Austin Peay (10-3 | 7-1 OVC) at Sacramento State (9-3 | 7-1 Big Sky)
Saturday, December 7th, 2019 | 8:00pm CT
Sacramento, CA | Hornet Stadium
Clarksville, TN – A first-ever trip west of the Rocky Mountains is on the Austin Peay State University (APSU) football team travel itinerary as they travel to California for an 8:00pm (CT), Saturday, December 7th game against Sacramento State in the second round of the NCAA Division I Football Championship.
APSU’s postseason debut went off without a hitch, routing visiting Furman by a 42-6 score that belied the Govs lack of postseason experience.
Now they turn their attention to the other team making their FCS Playoffs debut, a Sacramento State club that earned a week off thanks to their No. 4 national seeding. In doing so, Austin Peay State University will seek its first-ever road playoff win to add to a list of astounding firsts this season.
ESPN3 will broadcast Saturday’s game along with the other seven second-round FCS Playoff contests (How to Watch). Clarksville-area Governors fans can get together at Buffalo Wild Wings off Wilma Rudolph Boulevard to watch the game and take advantage of special offers in store and through the Let’s Go Peay app.
About the Sacramento State Hornets
Sacramento State won a share of the Big Sky Conference’s regular-season title, which is no small feat in a league that saw its top four teams each receive a national seed. Weber State, which earned the league’s automatic bid, was the No. 3 seed. Montana State (No. 5) and Montana (No. 6) also received national seeds. Those four teams each posted nine wins during the regular season.
Behind Big Sky Offensive MVP and quarterback Kevin Thomson, the Hornets generate 62.6 percent of their offensive yards from the passing game – slightly more than APSU (57.1 percent). Sacramento State spreads the wealth in the passing game with six different receivers catching 25-plus passes each (APSU has four with 20-plus catches). Don’t sleep on the Hornets run game, which is led by First-Team All-Big Sky running back Elijah Dotson, who posted 738 rushing yards.
The Hornets rank fourth among FCS with 42 sacks and three defensive linemen have posted double-digit sack counts: Dariyn Choates (17.0 sacks), George Obinna (16.5) and Josiah Erickson (11.0). Choates and Obinna were First-Team All-Big Sky selections while Erickson earned an honorable mention nod. No Govs foe has posted more than 28 sacks this season (the Govs have an OVC best 29).
Last Time Against Sacramento State
This is the first meeting between the Govs and Hornets. Both teams are making their FCS Playoff debuts in the 2019 bracket, but it is Sacramento State’s second postseason appearance. The Hornets reached the semifinals of the 1988 Division II National Championship.
Keep An Eye On
The list of firsts for Austin Peay State University keeps growing. First league title since 1977, first-ever appearance in the FCS Playoffs and now first victory in the FCS Playoffs. The Govs became the first OVC member to win their debut in the FCS Playoffs since 2000 (Western Kentucky) and only the fourth to do so in league history
JaVaughn Craig hasn’t missed a beat – and neither has the Austin Peay State University offense – since the senior took over midway through the Central Arkansas game. His latest feat saw him extend his own single-season total offense mark, now standing at 3,398 yards. That number is largely thanks to his now program record 2,831 passing yards, set in the Govs FCS Playoff victory against Furman, Saturday.
When the APSU Govs have needed a big play this season it has been wide receiver DeAngelo Wilson that has delivered. Of his team-leading 75 receptions this season, 23 have gone for 25 yards or more and 10 of those have seen him romp for 40 yards. In addition, 57 of those catches have seen him secure either a first down or a touchdown – 25 of those coming on third down this season.
The Govs offensive line has done its job consistently this season, surrendering just eight sacks in 12 games. APSU’s front line is ranked No. 4 among FCS teams in sacks allowed (0.62 per game). That protection has allowed Austin Peay State University to post the FCS’s No. 31 ranked passing efficiency rating – a 143.62 rating that would rank second to the record set in 1994 (139.07).
Austin Peay State University entered the postseason ranked in both the STATS and FCS Coaches polls. It is the sixth week this season, and fifth consecutive, they have been ranked in one of the two polls. Prior to this season, the Govs had been ranked in a poll six times… all time.
For the fourth consecutive season, and fifth time in program history, APSU has surpassed 4,000 offensive yards. The Govs 5,592 yards this season broke the previous program record of 4,646 yards set in 2017 and allowed the Govs to cross the 5,000-yard barrier for the first time in program history.
The Govs have held opponents to 24-of-114 (21.1 percent) on 3rd-and-long (7-plus yards) opportunities this season.
Appropriately, Austin Peay State University ‘s run defense has gathered plenty of attention this season, entering this week ranked No. 6 in the FCS while allowing opponents just 91.0 yards per game. The Govs have held seven opponents to fewer than 100 yards this season, including UT Martin (minus-25 yards) and Murray State (24) in two of the regular season’s final three weekends. APSU also ranks 16th in the FCS with 7.8 tackles for loss per game (101 TFLs for 407 yards lost).
APSU Govs Online
Be sure to follow all the Austin Peay State University football action at LetsGoPeay.com and the official Facebook page of APSU Athletics. In addition, live play-by-play coverage can be found on Twitter (@GovsFB) and NCAA.com. Live coverage from this weekend will be provided via streaming (ESPN3).
Up Next for Austin Peay State University Football
A APSU Governors win sends them to the NCAA Playoffs quarterfinal round where they would face the winner of the Montana State-Albany contest (Interactive Bracket). Montana State would host in Bozeman if it won that contest, while an Albany victory would result in the quarterfinal host being determined by the FCS Championship Selection Committee.