FOOTBALL TEAM OPENS OVC SLATE AT AUSTIN PEAY
September 20, 2012
MARTIN, Tenn. –Jason Simpson, the seventh-year head football coach at The University of Tennessee at Martin, said his Skyhawks need to step it up on offense and score points. The only problem is host Austin Peay doesn’t give up many big-play points.
The Skyhawks have scored 50 points in three games, 20 in a victory over Memphis; only seven points in the loss at Northern Illinois’ and 23 points in the victory over Southeastern Louisiana. To make things simple the Skyhawks have only scored 50 percent of the time they have been in the red-zone.
“We need to score,” Simpson said. “It is time to scoop and score. We need to get an interception and run it back.”
The Skyhawks have two interceptions, but no picks returned for a touchdown in the three games.
Austin Peay has given up 125 points in its three games.
- Austin Peay and UT Martin will play for the 61st time in history on Saturday. The game is also part of the Sgt. York Trophy series, contested between the four OVC football-playing schools from the state of Tennessee.
- UT Martin has controlled the series in recent years, winning the last four meetings and eight of the last nine games overall. Last season Austin Peay led 14-13 in the second quarter before UT Martin scored six straight touchdowns to take a 54-14 lead. The Skyhawks finished the game with 552 yards of total offense while limiting the Governors to 317 yards of total offense. Derek Carr completed 24-of-36 passes for 387 yards and six touchdowns and Kenny Jones grabbed seven of those passes, netting 127 yards and two scores. Jake Ryan threw three touchdown passes for the Govs.
SCOUTING UT MARTIN:
- UT Martin improved to 2-1 on the season by topping Southeastern Louisiana 23-6 in its home opener last Thursday night. It marked the first non-conference victory over a Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) team since the team topped Gardner-Webb in the 2006 season.
- The two wins in three games (2-1 start) marks just the eighth time since UTM joined the OVC in 1992 (but third time under seventh-year head coach Jason Simpson) this feat has been accomplished.
- Junior linebacker Ben Johnson recorded 12 tackles in the victory, his second-straight game with double-digit stops.
- Quarterback Derek Carr completed 11-of-23 passes for 184 yards and a touchdown. He is now just 450 yards away from becoming the Skyhawks all-time leading passer.
- Senior wide receiver Quentin Sims caught four passes for 72 yards and a score; in just over a year at UT Martin, Sims has 12 career touchdowns. Sims ranks 14th nationally in receiving yards/game (98.0) and 18th nationally in receptions (7.33/game).
- Against SELU the Skyhawk rushing attack combined for 168 yards with Tevin Barksdale (61 yards), DJ McNeil (47 yards) and Jason McNair (45 yards) sharing most of the workload.
SCOUTING AUSTIN PEAY:
- Austin Peay saw its three-game winning streak over Tennessee State come to an end on Saturday at Hale Stadium, as the Governors lost 34-14 to the Tigers. The Govs led 14-9 at halftime as Jake Ryan connected with Devin Stark on a touchdown catch later in the second quarter. But that would be the team’s final points of the game as APSU dropped to 0-3 on the season.
- The senior Stark caught nine passes for 124 yards and two scores on the afternoon; his first touchdown was a leaping, one-handed grab in the end zone in the first quarter. It marked the second 100-plus yard game of Stark’s career and moved him into Austin Peay’s top 10 for career receptions. He also became only the 13th player in school history to reach 1,000 career receiving yards.
- Running back Wesley Kitts had 91 rushing yards, including a 44-yard run early in the game; Kitts ranks 23rd in the FCS in rushing yards (101.67/game). Ryan had more passing yards in the first half (114) than he had in the first two games of the season combined; the senior quarterback finished the day 25-of-48 for 271 yards and two touchdowns.