Austin Peay (1-7) vs. Jacksonville State (6-1)
Saturday, November 1st, 2014 | 3:00pm CDT
Jacksonville, AL | JSU Stadium
Clarksville, TN – For the fourth time this season Austin Peay State University’s football team will face a ranked Football Championship Subdivision team when the Govs travel to Jacksonville State, 3:00pm, Saturday in JSU Stadium.
But this will be the first time the Governors will face a Top 10 team. Previously the Govs face No. 14/17 Chattanooga, No. 22/23 Illinois State and No. 18/19 Eastern Kentucky.The Gamecocks, considered a legitimate national title contender, are ranked No. 5 in both Sports Network and Coaches Poll. There is a reason why JSU is ranked so highly. After losing their opener to Michigan State, the Gamecocks have reeled off six straight victories, including a 4-0 Ohio Valley Conference mark.
In last Saturday’s win against Tennessee Tech, the Gamecocks scored 35 second-quarter points. They also are just one of three FCS teams to have rolled up 600 yards or more total offense in a single game this season. They are sixth in FCS in rushing (265.4 yards per game). On the flip side, the Gamecocks forced six turnovers at Tennessee State earlier in the month and they are third in FCS in third-down defense.
In other words, JSU brings incredible balance to the field. It is averaging nearly 35 points per game offensively. The Gamecocks have three running backs with 400 or more yards rushing, including DaMarcus James, who was the OVC Preseason Player of the Year. Quarterback Eli Jenkins has completed 65 of 107 passes for 851 yards and six TDs. Receiver Josh Barge has caught 32 passes for 490 yards and three scores.
Defensively, the Gamecocks have achieved 17 sacks and picked off eight passes, led by Jermaine Hough’s four. Linebacker Ben Endress has 61 stops, including six for loss.
That’s the club the battered young Govs will face Saturday. After downing Murray State, 20-13, two weeks ago, the Governors dropped a 37-7 decision at UT Martin last week. In fact, the Govs left that game with several injuries.
The three freshmen who played key roles in the Murray State victory—running back Otis Gerron, quarterback Mickey Macius and wide receiver Jared Beard—never played a down in the second half. The Govs also ended that contest minus two starters in the secondary. APSU could be minus at least three starters when it travels south.
APSU heads to JSU attempting to end a 29-game road losing streak dating back to September 18th, 2010. The defense played well early, allowed just one first-quarter TD, but that was as a result of a turnover deep in Govs territory. But the offense’s inability to gain any first-half traction finally saw the defense wear down.
Junior linebacker Adam Noble continued his strong junior campaign with his second straight 10-tackle performance.