Austin Peay State University (0-1) fell 49-23 in their 2023 season-opening game on Saturday against Southern Illinois University (1-0) at Saluki Stadium.

Govs head coach Scotty Walden takes full responsibility for Saturday’s loss. “It starts with me,” said Walden. “I want to apologize to Gov nation, our fan base, our school. This place deserves better and we’re going to give them better every week.”

The Salukis dominated both in offense and defense during Saturday’s game. The Govs were only able to rack up 39 rushing yards on the offense side. Saluki’s defense forced three turnovers including a 26-yard pick-6 touchdown in the second quarter. 

“I give those guys credit,” said Walden. “They played physical as all get out on the perimeter and they did a great job.”

The Govs were able to turn their game around in the third quarter when Maddux Trujillo (2-3 kicks) put three points on the board with a 29-yard field goal.

The fourth quarter saw three touchdowns for the Govs. Kam Thomas received a 41-yard throw from Mike DiLiello to completion for Gov’s first touchdown of the 2023 season. CJ Evans Jr. rushed up the middle for a 6-yard touchdown. Last, DiLiello passed deep to Kenny Odom to complete a 44-yard pass for a touchdown with just 52 seconds left in the fourth quarter. 

The Govs head to Knoxville next Saturday to take on the Tennessee Volunteers at Neyland Stadium. Kickoff is at 4 P.M. You can stream the game on ESPN+.