbell can have a better day (45 yards per punt) than he did. Our punt protection was really solid. Special teams generally were very good, except for the long return at the start of the second half. And that had to do with more on where we kicked it from (20-yard line).
“I think we will be an improved football team and I think we will be an improved staff as well.”
Austin Peay led the OVC in fewest sacks allowed with just 10 in 11 games in 2012. In fact, that number was two better than Jacksonville State and UT Martin. However, in the season opener against Tennessee, the Governors permitted a pair of sacks.
Austin Peay Player of the Game junior Darryl Clack made three catches for a career high 80 yards against Tennessee, including a 35 yarder.
After starting the contest 0-for-3 with an interception, junior quarterback Andrew Spivey completed eight consecutive passes, four coming in a drive that put the Govs inside the red zone for the first time in the second quarter. He finished the night 11 of 22 for 94 yards.
Although he threw just four passes, completing two for 38 yards, redshirt sophomore Jacob Sexton led the Govs on a 14-play, 72-yard drive that ended in an interception at the Tennessee 16. Sexton finished the night second on the team in rushing with 25 yards on seven attempts.
Although he didn’t start, fifth-year senior Tim Phillips led the Govs in rushing with 38 yards on eight attempts against Tennessee. Bothered by an injury, Phillips’ availability was a game-time decision.
Playing in his first game as a Governor, fifth-year senior Leron Eaddy, a transfer from Central Michigan, tied with fellow safety Johnathan Shuler for the Governors’ tackles lead with seven against Tennessee. Eaddy joined his former position coach, Kirby Cannon, at APSU after gaining his undegraduate degree in August.
Making his first career start at linebacker, senior Josh Owens finished the Tennessee game with six tackles.
Playing his first college game, walk-on defensive end Nii Lartey collected a pair of tackles for loss, totalling 12 yards against Tennessee. Lartey is a former prep teammate of running back of Ean Pemberton at Grayson High School in Loganville, GA.
Senior linebacker Craig Salley was credited with the Govs’ first sack of 2013, that coming early in the fourth quarter of the game at Tennessee.
Special Teams Notes
For a third straight season Ben Campbell is the Austin Peay punter. The Johnson City, TN native displayed much improvement in 2012, averaging 38.7 yards per punt–more than a yard better than the previous season. He had 20 punts downed inside the 20-yard line with 17 boots being fair caught. In the season opener against Tennessee, Campbell averaged 45.0 yards per punt, including a 51 yarder.
Redshirt freshman Evan Toby, of Maryville, serves as APSU’s kickoff specialist. Toby came to APSU a year ago from prep powerhouse Maryville High School.
Senior Michael Dunphy serve as APSU’s long snapper for a second straight season. A Long Beach, CA, native via Franklin, Tennessee, Dunphy will be backed up by freshman Reed Montgomery, from Bardstown, KY.
Governors Radio Network
WVRY 105.1 FM serves as the Governors Sports Network in 2013-14. David Loos, who also handles play-by-play for Lady Govs basketball and color for the Govs, is in his 12th season as football play-by-play voice while Van Stokes, a veteran broadcaster with a diverse background adds the color. Govs Game Day will begin one hour before game time followed by the pre-game show 30 minutes prior to kickoff each week.
The APSU-Vanderbilt game, 6:30pm, Saturday, will be telecast live by CSS, the 24-hour sports channel that covers 12 southern states. It also will be available on ESPN3.
Play-by-play: Matt Stewart
OVC Digital Network
All Ohio Valley Conference football games plus home non-conference contests will be televised in HD by the new OVC Digital Network. The OVC is excited to offer LIVE and on-demand streaming video and audio straight to your computer, tablet or smart phone. APSU’s webcast is produced by APSU’s Mass Communications department.
Govs Social Media
All things related to Austin Peay Athletics can be found on Twitter @LetsGoPeay and through Facebook at www.facebook.com/apsugovs. For all your APSU athletics needs, be sure to visit www.LetsGoPeay.com
TopicsAndrew Spivey, APSU, APSU Athletics, APSU Basketball, APSU Football, APSU Men's Baseball, APSU Men's Football, APSU Sports, APSU Women's Baseball, Arkansas State, Austin Peay State University, BCS, Ben Campbell, Central Michigan, Chase Dunlap, Chattanooga, Cincinnati, Clarksville TN, Commodores, Craig Salley, CSS, Darryl Clack, David Loos, Ean Pemberton, Eastern Illinois, ESPN3, Evan Toby, Facebook, FBS, Franklin TN, Governors, Governors Radio Network, Govs, Jacksonville State, Jacob Sexton, Johnathan Shuler, Johnson City TN, Josh Owens, Kansas State, Kentucky, Kirby Cannon, Lady Govs, Leron Eaddy, Loganville GA, Long Beach CA, Maryville TN, Matt Stewart, Memphis, Michael Dunphy, Nashville TN, Neyland Stadium, Nii Lartey, Ohio, Ohio Valley Conference, Ole Miss, OVC, OVC Digital Network, Rick Christophel, SEC, Social Media, Southeastern Conference, Tennessee, Tennessee Volunteers, Tim Phillips, Twitter, UT Vols, UT-Martin, Van Stokes, Vanderbilt, Vanderbilt Stadium, Virginia Tech, Volunteers, Walter Spears, World War I, WVRY 105.1 FM
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