Everyone affiliated with Austin Peay has been waiting months to cut the ribbon at newly renovated Governors Stadium.
Today is that day, as football is back in Clarksville with more excitement in the air than there has ever been. A beautiful $19 million project now rests on the west side of the facility, which should be packed with fans prior to opening kickoff on all three levels.
Kickoff for Chattanooga-Austin Peay will be at 4 p.m. CT, and if you can’t make it out to the game (or if you want to discuss the game), follow either @TheAllState or @corey_adams on Twitter for live updates. In addition, a full game recap will publish afterward, along with photos from the sideline.
Game Day Information
Be sure to arrive early to check out the pregame activities. A schedule of the events is listed below:
- 9 a.m.
- Tailgate plaza opens – If you reserved a spot to tailgate, you may set up in the morning in your designated location.
- Kids Zone – Inflatable games for kids will be held between Cheryl Holt Field and the Governors Tennis Center.
- 2 p.m.
- Ticket window opens. Students, the first 650 who enter get to sit on the home side, while the rest will have to sit on the away side.
- Gov Walk – Be on hand to watch the Govs enter the stadium to the tune of the marching band.
- 2:30 p.m.
- Governors Sports Network goes on air from Tailgate Alley.
- 3:38 p.m.
- Governors Own Marching Band performs its pregame routine.
- National Anthem
- 101st Airborne Division Parachute Demonstration Team delivers the game ball.
- 3:57 p.m.
- Austin Peay takes the field.
- 4:00 p.m.
- Opening Kickoff
What to watch for: Austin Peay
After a bye week, the Govs should be well-rested and hungry to make up for the 63-0 loss to Memphis. Here’s what you should be watching:
- Now in better conditions, how will the passing game go? Trey Taylor is in line to make his second APSU start under center, but early in the game, watch for freshman Darrien Boone to appear. A multi-threat quarterback, Boone has the ability to maneuver outside the pocket to pick up yardage, an element that is different than what Taylor brings to the table.
- Justin Roberson. The former defensive back turned running back is the explosive player out of the backfield the Govs want to get in open space. The sophomore totaled 50 yards against the Tigers, and became an energized playmaker to move the sticks. Also, despite his slow start at Memphis, don’t forget about Rashaan Coleman. The last time Coleman played in Clarksville, he scored three times, and will be the lead back in the early downs this season.
- Receivers. If you haven’t heard the potential of this year’s group of receivers, listen up now. Along with senior Javier Booker, there is a group of freshman who can turn into gamechangers if they get the ball. Remember names like Malik Boynton, Jared Beard, Wesley Thomas, and the now healthy LaRon Golden to have chances if Taylor or Boone find a rhythm.
- Stopping the run. The Govs allowed 303 rushing yards and seven touchdowns against Memphis two weeks ago, so that’s going to main focus on the defensive side of the ball. At linebacker, you can expect several different guys to play, including a couple of young players such as Zach Stuart and Benedict Louis.
What to watch for: Chattanooga
For a detailed outlook at what the Mocs bring to the table, click here as Zack Kirby of the UTC Echo breaks down Chattanooga football.
But in a nutshell, watch out for…
- A must-win mindset. After the Mocs dropped back-to-back games to Central Michigan and Jacksonville State, this is a must-win for them as they prepare for conference play. There’s pressure on their shoulder after the high preseason expectations, and would like nothing more than exceeding them against the Govs.
- Defense is the strength. I was told this is the best defense Chattanooga has had in years, with potential NFL prospects on the roster. Up front, Davis Tull is the guy to watch, and will be viewed by scouts throughout this game. In the secondary, Dee Virgin is coming off a two interception performance against Jacksonville State, one of which was returned for the touchdown.
- Turning the offense around. Quarterback Jacob Huesman has had a horrible start to the season, throwing four interceptions against Central Michigan, then recording just 30 passing yards against JSU. He and talented receiver Tommy Hudson will be the combination to watch, as well as Keon Williams out of the backfield.
Photo by Corey Adams (The All State)