It will be more than just a football game on Saturday.
Homecoming spirit is in the air at APSU with a long list of events leading up to opening kickoff between the Governors and Tennessee State Tigers at 4 p.m. from Governors Stadium.
Saturday’s game will also be Military Appreciation Day, honoring the men and women on base at Fort Campbell who protect our country. To pay homage to those serving, APSU will suit up in specially-made camouflage jerseys, and on the back of each will be one of 66 unit nicknames. However, according to NCAA Rule 1, Article 5, the names on the back will be a violation of proper numerals and letting. As a result, the Govs will forfeit a timeout in each quarter.
Despite having enough time to alter plans though, the team elected to accept the penalties and continue in pursuit of honoring the military.
Game Day Information
A schedule of events leading up to kickoff between the Tigers and Governors.
- 9 a.m.
- Tailgate Plaza opens
- Kids Zone is set up, located between Cheryl Holt Field and the Governors Tennis Center, featuring inflatable activities.
- 10 a.m.
- Homecoming/Veteran’s Day Parade begins.
- 2 p.m.
- Governors Stadium ticket window opens.
- Tailgating festivities pick up, featuring live music by Joel Brown at the Gilroy Tailgate Zone.
- Gov Walk, with players and coaches entering onto the playing surface.
- 3:30 p.m.
- Governors Own Marching Band performs on the field.
- National Anthem.
- 3:55 p.m.
- Game ball delivered by 101st Airborne Screaming Eagles from the sky via parachute.
- Austin Peay runs out of the tunnel.
- 4 p.m.
What to watch for: Tennessee State (4-6, 1-5 OVC)
- Rejuvenating themselves. The Tigers are on a five-game losing streak for the first time since 2010, and like APSU, will not finish with a playoff spot this season. However, look for TSU to come out looking to spoil homecoming with in a game centered on pride.
- Passing attack. Led by quarterback Michael German, TSU is a totally different team compared to Jacksonville State, which the Govs lost to last week. The Tigers put up 326 passing yards on nationally-ranked Eastern Kentucky last Saturday, and German will eclipse the 2,000-yard mark against the Govs. TSU has been able to protect their signal-caller, allowing just 2.5 sacks this season, and German has delivered with 12 touchdown passes.
- Darion Hall. After allowing 438 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground against the Gamecocks, a running back with some momentum comes into Governors Stadium. TSU’s Hall, a transfer from Miami (Fla.), received 17 carries vs. EKU, and responded with 81 yards out of the backfield. He also returned a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown.
What to watch for: Austin Peay (1-8, 1-4 OVC)
- Finding a positive on offense. The Govs are coming off their worst offensive display of the season, and are desperate to unravel something positive. APSU totaled just 144 yards against Jacksonville State, with just 31 yards coming through the air. On Saturday, it will be redshirt freshman Darrien Boone starting at quarterback for the Govs, with Trey Taylor slotted behind him on the two-deep as Mickey Macius nurses a thumb injury. Head coach Kirby Cannon is hopeful to see freshman tailback Otis Gerron back on the field after suffering a concussion two weeks ago, but sophomore Justin Roberson remains the starter.
- Wesley Thomas. The freshman wideout has been APSU’s leading receiver in the last two games, combing to grab seven balls. Thomas had a career-day at UT Martin with 50 yards and a touchdown, and has continued to be Boone’s go-to guy in the passing game.
- Changes in the secondary. Over the past few weeks, the Govs have witnessed two key safeties — Jalen Miller and Johnathan Shuler — go down with injuries. As a result, senior Buddy Mitchell has moved to safety from his cornerback position, while a freshman, David Wall, joins Damien Whittifled as the third man. Montez Carlton will remain in his cornerback role, while Roderick Owens takes over on the opposite side full-time.
Photo by Chris Malone/The All State