It’s time to open the curtains for another season of APSU Football.
The Govs, coming off an 0-12 season a year ago, will begin the 2014 campaign on Saturday as they search for their first win since Nov. 17, 2012. For the fourth consecutive season, APSU will be on the road to begin the season, this time at Memphis.
Kickoff will begin at 6 p.m., with The All State providing coverage throughout the evening. You can follow either @TheAllState or @corey_adams on Twitter for live updates, while a game recap will publish immediately after the game.
Austin Peay vs. Memphis
Where: Liberty Bowl (61,008)
Last meeting: Sept. 17, 2011 (27-6 Memphis)
All-time record: Memphis leads 7-0
Radio: 105.1 FM, 540 AM, 100.7 FM
Taylor starts at quarterback in hometown
It will be a coming out party for redshirt junior quarterback Trey Taylor.
Taylor, a native of Cordova, attended Houston High School just miles outside of Memphis, and will enter familiar territory on Saturday.
The locals will certainly recognize his name, having been one of the top players in the area. The lefty was a two-time 3-5A All-District performer, including being named Most Valuable Player of the 2010 Liberty Bowl All-State game. Taylor has experience playing on the field which he will call home Saturday night, but this is a different. Considering it’s the first game, and the fact the Tigers are offering tickets as low as $5, a capacity crowd is to be expected.
There will certainly be some pressure on Taylor to perform and become a reliable quarterback for the Govs. We’ll find out in a matter of hours how he fares.
Tigers to watch out for
Memphis will be led by sophomore quarterback Paxton Lynch, who passed for just over 2,000 yards with nine touchdowns last season. It was just the 10th time in school history where a player has eclipsed the 2,000 yard mark.
The Tigers have a long list of wide receivers for Lynch to find, with Joe Craig and Sam Craft being his go-to guys. At running back, the team’s MVP from 2013, Brandon Hayes, is back to build off a 800+ yard year in which he scored five times.
On defense, the biggest threats for APSU will be linebacker Charles Harris and defensive end Martin Ifedi.
Harris was the team leader is tackles with 74, while Ifedi needs just two sacks to reach 22, which would set a new record at Memphis.
Govs will send seven captains for coin toss
Seven players have been selected to captain the Govs in 2014.
Five of the seven names are on the defensive side of the ball — Adam Noble, Johnathan Shuler, Buddy Mitchell, Montez Carlton, and Nii Larty — while center Isaiah Tuiasosopo and long snapper Michael Dunphy were also selected.
All captains are seniors, if you include Dunphy, who is a redshirt senior.
One player in particular, Noble, has really impressed this camp enough to earn his starting linebacker spot back. Sophomore A.J. Gray was expected to start alongside Antonio Turner, but Noble has put in the work to earn not only a starting position, but also be named one of the leaders of this team.
“The bright spot of that position has been Adam Noble,” head coach Kirby Cannon said after the final scrimmage. “He’s won a job back and I feel real good about him.”
Projected APSU starters
Top Photo: Trey Taylor (#8) takes a snap in the spring game (The All State)