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Austin Peay (0-4, 0-1 OVC) vs. Eastern Illinois (0-3)
Saturday, October 4th, 2015 | 4:00pm CT
Clarksville, TN – At long last, Austin Peay State University football team returns home to the friendly confines of Governors Stadium for a 4:00pm, Saturday, contest against Eastern Illinois.
After a three-game road swing—where Austin Peay has not won since 2010—the Govs are back in front of the home fans against a winless Eastern Illinois squad facing its first 2015 Ohio Valley Conference opponent.However, Eastern Illinois’ struggles make sense when you look at the Panthers’ early schedule—they opened with road losses at Western Illinois (which has received votes in the FCS coaches and media poll) and FBS Northwestern (ranked 17th in the Amway Coaches Poll) before giving 2014 national FCS runner-up Illinois State everything it could handle in its first contest in Charleston.
Trailing by just nine points with two minutes remaining in the first half last week at Eastern Kentucky, Austin Peay’s fortunes turned when a pick-six followed by a fumble recovery deep in their own territory turned into 14 Colonel points in 1:19. The Governors never recovered in what would ultimately become a 51-13 loss, its fourth straight to Eastern Kentucky.
One bright spot from the EKU contest came in the form of the rushing game, which eclipsed the 100-yard barrier for the first time in 2015, thanks largely to freshman Kendall Morris‘ 15-carry, 75-yard performance included his first career touchdown run.
Although opponents put up 150 points in the last three contests, the Governors defense cannot be saddled with full blame. In the past three weeks, Austin Peay has incurred two interception returns for touchdowns and opponents have started 10 drives already in Governor territory.
Similar to Eastern Kentucky last week, the Governors will be facing a well-rested Eastern Illinois unit that enjoyed a bye last week; the Panthers last played on Sept. 19 in 34-31 overtime loss to fourth-ranked Illinois State.
Scouting the Eastern Illinois Panthers
Gone are the halcyon days of Jimmy Garoppolo and Erik Lora—these Panthers are a defense-oriented group that ranks in the Top-25 nationally in pass defense (25th, 181.7 yards per game) and tackles for loss (20th, 24). Dino Fanti and Kamu Grugier-Hill lead the Panthers with 3.5 tackles for loss apiece.
Offensively, diminutive Illinois transfer Devin Church has provided a spark every time he touches the ball, leading the OVC and ranking fourth in the NCAA with 193.3 all-purpose yards per game.
Last Time Out Against Eastern Illinois
Behind 159 yards passing and another 137 on the ground from Jalen Whitlow, Eastern Illinois handed Austin Peay a 63-7 loss, September 20th, 2014, in Charleston, IL. The Governors managed just eight total first downs and allowed 413 yards rushing—the 16th-largest total in FCS last season—to the Panthers.
Keep An Eye On
Postgame video interviews and other videos from around APSU Athletics can be found on our YouTube page (www.youtube.com/CultureofExcellence).
Radio • Governors Sports Network
OVC Digital Network
Govs on the Web
Head coach Kirby Cannon and Van Stokes talk Governors football as Austin Peay gets set for its first home contest in nearly a month when the Govs host EIU (4:00pm, October 3rd) at Governors Stadium.
TopicsAPSU, APSU Athletics, APSU Football, APSU Governors Stadium, APSU Men's Football, APSU Sports, Austin Peay State University, Braden Wood, Brian Rives, Charleston IL, Clarksville TN, Damien Whitfield, Devon Jones, Donovan Jackson, Eastern Illinois, Eastern Kentucky, Erik Lora, Ethan Self, Governors, Governors Sports Network, Govs, Illinois State, Jalen Whitlow, Jimmy Garoppolo, Kendall Morris, Kirby Cannon, Malik Boynton, Manny Bell, NCAA, Northwestern, Ohio Valley Conference, OVC, OVC Digital Network, Panthers, Rashaan Coleman, Roderick Owens, Van Stokes, Wesley Thomas, Western Illinois
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