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APSU Football set for home opener this Saturday against Presbyterian at Fortera Stadium

Austin Peay vs. Presbyterian
Saturday, September 3rd, 2022 | 6:00pm CT
Clarksville, TN | Fortera Stadium

APSU FootballClarksville, TN – The Govs are back in town.

The Austin Peay State University (APSU) football team is set for its home opener when it hosts a Saturday 6:00pm contest against Presbyterian at Fortera Stadium.

The Governors are looking to win their sixth-straight home opener, extending what is already a program record, and win their first-ever game as a member of the ASUN Conference. Austin Peay State University dropped its season opener last week at Western Kentucky, 38-27, while Presbyterian did not play a Week Zero contest.

Mike DiLiello debuted at quarterback in the Govs’ season opener, completing 14 passes for 123 yards and a pair of touchdowns while adding a third touchdown on the ground. Drae McCray was on the receiving end of both DiLiello scoring tosses, and he finished the day with 90 receiving yards as well.
On the defensive side, the Governors extended their program-record streak of consecutive games with an interception when Shamari Simmons picked off a WKU pass in the third quarter. Simmons added three tackles and two more pass breakups in the game, but the Govs were led on defense by Antoine Williams, who made a career-high 14 tackles in his first-career start at linebacker.
The home opener will be Faith and Family night and discounted group tickets can be purchased by using the code “faith22” when purchasing tickets online. There will also be postgame fireworks show following the home opener and fans are encouraged to stay at Fortera Stadium following the conclusion of the game.
Saturday’s home opener also will feature the debut of the Blazin’ VIPeay Zone presented by Buffalo Wild Wings, which will be at all five home football games for the 2022 season. Buffalo Wild Wings will provide all-you-can-eat food and drinks – including beer – in the Blazin’ VIPeay Zone, which is available to season ticket holders in section M and the VIPeay Zone Chairback section.
Season, single-game, and group tickets are available online at LetsGoPeay.com/buytickets or by calling the Austin Peay State University ticket office at 931.221.PEAY (7329).
Saturday’s game will be streamed on ESPN+ with Barry Gresham and Ethan Schmidt on the call.

Inside The Film Room

Check out the APSU Governors official Youtube channel each week for new episodes of Inside The Film Room, game highlights, and much more!


APSU Notably

Good Directions

In the past five seasons, Austin Peay State University’s 34 victories are tied for 17th most in the FCS and are the most in a five-year stretch in program history. Awaiting the Governors in the ASUN Conference are three other teams that rank in the top 17 in the FCS in wins during the past five seasons — Kennesaw State (49, t-3rd), Jacksonville State (40, t-7th), and Central Arkansas (35, t-14th).

ASUN Awards

Sophomore kicker Maddux Trujillo and redshirt freshman wide receiver Kam Thomas were the first players in Austin Peay State University history to earn weekly awards from the ASUN Conference when they were named the Special Teams Player of the Week and Freshman of the Week, respectively, following the season opener.

Trujillo went 2-for-2 on field goal attempts with a career-long 49-yarder and was 3-for-3 on PAT attempts.
Thomas made his impact in the punt return game, breaking off a 33-yard return in the third quarter that set the APSU Govs up on the Western Kentucky 41-yard line and led to one of Trujillo’s field goals. 

Walden; Life At Austin Peay State University

In his first 390 days at Austin Peay State University, Scotty Walden coached the APSU Govs through 17 games in a 273-day span. His ten wins during that time are tied with Watson Brown (10-7, 1979-80) and only College Football Hall of Fame coach Boots Donnelly (11-6, 1977-78) has more wins through his first 17 games at Austin Peay State University.

With wins in the next two games, Walden could secure the third-most wins by an Austin Peay State University head coach in their first 20 games.

Preseason Propaganda

In the inaugural ASUN Football Preseason Coaches Poll, Austin Peay State University received a first-place vote but was tabbed to finish fifth in the league with 15 points. Kennesaw State was picked atop the league with four first-place votes and 34 points, while Central Arkansas — who received a single first-place vote — and Eastern Kentucky were tied for second with 25 points.

Fourth-place Jacksonville State received 19 points and North Alabama rounded out the poll with 8 points.

The Gang Gets Preseason All-ASUN Honors

Sophomore wide receiver Drae McCray, graduate transfer defensive lineman Chukwuemeka Manning Jr., junior defensive back Shamari Simmons, and sophomore kicker Maddux Trujillo were all named to the inaugural ASUN Football Preseason All-Conference team at Media Day in Atlanta.

McCray and Trujillo earned First Team and Second Team All-OVC honors, respectively, last season, while Simmons’ four-interception, 50-tackle, and 10-PBU season somehow didn’t earn All-OVC recognition. Manning was a Third Team All-MEAC selection in 2021 after racking up 5.0 TFL and 2.0 sacks in his final season at North Carolina Central.

New Kids In Stacheville

50 newcomers and 25 players that redshirted a season ago combine with 40 returning letterwinners to make up the 2022 Austin Peay football roster. The 50 newcomers are made up of 23 transfers – with nine players having Group of Five experience and a pair of players having Power Five experience – and 27 true freshmen.

Last Time Out

Austin Peay State University fell to Western Kentucky, 38-27, in the season opener, but the APSU Govs’ 27 points were the second-most scored against an FBS opponent. Austin Peay State University’s 11-point deficit in the contest was also the smallest margin it has had against an FBS opponent since it beat Kansas State, 26-22, in 1987.

Mike DiLiello made his debut at QB in the contest, throwing two touchdowns and rushing for another while Antoine Williams made a career-best 14 tackles in his first start to lead a defense that forced five three-and-outs.

About the Presbyterian Blue Hose

This is the third meeting between Austin Peay State University and Presbyterian, the series is tied, 1-1. 

This is the second time Austin Peay State University has played its home opener against Presbyterian. The Govs won the previous opener, 24-0, in 2018.

APSU has won five-straight games against the Pioneer Football League dating back to 2006.
After going 2-9 a season ago, Presbyterian was tabbed to finish at the bottom of the PFL in the conference’s Preseason Coaches Poll. The Blue Hose have a new head coach this season, with Steve Englehart taking the reins after spending seven seasons at Florida Tech (2013-20) and four seasons at Rose-Hulman (2006-10).
Last season Presbyterian threw the ball 59.5 times per game under former head coach Kevin Kelley. Former quarterback Ren Hefley completed 351 passes for 3,933 yards, 39 touchdowns, and 31 interceptions in 2021. Hefley’s favorite target is also gone, with Jalyn Witcher transferring to Delaware after catching 80 passes for 1,120 yards and 12 touchdowns last season.
Junior wide receiver Jalen Jones is back after catching 8 TDs last season, he was tabbed as a Second Team Preseason All-PFL selection by Phil Steele. Offensive lineman Keith Boyd also earned third-team honors from Steele.
The Blue Hose allowed 410.3 yards and 53.4 points per game last season. PC does get its leading tackler back from last season, with sophomore linebacker Alex Herriott returning after a 61-tackle, 8-TFL campaign. Herriot also earned First Team Preseason All-PFL honors from Phil Steele.
A second team running back and third team all-purpose player on Phil Steele’s Preseason All-PFL team, Delvecchio Powell does it all on offense for the Blue Hose. Powell rushed for a team-leading 775 yards and six touchdowns while adding another 447 yards and a touchdown through the air last season. Powell was a Second Team All-PFL selection as an all-purpose player last season.

Next Up For APSU Football

It’s a RED OUT at Fortera Stadium when the Austin Peay State University football team takes on the Delta Devils of Mississippi Valley State for the first time in program history. The game kicks off Saturday, September 10th at 3:00pm, and is also Family Day and Teacher Appreciation Weekend at Fortera Stadium.


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