HERO Sports welcomes you to "Two-a-Days", where we will preview every single one of the 125 FCS programs, with two being released each day from June 18 to August 18 (with the final day having three in one day). Today we give you … Austin Peay.
AUSTIN PEAY (8-4 IN 2017)
Ohio Valley Conference (APSU was 2nd in 2017)
COACH: Will Healy – 3rd year (8-15 record)
2017 OFFENSE: 27.3 ppg. (50th in FCS)
2017 DEFENSE: 24.8 ppg. (50th in FCS)
SUM IT UP: Last year, HERO Sports' 2018 Preseason No. 25 Austin Peay gave FBS Cincinnati fits in the first game and that led many to believe the long losing streak would come to an end — which it did two games later, stopping the bleeding at 29 straight losses. One of the longest losing streaks in FCS history was over. But the success wouldn't end there … and that momentum should carry into this year. The Governors went 8-1 against FCS competition after playing three FBS teams, skewing its statistics above. Much of the 2017 talent is back and there is only one FBS team on the schedule — a challenging road trip in game one to Georgia. The big question is, can the clutch and many times close OVC wins of last year continue? And can APSU conjour up enough power to knock Jacksonville State off its lofty pedestal atop the OVC? The good news for this program is it knows how to set the tone with the run game, it plays staunch defense and the QBs were young yet talented and productive last year. The Govs enter 2018 on a game 5-win game streak against FCS competition coming in to this season.
BEST-CASE SCENARIO: Austin Peay's first FCS/I-AA playoff berth is obviously its best-case scenario, as would be a school record 9 wins (the 8-win mark has been hit a few times in the past, including last year). Don't be surprised if the Governors hit the 9-win mark, but to do that, they will have to have the same intestinal fortitude they found last year — especially on the road in the OVC. There are landmines everywhere on the schedule. The talent is here, on both sides of the ball, and the enthusiasm Will Healy has brought has been contagious in Clarksville.
TOP RETURNEE: DL Jaison Williams (HERO Sports 2nd Team Preseason All-American)
THE NEXT BEST: LB Gunnar Scholato (HERO Sports 3rd Team Preseason All-American); QB Jeremiah Oatsvall (OVC Freshman Offensive Player of the Year); RB Ahmaad Tanner (OVC All Newcomer team); OL Ryan Rockensuess (OVC 2nd Team); OL Kyle Anderton (OVC 2nd Team); DL Nate Howard (8.5 TFL).
TOP NEWCOMER: DB Demetrius Market (former Southern Miss player)
DID YOU KNOW?: The NFL's Tennessee Titans held their first preseason training camps on the campus of Austin Peay, in Clarksville, Tenn.
THE QUOTE: "I think we'll always run the football well here, that's what we'll hang our hat on … I think we have some weapons on the perimeter that we need to find ways to get the ball in the hands of. The way we look in the secondary is completely different. We're two deep in every spot. I feel like we'll be able to defend the pass better." — Head Coach Will Healy said after spring ball
New screen for #WallpaperWednesday.
— Austin Peay Football (@AustinPeayFB) February 22, 2018
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