Topic: Western Kentucky
A pair of former rivals will open the 2012 season when Austin Peay travels to to play Western Kentucky at 6 p.m. Saturday in Bowling Green, Ky.
Western Kentucky was a charter member of the Ohio Valley Conference from 1948-81 before becoming a football independent. They rejoined the OVC briefly as an associate member before moving to the Gateway Football Conference-that run included the 2002 I-AA National Championship.
However, Western Kentucky elected to move to Football Bowl Subdivision Subdivision and started that transition in 2007. They became Sun Belt members in 2009.
Austin Peay, meanwhile, joined the OVC in 1963 and remained until going to non-scholarship football in 1997. The Governors returned to scholarship football a decade later and returned to the OVC in 2007.
Western Kentucky holds a decision edge in the series (34-6-1), with the Governors still seeking their first win in Bowling Green (0-20-1).
Austin Peay is coming a 3-8 season, but are loaded with returning starters. The Govs have seven starters back on offense and nine on defense.
Defensively, senior safety Antwaun Majors and junior linebacker Josh Carroll are expected to lead the way. Majors has been APSU’s leading tackler for the last two seasons. Carroll moved into the starting lineup early last season and ended as APSU’s third-leading tackler with 76.
Offensively, the Govs must replace 1,000-yard rusher Ryan White, who left as APSU’s second all-time leading rusher. Quarterback Jake Ryan is back for his fourth season as starter. However, he has been hampered by injuries in each of the last two seasons and it is imperative to keep him healthy.
Wide receiver Devin Stark was enjoying a superb 2011 season until Ryan was injured. He still finished with 53 catches, the most by a Govs since the 2006 season.
Western Kentucky, meanwhile, is coming off a 7-5 season that saw the Hilltoppers with seven of their final eight games after starting 0-4.
Like Ryan, Kawuan Jakes is back for his fourth season as Hilltopper starting quarterback. He too will be without top running back Bobby Rainey, the ‘Toppers all-time rusher lead who had nearly 1,7000 yards rushing a year ago and was ranked second nationally.
But Jakes does have tight end Jack Doyle, who had 52 catches a year ago.
On defense, junior Andrew Jackson finished with a team-best 109 stops.
Both head coaches, the Govs’ Rick Christophel (1971-74) and the Hilltoppers’ Willie Taggart (1995-98) served as quarterbacks of their respective alma maters.
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – The Rick Christophel Show will begin tonight at 6 p.m. from Edward’s Steakhouse in downtown Clarksville. The one-hour show will be aired on The Governors Sports Network (WVRY 105.1 FM and WKFN 540 AM), the home of Austin Peay State University broadcasts.
Edward’s Steakhouse (107 Franklin Street) is owned by former Austin Peay football player and assistant coach Gary Shephard and his wife Linda, also a University alum and former APSU cheerleader.
Fans can join Rick Christophel, APSU’s football coach, and host Brian Rives as they discuss Austin Peay football. In addition, assistant coaches and occasional player guests also will be on the line up.
The Govs open their 2012 campaign Saturday at 6 p.m. when they open the regular season at Western Kentucky. It will be the first meeting of the two former Ohio Valley Conference rivals since 2006.
Fans can ask questions of the coach through www.LetsGoPeay.com.
Austin Peay State University’s volleyball team struggled offensively and dropped a pair of three-set matches, Saturday, at the Memphis Invitational. The Lady Govs fell to Eastern Michigan (24-26, 18-25, 18-25) and Southern Illinois (14-25, 16-25, 21-25) to conclude their opening-weekend road trip.
Austin Peay (1-3) opened the day with impressive starts in its first two sets against Eastern Michigan. However, the Lady Govs were unable to maintain that lead in either set as the Eagles mounted furious charges to gain the lead each time.
The Lady Govs 10-4 in the opening set but the Eagles slowly reeled them back and used a six-point run later in the set to take a 20-18 advantage. Austin Peay would force overtime, but Eastern Michigan scored back-to-back points to win the set, 26-24.
The Lady Govs again jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the second set but surrendered a 12-4 run as Eastern Michigan grabbed a 13-9 lead and would not look back.
The third set was more closely fought with 15 ties and five lead changes. Eastern Michigan (3-0) seized control with a 7-0 run to take a 23-16 lead en route to the set victory to secure the match.
Freshman outside hitter Samantha Strother led the Lady Govs with 10 kills. Junior middle blocker Lauren Henderson added eight kills. Austin Peay’s offense could not get on track, recording only 43 kills in the three-set affair.
Rachel Iaquaniello led Eastern Michigan with 13 kills. The Eagles posted 48 kills in the win while registering a .300 attack percentage.
Austin Peay ran into a hot-hitting Southern Illinois squad in its final tournament match. The Lady Govs only led briefly in the first set as the Salukis controlled the match.
The Lady Govs recorded only 30 kills in the three-set loss and were held to a .162 attack percentage. Sophomore Jada Stotts led the offense with six kills.
Southern Illinois (2-1) had no such offensive woes and finished the match with 56 kills and a .389 attack percentage. Laura Thole scored 19 kills and posted an impressive .567 attack percentage.
Austin Peay returns to action when it travels to Western Kentucky for a 7 p.m., Tuesday contest.
Austin Peay’s baseball team will play two midweek games before it opens Ohio Valley Conference play this weekend.
First, the Govs wrap up a four-game road trip at Lipscomb at 6 p.m. Tuesday and then they host Western Kentucky at 6 p.m. Wednesday contest at Raymond C. Hand Park.
Austin Peay is looking to snap out of a slump that has seen it lose six of its last eight outings.
The Govs open OVC play with a three-day series Friday at Southeast Missouri.
LIPSCOMB | GAME 20 | WEEK 6
Date: Tuesday, March 20, 2012 | First Pitch: 6 p.m.
Location: Nashville, Tenn. | Stadium: Dugan Field (1,500) | Live Stats: www.LipscombSports.com
Series: LU leads, 60-62-1 | Streak: APSU, six wins | McClure vs. LU: 22-12
WESTERN KENTUCKY | GAME 21 | WEEK 6
Dates: Wednesday, March 21, 2012 | First Pitch: 6 p.m.
Location: Clarksville, Tenn. | Stadium: Raymond C. Hand Park (777) | Live Stats: www.LetsGoPeay.com
Series: WKU leads, 58-88-1 | Streak: WKU, two wins | McClure vs. WKU: 17-30
|PROBABLE STARTING PITCHERS
||Austin Peay Starter
|Tue. at Lipscomb
||RHP Casey Delgado
||RHP Will Blalock
||(Jr., 2-2, 9.61 ERA)
||(RFr., 0-0, 4.38 ERA)
|Wed. vs. Western Ky.
||RHP GJ Strauss
||(So., 0-1, 6.00 ERA)
GOVERNORS QUICK HITS
Austin Peay has dropped six of its last eight outings after losing a three-game series, 1-2 (3-4 [13 inn.], 7-2 [10 inn.], 3-7) at Ohio State last weekend • The Govs offense has averaged 3.8 runs per game and is batting .241 during its recent eight-game stretch, but has been held below that scoring average in six of the eight games • Sophomore outfielder Rolando Gautier has seen his bat come alive during the Govs recent downturn, posting a team-leading .375 batting average • Senior designated hitter Jon Clinard has a seven-game hit streak and is batting .400 (12-of-30) during the streak and has moved into the leadoff spot in the last five games • Junior Casey Delgado, Tuesday’s starter, will be making his third appearance in six days – after starting against Evansville, March 14, and appearing in relief at Ohio State, March 18 – but has not pitched more than two innings in three previous outings • Austin Peay’s starter for Wednesday’s contest will be determined following Tuesday’s contest at Lipscomb • The Govs bullpen continues to be a strength, posting a 3.26 ERA and limiting opponents to a .234 batting average this season while averaging 4 innings a game • Austin Peay was picked to finish first in the OVC’s preseason poll • Four Governors were selected to the league’s preseason team – Toney, Harper, senior outfielder Michael Blanchard and sophomore second baseman Jordan Hankins • Austin Peay returns 7 of its 8 defensive starters from last season.
ABOUT THIS WEEK’S OPPONENTS
Lipscomb: The Bisons were swept by USC Upstate (10-9 [11 inn.], 2-1, 7-0) to open Atlantic Sun Conference play last weekend • After starting the season 4-1, including a pair of wins against Middle Tennessee, Lipscomb lost its next nine outings before ending that streak with three wins against Siena two weekends ago • Junior right fielder and leadoff hitter Lee Wilson ranks 14th among Atlantic Sun hitters with a team-best .346 batting average • Senior second baseman Zak Messer leads Lipscomb in home runs (5) and RBI (19) while batting .316 this season • Redshirt freshman Will Blalock will be making his season’s 4th start and made his last start against San Diego, March 7, allowing 1 run over 4.2 innings
Western Kentucky: The Hilltoppers lost a three-game Sun Belt Conference-opening series, 1-2 (9-2, 2-7, 1-9) to Middle Tennessee last weekend • WKU is 1-3 in midweek outings, but was victorious in its last midweek affair – a 13-1 decision against Butler • Sophomore first baseman Scott Wilcox ranks 15th among Sun Belt hitters with a WKU-best .338 batting average • Junior left fielder Adam Lavelle leads the team with 16 RBI while junior catcher Ryan Huck has a team-best 2 home runs • Sophomore GJ Strauss will be making his season’s 4th start, but it will be his first start since March 7 when he surrendered two runs over three innings in a loss to Evansville.