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Austin Peay (0-8, 0-5) at Tennessee State (3-4, 0-4)
Saturday, October 31st, 2015 | 2:00pm
Clarksville, TN – Down I-24 goes the Austin Peay State University football team this weekend, set for a 2:00pm, Saturday, start at Hale Stadium against Tennessee State.
The Govs (0-8, 0-5 OVC) and Tigers (3-4, 0-4 OVC) enter play as the only two OVC teams still seeking a conference victory, although Austin Peay’s motivations run deeper—the Governors seek to put an end to their Division I-high 35-game road losing streak, which stretches back to their 2010 meeting with Tennessee State at then-LP Field (now Nissan Stadium).A win also would secure their first victory in the Alvin C. York series since 2012. However, that is the only road victory for Austin Peay in eight contests in Nashville—the Governors still seek their first-ever victory at ‘The Hole’.
It will be defense that carries the Governors, and it’s a defense that rose to the occasion last week against Jacksonville State. In a 27-7 loss, the Governors ended a 13-quarter scoring streak for the nation’s top team and shut out the Gamecocks after halftime—the first time Jacksonville State has been shut out in the second half since the 2014 FCS playoffs against Sam Houston State.
Kendall Morris‘ 436 rushing yards are sixth-best in the conference, but he has been limited to six carries for 11 yards in his last two games due to nagging injuries. The Governors air attack has been stagnant as well, with only one APSU quarterback breaking the century mark in passing yards since the season’s third week (Trey Taylor, 104 yards, at Murray State).
The Tigers struggling ground game (3.3 ypc as a team) is buffeted by two solid quarterbacks in Ronald Butler (813 yards, 8 touchdowns) and O’Shay Ackerman-Carter (57.1 completion percentage, 5/2 TD/INT ratio).
Ackerman-Carter has missed time this season due to injury but was the STATS FCS National Freshman of the Week after his Week Two performance against Jackson State.
As a team, Tennessee State has a nose for the ball—the Tigers have lost just one fumble on the season (tops in the conference and third nationally) and have recovered seven fumbles by opponents, second-most in the OVC. And despite their issues running the ball, the Tigers 32:47 average time of possession mark leads the conference and ranks 18th nationally.
Scouting the Tennessee State Tigers
Regardless of who lines up under center—Ackerman-Carter has taken snaps this week and appears to be set to play Saturday—the No. 1 receiving option is Patrick Smith. The sophomore from Memphis leads Tennessee State with 35 catches for 656 yards and seven touchdowns, the 10th-best single-season mark in TSU history—and the Tigers still have four games to play.
Rodney Edwards serves as Tennessee State’s answer to Matiere-Bey on defense. The defensive tackle from Gadsden, Alabama has 31 tackles (8.0 TFL) and a pair of fumble recoveries, tops in the OVC.
Last Time Out Against Tennessee State
Taylor’s decent passing day (8-of-17, 104 yards, 1 TD) was buoyed by another 14 carries for 49 yards and a score. His touchdown toss was to Rashaan Coleman, who finished with five catches for 54 yards and a score.
Keep An Eye On
Head coach Kirby Cannon and Van Stokes preview the Govs trip to Tennessee State, Saturday.
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).
TopicsAdam Noble, Alvin C. York Trophy, Antonio Turner, APSU, APSU Athletics, APSU Football, APSU Governors Stadium, APSU Men's Football, APSU Sports, Austin Peay State University, Clarksville TN, David Kamara, Eastern Illinois, Fort Campbell, Gadsden AL, Governors, Govs, Jackson State, Kendall Morris, Kirby Cannon, Kyran Moore, memphis tn, Murray State, NCAA, Nicholis Matiere-Bey, Nissan Stadium, O'Shay Ackerman-Carter, Ohio Valley Conference, OVC, OVC Digital Network, Patrick Smith, Rashaan Coleman, Roderick Owens, Rodney Edwards, Ronald Butler, Sam Houston State, Tennessee State, Tigers, Trey Taylor, TSU, Van Stokes, William J. Hale Stadium
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