A couple weeks back, I watched Austin Peay open the college season against Central Arkansas. The Governors of Austin Peay played competitively, losing 24-17 on national television.
The Governors did a number of things well in that game.
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 the 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 special teams, the Governors also performed well. 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. He punted similarly well against Pitt.
The Governors’ placekicker Grant Paulette also had a strong evening, converting both of his extra points and hitting a 28 yard field goal. Austin Peay never crossed the Pitt 40 yard line so it was tough to get a sense of Paulette’s skill in their week 2 contest.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Governors struggled without the presence of their superstar wideout DeAngelo Wilson, who earned second team FCS All-American honors last year.
All of the positive that were evident against Central Arkansas were notably absent on Saturday against the Pitt Panthers.
Despite the presence of Wilson, who managed just 3 catches for 13 yards, Austin Peay was overwhelmed from the first whistle to the last against Pitt.
Austin Peay was dominated on both sides of the line of scrimmage by Pitt and was out of the game by the end of the first quarter.
It is likely that Cincinnati will assert its will in similar fashion this Saturday but one never knows. If Austin Peay steps up like they did in week 1, this could be a more competitive game.
Here’s the condensed version of the Austin Peay-Pitt game courtesy of the ACC: