Austin Peay seeks to end season on positive note

NCAA Football

(Stats Perform) – The Austin Peay Governors have what they call “driver-side Sundays,” where they look in the rearview mirror.

They don’t necessarily like what they see from their first two games. They surrendered a last-minute lead in a 24-17 loss to Central Arkansas in the FCS Kickoff and fell 55-0 to Pittsburgh for their most lopsided defeat since 2014.

On Saturday, Austin Peay plays the final game of its abbreviated fall season at No. 13 Cincinnati, seeking better vibes to take into a potential spring campaign, when the Govs would play their Ohio Valley Conference schedule.

“I want us to execute on all phases – offense, defense, special teams,” interim head coach Marquase Lovings said.

“I want to see us execute what the coaches call at a high level.”

That hasn’t happened often enough for a program that went 11-3 last year, earning a share of the OVC title and winning twice in its first FCS playoff appearance. Against the Bearcats, Austin Peay will make its fourth attempt to reach 300 all-time wins dating back to a quarterfinal-round loss to Montana State last December.

Quarterback Jeremiah Oatsvall has been surprisingly ineffective and the offense sluggish since freshman C.J. Evans Jr. scored on a 75-yard run on the Govs’ first play from scrimmage. The defense hasn’t matched last year’s high level, especially against the pass.

“There’s no excuse here. I mean, there’s not going to be an excuse, either,” Lovings said. “Either we get it done or we don’t get it done. In certain areas of the game, we’re not getting it done right now and we’re working tirelessly to improve upon that. I believe in the people within our organization that we’ll go ahead and get it corrected.”

Austin Peay is 0-6 all-time against Cincinnati, losing 26-14 at Nippert Stadium in the most recent meeting which opened the 2017 season.

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