Austin Peay State University quarterback Mike DiLiello, who threw for 21 touchdowns and rushed for eight last season, will return as the Governor’s signal caller (APSU Sports Information Photo)

Austin Peay State University 2022 ASUN football champions are ready open their 2023 season this Saturday against Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL. 

Head coach Scotty Walden has brought on 45 newcomers to the 2023 roster. 25 of those players are incoming freshman while the remaining 20 are transfers. Transfers have come from FCS programs, Power Five programs, and one Division II transfer.

The Govs have nine returning starters coming back to their roster. Most notably, quarterback Mike DiLiello, who threw 21 touchdowns and rushed for 8, last season. He had the fourth best season in APSU history. 

Other notable players returning this season include running backs CJ Evans Jr. and Jevon Jackson and wide receiver Trey Goodman. Evans Jr. had six rushing touchdowns last season and with Jackson, they had a combined 1,213 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns. Goodman’s 32 receptions totaled for 359 yards with four touchdowns. 

This will be the first time in 32 years that the Govs have faced the Salukis. In their last meeting, the Govs fell 7-37. The last win against SIU was in 1939. Winning this season-opening game against an FCS team would be the second-straight opening game win for the Govs. Kickoff is at 6 P.M. at Saluki Stadium.