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Austin Peay not happy with 8-game skid of 2010, spend plenty of time working in offseason
The Austin Peay Governors aren’t happy with an eight-game skid that ended last season, so they spent plenty of weekends this offseason working hard.
The Governors haven’t won a game since Sept.18, 2010, against Tennessee State.
They went 2-9 and 1-7 in the Ohio Valley Conference and are predicted to finish in the league cellar. Austin Peay has 47 letter winners back, including nine of 11 starters on defense, but they only have 11 seniors.
“We’re still going to be young this year, but it’s a different kind of young,” coach Rick Christophel said. “We’re going to be young not in game experience, but we’re going to have them back for two or three years.”
Senior running back Ryan White is a preseason All-OVC pick and needs just 543 yards to become the No. 2 rusher in Governors’ history. He ran for more than 1,000 yards two seasons ago and 769 last year.
Junior center Tim Schmid anchors an offensive line that ranked eighth nationally in the Football Championship Subdivision for sacks allowed per game (0.82). The Govs also averaged 167 yards rushing a game. Schmid was among those working out on Saturdays and Sundays trying to build much-needed chemistry.
“It’s a big sacrifice we’re willing to make because at the end of the day we want to win,” Schmid said.
Safety Amius Smith (82 tackles, 8 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks) is the only senior starter on defense. But Austin Peay returns eight of its top 10 tacklers including linebacker Darrick Dillard and free safety Antwaun Majors.
Sophomore defensive end Iosua Siliva (6 tackles for loss) is joined by another recruit from America Samoa, defensive tackle Isaiah Tuiasosopo of the famed NFL family.
Junior Jake Ryan is back as starting quarterback with junior receiver Devin Stark his top target returning. But the Governors must replace returner Terrence Holt, the first player in NCAA history to notch four 1,000-yard kickoff return seasons.
Austin Peay opens at Cincinnati on Sept. 3.