Let’s face it, Austin Peay is not very good. There’s not much to break down as far as an opponent preview this week. The FCS’s Governors, out of Clarksville, Tennessee, have lost 27 consecutive games and are a combined 1-45 in the last four years. We won’t waste your time with that nonsense.
However, there are a number of questions this game will help us begin to answer. As Coach Fickell said during the weekly press conference this week, Thursday’s game is going to feel like Christmas as he unwraps presents in the form of game time reps. Coach Fickell said he’s very excited to see what gifts he may find during his first game. And quite frankly, we are just as excited to see what kind of presents the Fickell Era brings to Nippert under the lights. Here are some questions that will begin to be answered as the game unfolds:
- How many touches will Mike Boone receive and in what roles?
- How will running back phenom Gerrid Doaks look during a live game?
- How much playing time will the freshman all-stars receive, including Michael Warren, II, Jarell White, and R.J. Potts?
- How will Landon Brazile and Cortez Broughton play after their respective injuries?
- Who will step up beyond Devin Gray and Kahlil Lewis at receiver?
- How will Andrew Gantz look kicking field goals after his frustrating season-long injury in ’16?
- How will our special teams look, including the new Aussie punter?
- What will the new defense look like? Conversely, what will the new offense look like?
- Missed tackles have plagued the Bearcats last season. How fundamentally sound will the defense play?
- What sort of energized crowd will show up in Nippert Stadium after a 4-8 season?
- And what about the quarterback position? Moore? Trail? A combination of the two? Ridder? Sopko?
The bottom line is there’s much to look forward to this season and the Governors will show up Thursday night hoping to shock Clifton. Here’s to hoping that doesn’t happen.
By Andy Smith