The Tennessee State Tigers will kick their season off against the Austin Peay Governors in an Ohio Valley Conference showdown at Fortera Stadium on Sunday.
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The game (3 p.m. ET start time) won’t be on TV, but anyone in the US can watch Tennessee State vs Austin Peay football live on ESPN+ right here:
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Tennessee State vs Austin Peay Preview
Austin Peay is fresh from a 27-21 loss to Tennessee Tech last week. Quarterback Draylen Ellis saw the bulk of the team’s snaps under center, going 11-23 for 165 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. Ellis was more effective when he used his legs, rushing 10 times for 49 yards and a touchdown. Bryce Robinson went 5-8 for 55 yards and a score in limited snaps as the team’s other quarterback.
Brian Snead led the Governors in rushing with 16 carries for 69 yards (4.3 yards per carry), while wideout DeAngelo Wilson led the team in receiving, catching eight passes for 124 yards and a score.
Peay allowed under 175 yards the entire game, and the defense notched a school-record seven sacks, but the four turnovers on offense coupled with multiple missed fourth-down conversions did the Governors in. “We didn’t deserve to win that game,” head coach Scotty Walden said.
“We are going to go back to the drawing board and clean things up. I think our game plan was good, I felt really good about our plan, I felt really good about what we had installed. The execution of it was poor. You can’t ask more from our defense. … We out-gained them in every category, the key is turnovers. The two key stats are turnovers and average starting field position.”
The Tigers haven’t seen action since 2019, when they finished 3-9 on the season and 2-6 in the conference. The schedule allowed TSU coach Rod Reed the time to watch Austin Peay’s loss last week, and he knows his players may have their work cut out for them.
The Austin Peay coach also has territorial bragging rights on his mind. “A lot of guys that are at Peay are from the Middle Tennessee area,” Reed said. “You know, it’s bragging rights. You’ve got the Sergeant York Trophy out there. We always talk about winning the state of Tennessee. It’s become a huge rivalry game for us as far as those guys up the road in Clarksville.
TSU will look much different on offense this season, losing three linemen and quarterback Cameron Rosendahl. Sophomore Devon Bryant and junior David Johnson will be competing with three freshmen for the starting job.