Austin Peay (2-4 | 0-1 OVC) at Murray State (3-3 | 0-1 OVC)
Saturday, October 23rd, 2021 | 2:00pm CT
Murray, KY | Roy Stewart Stadium
Clarksville, TN – Coming off a bye week, the Austin Peay State University (APSU) football team is right back in the thick of Ohio Valley Conference action when they hit the road to take on rival Murray State on Saturday, October 23rd at Roy Stewart Stadium in Murray, Kentucky. The game starts at 2:00pm.
Saturday’s contest will be the eighth time that Austin Peay State University has been Murray State’s Homecoming opponent and the APSU Govs are looking to spoil the Racer’s Homecoming for the first time in the rivalry’s history.
Saturday’s game against Murray State will be broadcast on ESPN3 instead of ESPN+. To watch the Govs on ESPN3, fans must be logged into ESPN with their cable provider or watch on the ESPN app through any of these supported living-streaming services: Hulu, Sling TV, FuboTV, or YouTubeTV. For more information on ESPN3, visit the ESPN3 link at the top of this article.
Group and individual tickets are still on sale for the APSU football’s final two home games against Eastern Illinois and Tennessee Tech. Contact the ticket office at 931.221.PEAY (7329).
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Second Half Starts At Murray State
Austin Peay State University looks to get the second half of its season off on the right foot when it travels to Murray State for a 2:00pm, Saturday tilt at Roy Stewart Stadium.
The Governors took a three-game losing streak into last week’s much-needed off week. Murray State hosts its Homecoming game after a walk-off victory at Southeast Missouri last week and is 2-0 at home this season.
Last Time Out
Three turnovers turned into 16 points and proved to be the difference as Austin Peay State University dropped a 30-14 Ohio Valley Conference-opening contest to Southeast Missouri, October 9th, at Fortera Stadium.
The Govs out-gained the Redhawks, 396-290. However, Southeast Missouri took advantage of six APSU turnovers with their 15 drives averaging a start on their own 45-yard line, including five drives that started in Austin Peay State University territory.
Ahmaad Tanner To Two Thousand
Ahmaad Tanner’s 28-yard run to end the first quarter at Eastern Kentucky, September 25th, 2021, made him the ninth Governors running back to record 2,000 career rushing yards.
He enters this week’s game with 2,182 rushing yards – 7th all time on the APSUs career rushing list. He’s also 27th among FCS career active leaders.
The Obligatory QB1 Note
Sophomore Draylen Ellis completed his 12th game as the Govs QB in Week 6. He already ranks among the Govs career Top 10 in pass completion percentage (5th), passing touchdowns (6th), pass completions (7th), and passing yards (8th).
Johnathon Edwards nabbed his fourth interception of the year against Southeast Missouri in Week 6.
He is one of only eight FCS players with four or more interceptions in 2021 and only one off the FCS lead set by Rhode Island’s Jordan Jones (5 INT).
He ranks third nationally in picks per game (0.67).
The Ten-Tackle Quartet
Kordell Jackson, who missed back-to-back games and the bulk of a third due to injury, posted a career-high 12 tackles in his first full game since the Ole Miss contest. He is the fourth Govs defender to post 10-plus tackles in a game this season.
He joined linebacker Jack McDonald (10 tackles against both Eastern Kentucky and Southeast Missouri) and both defensive back Shamari Simmons and nickel back Koby Perry, who each had 11 tackles at Ole Miss.
Which Comes First: The Yards Or The Score?
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 1,976 career receiving yards and 19 career touchdowns.
Harley moved into fifth in Govs career receiving yards history, with only four receivers all-time reaching the 2,000-yard plateau. He’s tied for third 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. He coached 11th game as head coach – the equivalent of one full season – at Eastern Kentucky, finishing that “season” with a 6-5 record. He is the seventh head coach to post a winning record in their first 11 games as head coach.
About the Murray State Racers
This is the 55th meeting all-time in a series that Murray State leads 36-18, however, Austin Peay has the last four meetings and has won back-to-back games in Roy Stewart Stadium.
Governors fans familiar with seeing Preston Rice leading the Racers offense may be doing a double-take Saturday. Rice is off to a shaky start with 10 interceptions and no touchdown passes on 121 attempts. Redshirt freshman DJ Williams took over at UT Martin, October 9th, and threw the Racers first touchdown pass of the season, and made his first start in last week’s win against Southeast Missouri, throwing a TD pass and running for two more scores.
The Racers own the OVC’s top defense, limiting opponents to 330.3 yards per game this season. Murray State ranks 3rd in rush defense (152.3 ypg) and 2nd in pass defense (178.0 ypg). The Racers boast a trio of players among the league’s pass breakup leaders, including Marcis Floyd who has a league-leading six breakups this season.
Redshirt freshman Damonta Witherspoon has done the bulk of his damage on the ground this season, rushing for 425 yards and four touchdowns. But in two games with DJ Williams at quarterback he has caught six passes for 94 yards, including a season-best 56-yard outing at Southeast Missouri last week that saw him nab his first collegiate touchdown reception.
Next Up For APSU Football
The Austin Peay State University football team travels to nationally-ranked and OVC-leading UT Martin on October 30th for a 2:00pm affair. APSU has not won at Martin since 1994 – a seven-game stretch. The Skyhawks have won five straight after a season-opening loss at Western Kentucky.