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What We Learned About Austin Peay from Their Saturday Night Opener

An early look at Cincinnati’s first opponent this season

Austin Peay v Cincinnati

The Cincinnati Bearcats will open their 2020 football campaign on Saturday, September 19th against the Austin Peay Governors.

Saturday night’s college football opener between Austin Peay and Central Arkansas offered up some insights into the Bearcats’ first opponent.

Despite falling to Central Arkansas 24-17, Austin Peay did a lot of things well.

In particular, Austin Peay tackled well. Despite surrendering 177 yards on the ground, Austin Peay rarely suffered for its lack of ability to bring down Central Arkansas ball carriers, once they got their hands on them.

Junior middle linebacker Jack McDonald was particularly impressive, securing 9 solo tackles in Saturday night’s contest. McDonald also snagged an interception in the game.

Safety Kordell Jackson also stood up in the running game and made some big stops for the Governors.

On the offensive side of the ball, Austin Peay was decidedly short-handed. The Governors’ passing game, led by quarterback Jeremiah Oatsvall was utterly hamstrung by the absence of senior wide receiver DeAngelo Wilson, who earned second team FCS All-American honors last year. Wilson is a pocket rocket personified, snagging 89 balls last year, scoring 15 times, and gaining nearly 1,600 yards.

Without the presence of their speed demon wideout, Austin Peay was all out of sorts on offense all evening. Quarterback Jeremiah Oatsvall completed fewer than half of his passes on Saturday night and could not convert a third down to save his life.

My other major takeaway from Austin Peay’s opener was the strength of their special teams. Their punt and kickoff coverage was consistently excellent.

Austin Peay’s quarterback Jeremiah Oatsvall is also their punter. He had a better night with his foot than his arm, consistently getting the Governors out of danger with his seven boots. None of them were boomers but his net average of 37.1 served his club well in several sticky situations.

The Governors’ placekicker Grant Paulette also had a strong evening, converting both of his extra points and hitting a 28 yard field goal.

Thanks for your patronage and check back with Down the Drive for more coverage of Cincinnati’s preparations for their opener with Austin Peay.