Austin Peay (4-5 | 2-4 OVC) at Eastern Illinois (2-7 | 2-4 OVC)
Saturday, November 10th, 2018 | 1:00pm
O’Brien Field | Charleston, IL
Clarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University (APSU) football takes to the road for the final time in 2018 when it travels to Eastern Illinois to take on the Panthers, 1:00pm, Saturday, November 10th.
The Governors (4-5, 2-4 OVC) play their first road game since traveling to Southeast Missouri, October 13th.
The Govs opened the season with five of their first seven games on the road, but are coming off the only back-to-back home games on the schedule this year.
The Govs feature the top rushing attack in the Ohio Valley Conference, led by Kentel Williams’ 684 yards and six touchdowns. He ranks first in the country, averaging 8.88 yards per carry, and he’s second in the OVC in rushing yards per game (97.7).
Defensively, the Panthers (2-7, 2-4 OVC) are allowing 42.9 points and 518.2 yards of total offense per game, including 225.6 yards per game on the ground.
The Govs pass defense – which ranks second in the OVC – will be tested against an EIU squad that likes to air it out. Quarterbacks Johnathan Brantley and Harry Woodbery have combined for nearly 2,900 yards and 22 touchdowns.
Their go-to receiver has been Alexander Hollins, who leads the OVC with 71 catches for 911 yards, and is second with 13 receiving touchdowns.
The Governors have been opportunistic on defense, forcing 15 turnovers this season, including nine interceptions. The secondary picked off two passes last weekend against EKU, with Malik Davis recording his team-leading third interception and Kordell Jackson picking off his second pass of the year.
Head coach Will Healy said the defense will have to bring its a-game to slow down the talented EIU offense.
“I’ve been around (EIU head coach) Kim (Dameron) long enough to know those kids will be prepared, ready to play and they’ll be well-coached,” Healy said.
“I think offensively, they’re extremely dynamic: you’ve seen them put up points all year long. They’re using tempo to their advantage and they’re able to spread the field and make you defend all of it,” stated Healy.
Williams has been one of the most explosive players in the country, as his 8.88 yards per carry ranks first in the FCS and his 171.0 all-purpose yards per game ranks second. With 172 all-purpose yards against EKU, Williams moved past John Ogles, Henry Yarber and Harold “Red” Roberts into eighth all-time at APSU in career all-purpose yards with 3,106.
Jeremiah Oatsvall has found his receivers for big plays all season, as he ranks first in the OVC and fourth in the FCS averaging 16.03 yards per completion. He ranks second in the OVC and 16th nationally with 8.39 yards per pass attempt. As a team, the Govs rank first in the OVC and 11th in the country with a 15.24 yards per completion average.
The Governors boast the second-ranked passing defense in the pass-happy OVC, allowing just 210.3 yards per game through the air. Jackson and Davis each recorded an interception against EKU, bringing the team’s total to nine on the season. It was the seventh game with an interception this season and the second game the Govs picked off multiple passes.
Defensive tackle Corey Brown Sr. has recorded at least 0.5 tackle for loss in each of the past seven games, including 1.0 for loss in six of the seven. He’s fourth on the team with 6.5 tackles for loss this year.
By The Numbers
12 – With a 5-yard touchdown run against EKU, Oatsvall scored the 12th rushing TD of his career and set the APSU record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback, surpassing the 11 scored by Daniel Williams from 1992-96.
14 – With three receptions for 27 yards against EKU, DJ Montgomery has caught at least one pass in 14 consecutive games, dating back to 2017. He leads the team with 32 catches for 583 yards and 7 touchdowns.
5 – For the fifth time this season, Gunnar Scholato reached double-digit tackles in a game after recording 10 stops against EKU. He is tied for third in the OVC with 87 total stops, and he’s third for the Govs with 8.0 TFL.
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+).