Austin Peay (2-1) at UT Martin (0-3)
Saturday, September 22nd, 2018 | 2:00pm CT
Martin, TN | Hardy M. Graham Stadium
Clarksville, TN – The Austin Peay State University (APSU) football team begins its quest to repeat as the Sgt. York Trophy winner when it travels to UT Martin in its first Ohio Valley Conference matchup of 2018.
The Governors (2-1) set program records in points (78), touchdowns (11) and yards of offense (758) in their 78-40 victory against Morehead State last weekend.
The Govs currently rank eighth in the country in rushing yards, averaging 301.1 yards per game on the ground. It’s been a true team effort, as five players have more than 100 yards through the first three games, led by Kentel Williams’ 181, all of which came against Morehead State.
The Skyhawks (0-3) have played a tough schedule to start the year, with games at Missouri and Middle Tennessee, and a home game against Chattanooga. Quarterback Dresser Winn leads the OVC in passing yards (824) and touchdowns (7) through three games. He has eclipsed the 300-yard mark in the Skyhawks’ past two games.
In last year’s contest, APSU held off UT Martin, 7-0, in the first shutout victory in Will Healy‘s tenure as head coach. A 22-yard Terrius Callahan touchdown run in the second quarter proved to be the difference. The Govs defense forced a turnover and stopped the Skyhawks twice on fourth down in the fourth quarter.
Despite the Skyhawks’ record, Healy knows the Govs face a stern test on Saturday.
“Everybody knows what type of job Coach (Jason) Simpson does,” Healy said. “I think they’ve got great players: their quarterback’s a great player, they’ve got some wideouts that are great weapons on the perimeter. I think their backs are awesome.
“Defensively, I think (Kevin Prather Jr.) is one of the best in the (OVC) and seems to make every play on film. Their scheme is very difficult on both sides to be able to defend and go against (offensively). It will be a tough week going up to their place.”
The media and the coaches selected Austin Peay to finish second in their respective preseason OVC polls. The Governors have won five straight OVC games dating back to 2017, which is tied for 13th in the FCS for longest current conference win streak. It is the Govs’ longest conference win streak since 1980-81.
Saturday’s contest is the first in Austin Peay’s quest to repeat as the Sgt. York Trophy winner. In 2017, APSU swept its in-state conference rivals – UT Martin, Tennessee State and Tennessee Tech – to win its first Sgt. York Trophy since the award’s inception in 2007.
The Governors rushed for 518 yards against Morehead State, the third-highest total in program history. Kentel Williams led the way with 181 yards on just eight carries, while Jeremiah Oatsvall rushed for 117 yards on only five carries. They became the first pair of Gov teammates to rush for more than 100 yards in the same game since 2013.
In his first game of 2018, Williams set a career-high with four total touchdowns at Morehead State. He rushed for scores of 44, 2 and 72 yards, and he caught a 9-yard pass for a touchdown. He totaled 270 all-purpose yards (181 rushing, 9 receiving, 80 kickoff return).
Wide receiver DeAngelo Wilson’s 30-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter against Morehead State was his first career touchdown. He followed that up with a 59-yard score later in the half. He returned three punts for 74 yards with a long of 40, the first punt return of at least 40 yards for APSU since 2011.
He’s second on the team with eight catches for 136 yards this season, and he has five carries for 27 yards.
By The Numbers
3.5 – Preseason All-American Jaison Williams lived in the Morehead State backfield and recorded a career-high 3.5 tackles for loss – including a sack – that set the Eagles back 17 yards. He leads the Govs with 4.5 tackles for loss in 2018.
4 – With 11 total tackles, including eight solo stops and one tackle for loss, senior safety Malik Davis recorded the fourth double-digit tackle game of his career. He is second on the team with 21 total tackles.
30 – Seven of the Governors’ program-record 11 touchdowns went for 30 yards or more. Williams’ 72-yard scamper in the 4th quarter was the longest of the night.
APSU Govs Online
Be sure to follow all the Austin Peay football action at LetsGoPeay.com and the official Facebook page of Austin Peay Athletics. In addition, live play-by-play coverage can be found on Twitter (@AustinPeayFB) and PeayStats.com. Live coverage from this weekend will be provided via streaming (ESPN+).