Today Austin Peay State (APSU) Governors gave Western Kentucky (WKU) Hill toppers all the fight they could handle. It was the first FCS against FBS game of the season. Also the very first day of the season and Western Kentucky was happy to see the clock hit double zeros after a much closer game than they were comfortable with. This was just another example of the talent that is in the FCS, and how if you aren’t careful they will show you that any chance they get. There was some big plays on both sides but what sealed the game ended up being turnovers. The Governors are from the ASUN Conference played the Hill toppers representing the Conference USA (CUSA) in Bowling Green.
Statistics and game play
Governors starting quarterback, Mike DiLiello threw for 156 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions. His main target was wide receiver Drae McCray, who caught both touchdown passes from his QB. Josh Samuel , AP running back, rushed for 77 yards on 20 carries as he showed he is up to being the workhorse of the offense. The DiLiello to McCray connection will be exciting to watch this season if today is any preview of what we have to look forward to.
This game was close enough to scare some of the Hill toppers fans and maybe even some players It was tight going into the fourth quarter with the score being 20-21. I don’t think this game could have been any closer as it was still any bodies game to win. Then momentum switched at the start of the fourth quarter.
The 4th quarter
The Hill Toppers scored with a TD pass from Austin Reed to Malachi Corley. Then the Governors fumbled at midfield on the next drive, which led to WKU recovering it. WKU scored again throwing a deep Td over the middle making it 35-20 early in the fourth quarter. On the next drive the Governors punted followed by WKU quarterback Reed throwing his only interception of the night. Which Austin Peay turned into a TD when DiLiello hit McCray for a 24 yard scoring pass making it 35-27. At the end of the fourth quarter Western Kentucky scored a field goal. Then the very next drive APSU fumbled for the last time with under three minutes left that allowed the Hill toppers to run out the clock.
What we learned of Austin Peay today
There’s no doubt that this game would have gone different if APSU hadn’t had the turnovers but Western Kentucky’s defense was all over them in the second half. Although Austin Peay came up short they was right there in the game with a chance to pull off the upset even into the fourth quarter. I look for APSU to be a team the rest of the ASUN may have problems with and they very well may be a sleeper to reach the post season. We don’t want to overreact to the first game, but then again that’s what we do every season. As we watch how all the teams play and try and predict the seasons outcome. Austin Peay State’s next game will be against Presbyterian for an out of conference battle. I will be tuned in so look for my predictions and recaps to come out before and after each game.
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