|« FCS Conference Players of the Week||Lafayette-Fordham: Rams' Masella Blasts Refs »|
Colonels Can’t Slow Down Governors as Peay Upsets EKU
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. — Led by a pair of undersized, but extremely-talented backs, the Governors had little trouble racking up yards on the ground against the Ohio Valley Conference’s top run defense.
Terrance Holt and Ryan White combined to rush for 275 yards as Austin Peay pulled off a stunning upset of Eastern Kentucky University Saturday at Governors Stadium. The Colonels turned the ball over four times, including twice in the fourth quarter, as Austin Peay (3-4, 2-2 OVC) held on for a historic 24-20 win.
The Governors had not beaten the Colonels (4-3, 4-2) since 1977, a streak of 22 games.
“Our kids played hard,” EKU coach Dean Hood said. “But, bottom line, we didn’t stop the run and we turned the ball over. That’s not a good combination.”
The Colonels had allowed just 441 yards rushing through the first six games of the season, but they gave up more than 100 yards in the first quarter against Peay. The Governors finished with 263 yards rushing and averaged 4.9 yards a carry.
“A lot of those were just missed tackles,” Hood said. “We were there. We just couldn’t get (them) down. He was at a different speed than we were.”
The loss leaves the two-time defending OVC champions in danger of falling out of the race for another title. The Colonels trail Eastern Illinois (4-1 OVC) and Tennessee State (2-1) in the standings with just two conference games left on the schedule.
“We have to win out,” EKU junior defensive lineman Andrew Soucy said. “That’s the only thing we can do. We’ve got to come together as a team.”
Holt did most of the damage. The 5-foot-7, 180-pound junior had 176 yards rushing and two touchdowns.
Ryan White (5-foot-7, 199 pounds), the league’s leading rusher, finished with 99 yards on 32 carries.
“They have some explosive power,” EKU defensive lineman Chris Hall said. “They are light on their feet and they can run you over sometimes. But, they are really good backs.”
Despite the efforts of Holt and White, the Colonels still had a chance to take the lead in the fourth quarter.
Bruce Frieson fumbled on the Austin Peay 1-yard line with 11:40 left in the fourth, then quarterback T.J. Pryor threw an interception near midfield on the Colonels last possession of the game.
“Our offense played great in the first half and bad in the second half,” Hood said.
The Governors jumped out to a 14-0 lead on the strength of a pair of big plays — a 45-yard TD catch by Adrian Miles and an 80-yard TD run by Holt.
In the first quarter, C.J. Walker fumbled deep in EKU territory, leading to the first APSU touchdown, and then Logan O’Connor missed a 37-yard field goal.
However, the EKU offense came alive in the second quarter behind the play of Pryor. The redshirt freshman quarterback engineered three-straight scoring drives, two of which he capped with touchdown runs.
Frieson added a 1-yard TD run as the Colonels took a 20-14 lead into halftime.
“They are a good football team, my hat’s off to coach Hood,” APSU coach Rick Christophel said. “They do a great job and are a classy football team. Just to get a win over a program like that is special to our kids.”
Holt scored on a 12-yard run in the third quarter and Stephen Stansell added a 27-yard field goal with 2:10 left in the game.
Austin Peay entered the game with a -11 turnover margin, the worst in the OVC. But, the Govs did not have a turnover against the Colonels.
Pryor was 26-of-40 for 265 yards and senior Garnett Phelps had a career-high 15 catches for 119 yards.
The Colonels are set to return to action Saturday at home against Southeast Missouri State.
Colonels can’t slow down Governors as Peay upsets EKU
By Nathan Hutchinson, The Richmond Register (KY)