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HomeSportsAPSU Governors Football heads to Nashville to take on Vanderbilt Commodores

APSU Governors Football heads to Nashville to take on Vanderbilt Commodores

Austin Peay Sports Information

Austin Peay State University Governors - APSUClarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University football team closes out non-conference play with a major FBS opponent when the Govs travel to Vanderbilt, Saturday, for a 3:00pm contest against the Commodores at Dudley Field. The game will be aired on the SEC Network.

The contest will pit a winless Austin Peay squad against a winless Vanderbilt squad, but the Commodores have been fortunate to play each of their first three contests at home; Saturday will be the middle game of a three-game road trip for Austin Peay, set to conclude next weekend at Eastern Kentucky.

Austin Peay State University Football.
Austin Peay State University Football.

The Govs never found consistent offensive momentum last weekend at Southern Miss, with a 44-yard strike from Trey Taylor to Rashaan Coleman representing Austin Peay’s lone tally on the scoreboard in a 52-6 loss.

It’s been boom or bust for the Governors offense early in 2015; of Austin Peay’s 433 total offensive yards through two games, 31 percent of that tally has come on five plays: receptions by Wesley Thomas (24 yards), Jared Beard (23 and 22 yards) and Juwan Davis (23 yards) in the opener, and Coleman’s touchdown last week.

Austin Peay’s other 127 offensive plays this season have yielded an average of 2.3 yards per play.

Roderick Owens held his own against Southern Miss’ lanky, athletic receivers last week. The junior from Memphis, who led the Govs with three interceptions in 2014, snared his first 2015 pick and added two pass break-ups and four total tackles in defeat.

The Commodores suffered a 31-14 loss to 10th-ranked Georgia last week. Under second-year head coach Derek Mason, Vanderbilt looks to continue a run of recent success, with three bowl appearances in the last four seasons.

Scouting the Commodores

Sophomore quarterback Johnny McCrary keys the Commodore attack, ranking fourth in the SEC at 256.0 yards per game through the air. McCrary and the offense have worn down opposing defenses, controlling the ball and the clock with an average time of possession at 34:48.

Scoring woes aside, Vanderbilt has looked stout on defense through two games. The Commodores are allowing 175.0 ypg through the air, fourth-best mark in the SEC, and are allowing a conversion rate of just 25 percent (6-for-24) on third downs, also fourth in the conference.

This is the second season for Derek Mason as Commodores head coach, and similar to APSU head coach Kirby Cannon, he has a youthful roster; the Commodores have just nine seniors, the third-lowest figure in the nation among FBS schools.

Last Time Out Against Vanderbilt

In Cannon’s second game as head coach, the Governors trailed the Commodores by three at the end of the first quarter and shut Vanderbilt out after halftime, but surrendered 35 second-quarter points in a 38-3 loss.

Current Austin Peay assistants Leron Eaddy and Buddy Mitchell had five tackles each, with Mitchell returning an interception 21 yards. Tim Phillips’ 67 yards rushing paced the offense, buffeted by Julian Franklin‘s 39 yards on seven carries.

Keep An Eye On

  • In their last contest against an FCS foe, Vanderbilt barely held off Charleston Southern for a 21-20 victory, October 11th, 2014. However, it’s been quite a while since the Commodores lost to an FCS/I-AA squad—since September 22nd, 1979, in fact, when the Commodores fell to The Citadel, 27-14.
  • Junior Rashaan Coleman needs seven receiving yards for 500 in his career.
  • The Governosr offensive line skews younger this week, with a trio of true freshmen – Byron Glass at center and Ryan Rockensuess and Ethan Self at guard – slated to line up in the trenches.
  • Junior safety Damien Whitfield needs two tackles for 100 in his APSU career.
  • The Governors ground game has sputtered early, failing to crack 100 yards on the ground in the first two games—the first time that’s happened since the first two games of the 2013 season against Tennessee and Vanderbilt.
  • Hot and cold: After a respectable 7-for-15 on third down conversions in the opener against Mercer, the Govs staggered to a 2-for-16 showing at Southern Miss, and did not convert on third down until their final offensive possession of the contest.
  • The Govs offensive numbers have nowhere to go but up, ranking near the bottom of the NCAA in scoring (6.5 ppg, 107th), total offense (216.5 ypg, 102nd) and rushing offense (76.0 ypg, 98th) through two games.

APSU Govs Online

Check back at www.LetsGoPeay.com and on Austin Peay’s Official Athletics Facebook page often for up-to-date news about all Governor athletics, as well as the Governors football Twitter page (@AustinPeayFB).

Live stats will be available during the game at www.LetsGoPeay.com , and all home games and Ohio Valley Conference games can be viewed on www.ovcdigitalnetwork.com. Postgame video interviews and other videos from around APSU Athletics can be found on our YouTube page (www.youtube.com/CultureofExcellence).


Head coach Kirby Cannon talked with Van Stokes before the Govs match-up with Vanderbilt.


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