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Monday Blog: Quick thoughts from loss to UT Martin

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Coming off a monumental win against Murray State, the Govs ran into a veteran UT Martin squad who was just the better team.

While the Skyhawks weren’t overly impressive, their performance was still enough to take down a young, depleted APSU team. Fortune didn’t favor the Govs, losing 7-37, but greater concerns are more worrisome.

Here are a few quick thoughts from Saturday.

  • Injuries became contagious, or so it seemed, at Hardy Graham Stadium. Starting running back Otis Gerron, who had previously rushed for over 100 yards in each of the last two games, went out with concussion-like symptoms after taking a big hit during APSU’s opening drive. In the second quarter, starting quarterback Mickey Macius didn’t return after throwing an interception, with head coach Kirby Cannon saying that he’s had a swollen finger since the Murray game. Wide receiver Jared Beard also only saw the field early on with a minor tweak, while at one point, two offensive linemen — Tyler Miles and Bernard Gauldin — exited around the same time period. Plus, the Govs were already without safety Jalen Miller in the secondary.
  • As for the quarterback play, it was a mixed bag. When Macius was in, he missed some throws, but on the interception, I’ll give him a pass. I saw what he was doing, looking left for a receiver finding separation. However, with the pocket collapsing, Macius had to let it fly earlier than he wanted, which led to the pick. Cannon said he thought Darrien Boone came in and did some good things, but his decision-making still isn’t where it needs to be. Personally, I thought the Govs made the switch to Boone because of the protection issues, considering Boone is mobile in the pocket, but Cannon said it was the thumb issue which kept Macius out.
  • Despite some inaccurate passes thrown by Boone, his 43 yard pitch-and-catch to freshman receiver Wesley Thomas was well-done. He hit Thomas in stride for the first touchdown of the wideout’s career, a good play call in one-on-one coverage.
  • Senior linebacker Adam Noble recorded 10 tackles for the second-consecutive week, and is quietly tied for second on team, just two shy off Antonio Turner’s pace. This is a guy who had to win his job back during training camp, and hasn’t let the chance to start slip through his fingers.
  • Ben Campbell is well on his way to breaking the record for most punts in a season by an APSU player. The senior added eight more on Saturday, three of which were pinned inside the 20-yard line, and now has 71 attempts this season. The record is 91, set in 1972, and I don’t see how Campbell won’t average at least five punts per game throughout the remainder of the season to break that.

Photo by Chris Malone (The All State)

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