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HomeSportsAustin Peay State University Football hosts Tennessee State, Saturday

Austin Peay State University Football hosts Tennessee State, Saturday

Austin Peay (2-2 | 0-0 OVC) vs. Tennessee State (1-2 | 0-0 OVC)
Saturday, October 2nd, 2021 | 7:00pm CT
Clarksville, TN | Fortera Stadium

APSU FootballClarksville, TN – The Austin Peay State University (APSU) football team will be under the lights when it hosts Tennessee State in a Saturday, October 2nd nonconference showdown at Fortera Stadium. The Game begins at 7:00pm.

Austin Peay and Tennessee State last met at Fortera Stadium 216 days ago, now second-year head coach Scotty Walden will lead the Governors against new Tennessee State head coach and 1995 Heisman Trophy winner Eddie George.

With 30 wins since 2017, the Govs are five shy of setting the program record for wins in a five-season span. That record is 33 victories, set twice, most recently 40 years ago (1976-80 and 1977-81).

Gameday at Austin Peay will have a more familiar feel this season with the return of Tailgate Alley, Stache Street, and the Gov Walk. More information on everything happening on game day can be found in the Gameday Information release at the top of this page.

Group, season and individual tickets are still on sale. Contact the ticket office at 931.221.PEAY (7329) or click “BUY TICKETS” link to purchase yours today!

Inside The Film Room

Check out the Governors official YouTube feed each week for highlights, previews, and more!


#CHASETHELION Meets “Big Cat” Led Tigers

For the second time in the calendar year, Austin Peay State University and Tennessee State will meet with the familiar foes squaring off in a 7:00pm, Saturday contest at Fortera Stadium.

When the two teams met in February, it was Austin Peay State University head coach Scotty Walden, who was coaching his second game with the Govs, that was the new face. On Saturday, it will be Tennessee State first-year head coach Eddie George’s turn to be initiated into one of the OVC’s fiercest rivalries.

Last Time Out

Austin Peay State University saw its four-game win streak against FCS opponents come to an end as it fell 35-27 to Eastern Kentucky, last Saturday, at Roy Kidd Stadium. The APSU Govs ran 91 plays – second-most in program history – and amassed 400 offensive yards.

However, Eastern Kentucky took advantage of a turnover and a shanked punt as part of 21-consecutive points that turned the tide over a 10-minute stretch in the second half. 

Ahmaad Tanner to Two Thousand

2021-22 APSU Football - Ahmaad Tanner. (Robert Smith, APSU Sports Information)Ahmaad Tanner’s 28-yard run to end the first quarter at Eastern Kentucky, September 25th, made him the ninth Governors running back to record 2,000 career rushing yards.

He finished the game with 2,085 rushing yards – 7th all time on the Govs career rushing list.

He’s also 24th among FCS career active leaders.

The Obligatory QB Note

2021-22 APSU Football - Draylen Ellis. (Robert Smith, APSU Sports Information)We’ve been told that every good set of notes has something about its starting quarterback, so here’s ours.

The last time starting quarterback Draylen Ellis was held below a 50 percent completion rate – against Tennessee State, coincidentally – he followed it with a seven-game stretch that saw him go 155-of-271 (57.2 percent) for 1,903 yards and 21 touchdowns with only four interceptions. And FYI, he was held below 50 percent passing at EKU.

Ten-Tackle Trimvirate

2021-22 APSU Football - Jack McDonald. (Robert Smith, APSU Sports Information)Jack McDonald, who was held fairly quiet over the season’s first three games, broke through with his first 10-tackle outing of the year at Eastern Kentucky, September 25th.

He joined defensive back Shamari Simmons and nickel back Koby Perry, who each had 11 tackles at Ole Miss, as Governors with 10-tackle outings this season.

Which Comes First; The Yards Or The Score?

2021-22 APSU Football - Baniko Harley. (Robert Smith, APSU Sports Information)Wide receiver Baniko Harley is quickly approaching a pair of Governors milestones that start with a two, the only question is which one will he reach first. He enters Saturday’s game with 1,812 career receiving yards and 18 career touchdowns.

Harley ranks seventh in Govs history in receiving yards with only four receivers reaching the 2,000-yard plateau. He’s fourth in career receiving touchdowns and a 20th scoring catch would make him one of only three to reach that milestone.

Scotty Walden, Or, Life at Austin Peay

Scotty Walden was hired as Austin Peay State University’s 21st head football coach in November 2020. Saturday will mark his 11th game as head coach, the equivalent of one full season.

With a win Saturday he would post a 7-4 mark in his first 11 games, tied for third most victories by a Govs coach in their first 11 games. The list of APSU coaches with winning marks in their first 11 games is on the next page.

About the Tennessee State Tigers

This is the 24th meeting all-time in a series that Tennessee State leads 14-9, however, Austin Peay has won three of the last four games and has won the last two meetings in Clarksville – where they are 7-5 against TSU all-time.  

Saturday’s contest against Tennessee State, while featuring two Ohio Valley Conference members, will not count toward the OVC standings. This first of two meetings between the Govs and Tigers – they will meet against November 13th at Nissan Stadium – was scheduled to ease the transition caused by the departure of Eastern Kentucky and Jacksonville State prior to the 2021 season.

After finishing with 5,557 offensive yards in four seasons at Grambling, quarterback Geremy Hickbottom has opened his Tennessee State career with 736 offensive yards in four games, the bulk of that as a passer where he is posting a career-best 179.8 passing yards per game. He’s also enjoying a career-best 150.49 pass efficiency rating with only two interceptions in 49 pass attempts.

Tennessee State has not made itself at home in the opponents backfield this season. The Tigers have recorded just three sacks and 16 tackles for loss in the season’s first four games. The lack of backfield coverage has permitted opponents to post a 134.58 pass efficiency rating and average 162.0 rushing yards per game, ranking in the FCS’ bottom 50 in each category.

Dayron Johnson, the Tigers all-purpose back, has topped 100 all-purpose yards three times this season. That includes 198 all-purpose yards at Southeast Missouri last weekend, including a 90-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Johnson also opened the season by amassing 83 punt return yards – the best total in the OVC this season – against Grambling.

ESPN+ Information

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Next Up For APSU Football

The Austin Peay State University football team will host their 75th Homecoming game when Southeast Missouri visits for a Saturday,  October 9th contest at Fortera Stadium. The game will begin at 3:00pm. 

It will be the fourth time the Govs and Redhawks have squared off in an APSU Homecoming affair with the visitors owning a 2-1 mark.


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