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Coming off bye, Govs face difficult task

Robert Smith/Tnsports360.com

By Colby Wilson

APSU Athletics Communications

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. —Another nationally-ranked foe will invade Fortera Stadium when Austin Peay plays host to 20th-ranked Southeast Missouri, 2 p.m., Saturday.

For the first time in program history, the Govs will welcome a ranked foe to Clarksville in three-straight games—it’s the first time an Ohio Valley Conference program has hosted three straight ranked opponents in the regular season since 2009. There’s a chance for another slice of history as well; the Govs, who have never defeated two ranked opponents in one season, have a chance to do so now after dispatching then-No. 11 Jacksonville State two weeks ago.

Austin Peay encourages all fans to wear white for Saturday’s contest against Southeast Missouri. In addition, a limited number of special edition shirsey (t-shirt jersey), sponsored by Dex Imaging, will be available to fans upon entry to the facility. In addition, the Austin Peay athletics department is welcoming all area youth to Fortera Stadium. Children 12 and under will receive free admission to Saturday’s contest. Parents may take advantage of a special general admission ticket by using the promo code YOUTH at LetsGoPeay.com/BuyTickets.  

Scouting the Redhawks

Southeast Missouri is one of two OVC teams averaging more than 200 rushing yards per game. The Redhawks are using a three-headed monster to reach those dizzying heights with Geno Hess (6th, 63.2 ypg), Zion Custis (7th, 61.6 ypg) and Mark Robinson (8th, 58.4 ypg) each ranked among the OVC’s Top 10 individual rushers.

Preseason All-American linebacker Zach Hall is again leading the Redhawks defense this season. He is ranked second among OVC defenders with 9.6 tackles per game and in the Top 20 in tackles for loss (0.80/game). Hall opened the season with a 19-tackle outing against Southern Illinois, currently tied for the best single-game tackle performance this season.

Last Time Out Against Southeast Missouri

In a game that went down to the final play, Austin Peay simply ran out of time in their bid to spoil Southeast Missouri’s Homecoming, falling 31-27 despite another outstanding afternoon on the ground. Austin Peay racked up 226 yards rushing on 41 carries for a tidy 5.5 yards per rush; three Govs averaged eight yards per carry as the Govs continually found space between the tackles and off the edges against Southeast Missouri.

Notably

  • For the third time since 2009, multiple ranked foes will visit Fortera Stadium, with No. 20 Southeast Missouri joining Jacksonville State (No. 11) and Central Arkansas (No. 18) as ranked opponents hosted by the Govs. The Govs have defeated a ranked foe in each of those seasons: No. 11 Jacksonville State this season, No. 18 UT Martin in 2017 and No. 20 Eastern Kentucky in 2009.
  • Southeast Missouri is averaging 211.0 yards per game on the ground, while the Govs are allowing a mere 68.0 ypg to lead the nation. The stoutest defense the Redhawks faced prior to the Govs was FBS Missouri (12th, 88.8 ypg), while the Govs are facing their toughest run opponent this side of ETSU (52nd, 166.3 ypg); the Govs held the Bucs to 150 rush yards, while the Redhawks gained just 40 yards against the Tigers.
  • The Govs own the FCS’ No. 1 ranked rush defense after six weeks. APSU is limiting opponents to 68 rush yards per game. The Govs have allowed just one 100-yard rushing performance by a foe in 2019.
  • Jacksonville State was held to 5-of-14 on third-down conversions, APSU has allowed a 36.8 percent conversion rate (25-of-68) on third down in the season’s first three games. The Govs have forced 3rd-and-long (seven yards or more) 51 times this season and have allowed only 13 conversions (25.5 percent).
  • DeAngelo Wilson’s 103.0 receiving yards per game through four weeks ranks 5th among FCS receivers nationally and 2nd in the OVC. His 515 yards already ranks 24th among APSU single-season leaders. He’d need to average 69.3 yards per game over the final seven games to become the third receiver in APSU history with 1,000 yards in a single season.
  • The Govs are one of eight FCS teams that have not lost a fumble in 2019 and are eighth nationally in sacks allowed per game (0.60). Only Wofford (9th in fumbles lost, 2nd in sacks allowed), Dartmouth (9th and 3rd), Florida A&M (9th and 8th) are ranked in the FCS Top 10 in both fewest fumbles lost and sacks allowed this season.

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