Austin Peay (3-1) vs. Eastern Kentucky (2-1)
Saturday, September 24th, 2022 | 3:00pm CT
Clarksville, TN | Fortera Stadium
Clarksville, TN – For the first-time ever… it’s a Top 25 FCS showdown on Homecoming at Austin Peay State University (APSU).
No. 23 Austin Peay hosts No. 16 Eastern Kentucky in the first-ever ASUN Conference football game. The Governors are on a three-game winning streak and have not allowed a touchdown in their past three games, while the Colonels enter on a two-game winning streak.
Offensively, the Govs rank 13th in the FCS and second in the ASUN, averaging 39.8 points per game. APSU’s 438.8 yards of total offense also is second in the league and ranks 18th nationally.
Quarterback Mike DiLiello has thrown an ASUN-leading 13 touchdowns this season, a mark that ranks second nationally. The duo of Drae McCray and Trey Goodman have each caught four of those touchdown passes, they are tied for the ASUN lead and fourth in the FCS.
Defensively, the Governors racked up 12 tackles for loss and five sacks last time out at Alabama A&M, led by a breakout nine-tackle, three-tackle for loss, one-sack performance from defensive back Cedarius Doss. Linebackers Antoine Williams and Josh Rudolph are the top-two tackles in the ASUN this season with 34 and 31 tackles, respectively.
Saturday’s game will feature 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.
The game against Eastern Kentucky is sponsored by Bojangles and there will be foam fingers available for fans while supplies last. Austin Peay State University Athletics also will be handing out vuvuzelas while supplies last.
In the fourth quarter, Austin Peay State University will choose four students, who must be present, to receive a scholarship. There will also be a drawing for two tickets to Austin Peay State University’s regular-season finale against Alabama at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Fans can enter that drawing at the Alumni Tailgate in Tailgate Alley prior to kickoff, you must be present to win.
Single game and group tickets are available online at LetsGoPeay.com/buytickets or by calling the Austin Peay 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 Governors official Youtube channel each week for new episodes of Inside The Film Room, game highlights, and much more!
In the past six seasons, Austin Peay State University’s 37 victories are the 13th most in the FCS and 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 16 in FCS wins during the past five seasons — Kennesaw State (49, 4th), Jacksonville State (43, 7th), and Central Arkansas (36, 14th).
Rankings, Homecoming, and History
The APSU Govs are 29-45-1 on Homecoming and have lost their last two Homecoming contests. Austin Peay State University is 0-1 against Eastern Kentucky on Homecoming after falling to the Colonels, 27-13, on October 22nd, 1960.
Austin Peay State University and Eastern Kentucky are set to play the first-ever ASUN Conference football game. The Colonels joined the league in 2021 and the Governors joined in 2022, the two nationally ranked teams will kick off the league’s inaugural football season at Fortera Stadium, Saturday.
Austin Peay State University football’s consecutive shutout streak came to an end at Alabama A&M, but the Governors’ defense still has yet to allow a touchdown against an FCS opponent after holding AAMU to just a single field goal.
The Governors haven’t allowed a touchdown in three-straight games or 191:34 of game time. Before this streak, the last time the APSU Govs held their opponent out of the endzone was when they beat Furman, 42-6, in the opening round of the 2019 FCS Playoffs.
That’s Stone Cold’s Music
Demetries Ford and Shamari Simmons each intercepted a pass in Austin Peay State University’s 28-3 win against Alabama A&M. APSU leads the ASUN, and is tied for seventh in the FCS, with five interceptions this season. The Governors have intercepted a pass in nine of their last ten games and have recorded 20 picks during that stretch — Simmons leads the way with six of those interceptions.
Scotty Walden; Or, Life At Austin Peay State University
In his first 390 days at Austin Peay State University, Scotty Walden coached the Govs through 17 games in a 273-day span. His ten wins during that time are tied with Watson Brown (10-7, 1979-80). Only College Football Hall of Fame coach Boots Donnelly (11-6, 1977-78) had more wins through his first 17 games at Austin Peay State University.
In his 21st game at APSU, Walden picked up his 13th win against Alabama A&M and is now one win away from matching Brown for the most wins by an Austin Peay head coach in their first 22 games.
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.
Last Time Out
Austin Peay State University won its third-straight game and its sixth-straight game against FCS opponents when it beat Alabama A&M, 28-3. Mike DiLiello threw for 100 yards and a pair of touchdowns and ran for 72 yards and a touchdown.
About the Eastern Kentucky Colonels
This is the 54th meeting between Austin Peay State University and Eastern Kentucky.
It is the 48th conference game between the Governors and Colonels but is the first as members of the ASUN Conference.
After going 7-4 overall and leading the ASUN with a 4-2 mark in the AQ7, Eastern Kentucky was picked to finish tied for second with Central Arkansas in the inaugural ASUN Football Preseason Poll. The 16th-ranked Colonels are off to a 2-1 start, including a seven-overtime win at FBS Bowling Green.
Through three games, Eastern Kentucky leads the ASUN in total offense and passing yards. Quarterback Parker McKinney leads the ASUN and ranks third in the FCS with 1,050 passing yards, he also ranks second in the league and fourth nationally with 10 passing touchdowns. McKinney is protected by Preseason All-ASUN offensive lineman Payton Collins at left tackle.
Defensive lineman Kelton Dawson, linebackers Matthew Jackson and Eli Hairston, and defensive back Joseph Sayles gave EKU a league-leading four Preseason All-ASUN selections on defense.
The first-ever ASUN Football Preseason Defensive Player of the Year, Matthew Jackson is coming off a season where he ranked 31st in the FCS with 9.2 tackles per game. This year, Jackson is tied for 12th in the ASUN with 5.3 tackles per game. Jackson has also recorded a half tackle for loss, two pass breakups, and a fumble recovery in two games played. Last year, Jackson had 12 tackles, an interception, and two tackles for loss against the Govs.
Next Up For APSU Football
ASUN Conference play continues when the Austin Peay State University football team travels to Central Arkansas for an October 1st, 4:00pm contest at Estes Stadium in Conway, Arkansas – it will be the first-ever ASUN game for the Bears. The Governors and Bears last met at the 2020 FCS Kickoff in Montgomery, Alabama, with UCA picking up a 24-17 win.