Austin Peay (7-3 | 3-2 ASUN) vs. #8 Alabama (8-2 | 5-2 SEC)
Saturday, November 19th, 2022 | 11:00am CT
Tuscaloosa, AL | Bryant-Denny Stadium
Clarksville, TN – The Austin Peay State University (APSU) football team rolls into its regular-season finale when it takes on No. 8 Alabama on Saturday, November 19th at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
Kick-off is at 11:00am.
The Governors are coming off a 31-14 win at Kennesaw State and closed the FCS portion of their schedule with back-to-back ASUN Conference wins on the road.
If Jacksonville State beats Central Arkansas and Eastern Kentucky beats Kennesaw State, the Governors, Bears, and Colonels would be in a three-way tie for AQ comparison against the WAC Champion – which would be the winner of the game between Abilene Christian and Stephen F. Austin on Saturday.
The three-way tie between Austin Peay State University, Central Arkansas, and Eastern Kentucky would be broken by the team with the highest ranking in the ASUN-WAC Power Ranking.
APSU brings the ASUN’s top defense into its matchup with the Crimson Tide, the Govs rank ninth in the FCS in total defense (296.2 ypg), 20th in rushing defense (115.0 rypg), and 23rd in scoring defense (21.0) – they lead the ASUN in all three categories. The Govs are also the fifth-best third-down defense in the country, holding opponents to just a 29.9 conversion rate.
Antoine Williams, who was named to the Stats Perform Buk Buchanan Award Watch List, leads the Austin Peay defense with 81 tackles and 11.0 tackles for loss this season. Jau’Von Young has added 8.5 tackles for loss while the duo of Josh Rudolph and Kwame Sutton have each posted 7.5 tackles for loss on a defense that ranks 13th in the FCS with 7.5 tackles for loss per game.
On offense, quarterback Mike DiLiello – who was named to the Stats Perform Walter Payton Award Watch List – is tied for 15th in the FCS with 21 passing touchdowns, which is already the third-best single-season in Austin Peay State University history. DiLiello’s 2,300 passing yards rank 32nd in the country and are the fourth-best season in program history, they also make DiLiello just the seventh player in program history to pass for 2,000.
Drae McCray has caught nine touchdowns this season, which leads the ASUN and ranks 12th in the FCS. McCray has 929 receiving yards and is 71 yards away from becoming the fourth APSU receiver to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark. On the ground, CJ Evans Jr. has posted career bests with 590 yards and six touchdowns.
Saturday’s game will be streamed on the SEC Network+ and ESPN+ with Mike Morgan and Dave Steckel on the call and Lauren Sisler reporting from the sideline.
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 41 victories are tied for the 14th most in the FCS and are the most in a six-year stretch in program history. There are three other ASUN Conference teams that rank in the top 15 in FCS wins during the past six seasons – Kennesaw State (54, 4th), Jacksonville State (49, 7th), and Central Arkansas (40, t-15th).
The APSU Govs’ 41 victories in the past six seasons are one more win than the 39 victories they had in 14 seasons from 2002-16.
Three For The Road
Austin Peay State University wraps up the regular season with a three-game road trip. The Govs kicked off the longest road trip of the Scotty Walden Era with wins at North Alabama and Kennesaw State. This is the Governors’ first three-game road stretch since the 2019 season.
Head coach Scotty Walden is 5-0 at Austin Peay State University in the month of November. Last season, the Governors beat Eastern Illinois and Tennessee Tech at Fortera Stadium and picked up a win at Tennessee State in November. Austin Peay State University has won 11-straight games in November – with five wins on the road – and last dropped a game in the month when they lost at Eastern Illinois in 2018.
End Zone Embargo
Austin Peay State University’s defense is allowing just 21.0 points per game this season – which leads the ASUN and ranks 27th in FCS – while no other ASUN Conference team is holding its opponents to less than 23 points per game this season.
In five home games, the Governors allowed just 15.4 points per game at Fortera Stadium with shutouts against Presbyterian and Mississippi Valley State and second-half shutouts against Eastern Kentucky and Murray State.
Austin Peay State University has posted a pair of 300-yard rushing games this season with 322 yards against Eastern Kentucky and 308 yards against Presbyterian. The APSU Govs have not rushed for 300-plus yards multiple times in a season since 2017 when they topped the 400-yard mark twice and the 300-yard mark two more times.
Scotty Walden; Or, Life at Austin Peay State University
After just 27 games at Austin Peay, Scotty Walden already is tied for seventh in program history with 17 career wins. Walden is tied with Roy Gregory and is three victories behind Bill Schmitz and Fred D. Brown for fifth place — Gregory, Schmitz, and Brown all needed six seasons to reach their respective win total.
With three more wins, Walden would match Rick Christophel – who also coached six seasons – for the fourth-most wins in program history while becoming just the fifth head coach to win 20 games at Austin Peay.
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
After falling behind 7-0, Austin Peay scored 28 unanswered points en route to a 31-14 win at Kennesaw State. The Govs ran for 200 yards and four touchdowns – led by 79 yards and two TDs from Jevon Jackson – and held the Owls’ triple-option attack to just 158 rushing yards on 51 carries. The Govs gained five turnovers in the contest, led by a two-pick performance from Demetries Ford
About the Alabama Crimson Tide
This is the first-ever meeting between Austin Peay and Alabama.
Tabbed to win the SEC West with 177 first-place votes and be the SEC Champion in the league’s preseason media poll, Alabama is 8-2 overall and 5-2 in league play. The Crimson Tide are eliminated from the SEC West race after losing at Tennessee and LSU, it will be the first time since 2019 they have not played in the SEC Championship in Atlanta.
With a league-leading four Preseason All-SEC selections on defense, Alabama ranks 15th in the FBS in scoring defense (18.9) and is tied for eighth in sacks (32). DeMarcco Hellams leads the Tide with 82 total tackles this season while Henry To’oTo’o has added another 73 stops. Will Anderson leads the SEC and ranks ninth in the FBS with 14 tackles for loss this season, he also ranks second in the SEC and 10th in the country with 8.0 sacks.
The reigning Heisman Memorial Trophy, Maxwell Award, and Davey O’Brien Award winner Bryce Young will be under center for Alabama. Young’s 2,443 passing yards rank 29th in the country and fourth in the SEC and his 22 passing touchdowns rank 18th in the FBS and third in the conference despite missing the Texas A&M game with an injury. Young has passed for 7,471 yards and 70 touchdowns in 33 games with just 11 interceptions.
Next Up For APSU Football
After wrapping up the regular season against Alabama at Bryant-Denny Stadium, the Austin Peay State University football team turns its attention to the FCS Playoff Selection Show on Sunday at 11:30am. The FCS Selection Show will be aired on ESPNU.