Instant Peay Play: Govs football showing some encouraging signs in spring practice
Clarksville, TN – As the Austin Peay football team goes through its third spring practice under head coach Kirby Cannon what has been at times a steep learning curve for the Govs in the past doesn’t seem as steep with more than a few encouraging indications shown in the first scrimmage.
The Governors return a veteran group on defense this spring, but they also have more that their share of talented playmakers at the skill positions poised to make their own statement come fall.
Both sides had their moments in the Govs first scrimmage this past weekend, with the defense recording five sacks, while the offense posted over 200 yards in the 33-play scrimmage.
Austin Peay Football Spring Practice. (APSU Sports Information)
“As head coach, you want to see some success on both sides of the ball,” Cannon said. “This was a great day for that. Our hitting was better than what you normally get at this point in the spring, so I was very pleased with that. It was a very good end of the week”
There are two areas though that the Govs have had to make some adjustments this spring, with there being a shortage of offensive linemen – Cannon and his staff signing 11 linemen that will be on campus in the fall – and on special teams where they have a lot of holes to fill, with the graduation of Ben Campbell and Michael Dunphy and departure of Dakota Vincil.
Kickoff returned Evan Toby is the lone returnee from last fall’s special teams units.
But even those limitations haven’t dimmed the Govs progress.
“We want to make sure we’re working as hard as possible during our time on that field,” Cannon said. “We also want to use this time to be a smarter football team, improve our knowledge of the game and make better decisions at critical times. That’s been a goal of ours all off season and will continue into the spring.”
One position that the coaches and fans will be continue to be monitor closely as the spring unfolds is the quarterback position.
Starting with Mickey Macius, three quarterbacks saw time in the scrimmage, with Macius going 4-for-7 (61 yards), Trey Taylor 12-for-17 (102 yards) and Darrien Boone — completed his lone pass attempt for 10 yards.
“The quarterbacks are making good decisions early in plays on offense right now, which in the past is something we’ve had trouble with,” Cannon said. “If the defense is taking something away, you can’t try to force that and I think that’s made us have a better release time on the ball. “We’ve lost some of that freshman routine where you go out and panic on routes, which is good to see.”
The Govs continue spring practice this week, with a second scrimmage scheduled for April 2nd at Governors Stadium, while the Govs Spring Game takes place on April 11th, at Governors Stadium.