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Govs offense adjusting to Hudspeth’s tempo

Noah Houck/

By Noah Houck

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – JaVaughn Craig could not find a target he liked in a play that busted quickly.

Thinking on his feet, the senior quarterback sprinted to the left around the line, spun around the defensive back and had open grass in front of him.

Craig could have taken the play to the end zone if it were not for whistles calling the play dead.

Craig and Austin Peay football are in full spring football mode under new coach, Mark Hudspeth.

“You are going to see a lot of fast play,” junior quarterback Jeremiah Oatsvall said. “I think we are going to go faster then we ever had before. We are going to have a lot of energy and excitement, and I think we are going to get a lot of playmakers in.”

For Oatsvall, who turned into the main guy for APSU in the 2018 season, especially after Craig was sideline with an injury, the hurry-up offense is in his wheelhouse. He won two state championships at Brentwood Academy playing an up-tempo offense.

“I love it. It has not really been a big adjustment to me,” Oatsvall said. “The biggest adjustment for this whole offense has been getting the new verbiage and play calls down. Once this offense starts clicking, the defenses are going to be on their heels.”

However, not everything is cut-and-dry for the Govs. For the third consecutive season, APSU has a battle for the No. 1 starting position between Craig and Oatsvall.

“You always want to have a main guy,” Hudspeth said. “Rather we want to have a wildcat package or any sort of that. We’re going to decide on a quarterback and go with him.”

Craig, who found himself on the injury list quite a few times last season, is coming off ankle surgery. The senior was cleared to practice this week.

“It feels good to back on the field,” Craig said. “It feels good to be running around. Of course, there is a little soreness from working, but I think as we keep working and progressing it will strengthen and get better.”

APSU’s fast offense is not just up to their dual-quarterback threat. The Govs will look to a running back squad that offers depth.

“I think our running back team is deep,” Hudspeth said. “We have a lot of talent there, and we will try to find a way to get so many guys on the field.”

Perhaps the biggest threat for the Govs will be the senior out of Knoxville, Kentel Williams.

“We have to be able to be locked in and be focused, even when you are tired,” Williams said. “Everyone will have to know what to do in case they need to come in and keep that same tempo.”

The increased tempo calls for more attentive attitudes from the Govs.

“It is a lot more work ethic,” Williams said. “It is more of people bought in to the program, and a lot more people feel comfortable with what we are going to do next season.”

Following, a two-and-a-half-hour practice, Hudspeth and the running backs stayed on the turf to keep focus on their fundamentals and movement.

“Not only do we have to know our jobs, we have to know everyone else’s jobs.” Williams said. “We are like the second quarterback and we have to know what everyone else is doing to do what we want to.”

Noah Houck is an intern with Questions and comments can be directed to