Austin Peay (2-5 | 2-2 OVC) at Jacksonville State (7-1 | 4-0 OVC)
Sunday, March 28th, 2021 | 2:00pm CT
Jacksonville, AL | JSU Stadium
Clarksville, TN – For the final time as Ohio Valley Conference members, Austin Peay State University football and Jacksonville State will meet on the gridiron at Burgess-Snow Field in Jacksonville, Alabama for a 2:00pm, Sunday, contest.
The Govs enter Sunday with a chance at some historical milestones.
A win would give Austin Peay State University its first road victory against the Gamecocks since 1979, and its first back-to-back wins against Jacksonville State since 1952-53; however, the seventh-ranked Gamecocks are eying some vengeance on their part after Austin Peay State University earned a 52-33 win in the last meeting in 2019.
Precociously talented signal-caller Draylen Ellis has thrown for 567 yards and 10 scores to just one interception in his last two games; the two-time defending OVC Offensive Player and Newcomer of the Week faces a stiff test in a Gamecock defense currently leading the league in total defense (266.0 ypg), third-down conversion defense (25.3 percent), scoring defense (13.0 ppg) and is tied with Austin Peay for the league-high with 20 sacks.
Austin Peay State University’s run defense has proven itself time and again as one of the best in the league—six times in the last nine games, the Govs have held their opponent below 100 rushing yards, at an average of 93.4 ypg during that time. The Gamecocks lead the OVC at 186.6 ypg on the ground, a mark that ranks 21st among FCS programs entering the weekend.
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About the Austin Peay State University Governors
Scotty Walden was hired as Austin Peay State University’s 21st head football coach in November 2020. Walden, who at age 31 is the youngest head coach at the Division I level, takes over in Clarksville after serving as the head coach at Southern Miss to start the 2020 season. Considered one of the brightest young offensive minds in collegiate football, the American Football Coaches Association tabbed Walden as a Top 35 coach under 35 years of age in 2019.
After completing 16 of 30 passes for 265 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions in his first two games, APSU freshman quarterback Draylen Ellis has gone 39-74 for 567 yards, 10 touchdowns, and just one interception in his last two contests. Ellis has been named the OVC Offensive Player of the Week and Newcomer of the Week each of the last two weeks, he is the first player in league history to win both awards in back-to-back weeks.
Ransacking The Run
Last week Austin Peay State University held UT Martin to just 77 rushing yards on 36 attempts. This spring, the Governors have held three of their four OVC opponents under 100 yards on the ground, with Tennessee Tech rushing for 50 yards on 38 attempts and Tennessee State running for 98 yards on 45 attempts.
Owning The OVC Accolades
In weeks that Austin Peay State University has played, the Governors have picked up nine of the 18 OVC weekly awards. Draylen Ellis has been named Newcomer of the week three times and Offensive Player of the week twice. Brian Snead has been named Newcomer of the Week and Offensive Player of the week, while Jack McDonald and Elijah Culp have both been named Defensive Player of the week.
Austin Peay State University played its second and penultimate home game of the 2020 season when it hosted UT Martin, March 21st, at Fortera Stadium. The Govs have just three games scheduled at Fortera Stadium this season, which marks the fewest games Austin Peay State University will play in Clarksville in a single season in program history.
Serving The Youth
Austin Peay’s Draylen Ellis and Elijah Culp became the first-ever freshmen teammates to be named the Ohio Valley Conference’s Offensive and Defensive Player of the Week in the same week.
About the Jacksonville State Gamecocks
This is the final scheduled meeting between the Govs and Gamecocks; Jacksonville State will leave the OVC for the Atlantic Sun at the end of the season.
The difference between the Govs and Gamecocks lies in team defense with JSU leading all OVC teams in scoring (12.2 ppg) and yards allowed (219.5) – APSU is ranked eighth and fourth, respectively. JSU’s DJ Coleman and Chris Hardie are two among the OVC top five in sacks
Jacksonville State has powered its way through OVC play this season, winning each of its four games by at least 17 points. The Gamecocks own 17-point wins against Tennessee Tech and UT Martin, an 18-point victory against Southeast Missouri, and a 22-point victory at Tennessee State.
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Next Up For Austin Peay State Univesity Football
After Sunday’s game at Jacksonville State, the Austin Peay State University football team will return to Fortera Stadium for the final time this season when they host a 2:00pm, April 3rd contest against Murray State. Austin Peay State University will then play its regular-season finale when it travels to Eastern Illinois for a 1:00pm, April 11th tilt in Charleston, Illinois.