Austin Peay Governors (1-6, 1-2 OVC) at UT Martin Skyhawks (3-5, 2-3 OVC)
Saturday, Oct. 25 • 2:00 p.m. CT
Hardy M. Graham Stadium (7,500) • Martin, Tenn.
TV: OVC Digital Network
Series Record: UT Martin leads 35-25-2
Last Meeting: UT Martin won 38-14 (10/26/13)
Austin Peay Last Week:W, 20-13 vs. Murray State
UT Martin Last Week: W, 21-16 at Tennessee State
GAME NOTES: UT Martin can claim its first Sgt. York Trophy championship since 2010 with a victory over Austin Peay on Saturday. The Skyhawks already have wins over fellow Tennessee schools Tennessee State and Tennessee Tech and will complete play a perfect 3-0 with a win. UTM tied for the title in 2012 but lost the tiebreaker and did not take home the actual trophy (which went to TSU). The meeting is the 63rd all-time between the teams with the Skyhawks having won six in a row and 10 of the last 11 overall. Last season UT Martin jumped out to 35-7 lead on its way to a 38-14 victory in Clarksville. Quarterback Jarod Neal completed 21-of-33 passes for 293 yards and two touchdowns, DJ McNeil had 114 yards and a score on the ground and Jeremy Butler pulled down 11 catches for 171 yards and two touchdowns for the Skyhawks. Austin Peay was led by Omar Williams who had 122 rushing yards while Timarious Mitchell threw two touchdown passes to Darryl Clack.
Saturday’s game marks the annual Homecoming contest for UTM and is the 100th for head coach Jason Simpson as the Skyhawks head coach and the final home game of the season for UTM.
SCOUTING AUSTIN PEAY: Austin Peay snapped an 18-game losing streak (which had been the longest in Division I) with a 20-13 victory over rival Murray State on Saturday. It also snapped a 10-game OVC losing streak for the program. In just his second career start freshman Mickey Macius was named OVC Co-Newcomer of the Week after completing 18-of-22 passes for 201 yards and three touchdowns in the victory. All three of his touchdown passes went to fellow freshman Jared Beard who finished the night with seven catches for 88 yards and the three scores. The duo also hooked up on an 11-yard completion with 2:40 left in the game that helped the Governors run out the clock and seal the victory. Beard was the first APSU player to catch three touchdown passes in a game since Devin Stark in 2012. Freshman Otis Gerron had his second big rushing game in a row, as he carried the ball 26 times for 137 yards (5.3 ypc) to pace the APSU rushing attack. Justin Roberson added 61 yards on the ground as the team finished with 148 total rushing yards. Punter Ben Campbell became the school’s all-time leader in punt yardage during the game, breaking the record of 9,773 previously held by J.P. Hogan (2000-03). Campbell, who averaged 43.4 yards/punt on the night, is also now tied with Hogan for most punts in school history (259).
Sophomore Rod Owens picked off two passes, recovered a fumble and had seven tackles for the Austin Peay defense.
SCOUTING UT MARTIN: UT Martin won its second-straight game by knocking off Tennessee State at Hale Stadium in Nashville on Saturday. The Skyhawks won despite tallying only 210 yards of total offense and giving up 367 yards to the Tigers. The defense did make plays when it mattered, forcing two fumbles (recovering one), tallying six tackles-for-loss and returning an interception for a touchdown early in the third quarter. That play came from Keith Jones who returned the interception 42 yards to put the Skyhawks up 14-3. The team led 21-3 later in the quarter when Jarod Neal hit Corey Rogers for a seven-yard touchdown pass. Neal completed 11-of-18 passes in the game and ranks 12th nationally in completion percentage (65.6%) and is 17th in passing efficiency (146.8). Redshirt junior Reuben Duckworth had 59 yards and a touchdown on the ground while Najee Ray added a game-high 60 rushing yards. Punter James Satterfield averaged 38.6 yards/punt with a long punt of 57 yards in the game; he currently ranks third in the OVC in punting (40.8 yards/punt).
Senior All-American Tony Bell had two tackles, a tackle-for-loss, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and three pass breakups in the game. He ranks second nationally in fumbles recovered (3) and 17th nationally in tackles-for-loss (1.7/game).