#33 Austin Peay FCS Football 2021 Preview

Austin Peay Governors
Overall Rank: #33
#2 Ohio Valley
Austin Peay Logo
Austin Peay played three games in the fall, losing to Central Arkansas, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. After falling at Tennessee Tech in the spring opener, the Governors turned their 0-4 season into a respectable 4-5 team with victories over Jacksonville State and Murray State.
2020-21 Record: 4-5, 4-2
2020-21 Postseason: None
Coach: Scotty Walden (4-2 at Austin Peay, 12-8 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Josh Cochran, Austin Silvoy
Defensive Coordinator: Chris Kappas
Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Brian Snead, RB, 522 yards
Passing: Draylen Ellis, QB, 1,270 yards
Receiving: Baniko Harley, WR, 387 yards
Tackles: Jack McDonald, LB, 70      
Sacks: Jack McDonald, LB, 2.5
Interceptions: Kam Ruffin, S, 2
Other Key Returnees: RB CJ Evans Jr, RB Ahmaad Tanner, WR Eugene Minter, WR Jay Parker, OL Bucky Williams, OL Colby McKee, OL Seth Johnson, LB Troy Henderson, DB Kordell Jackson, S Johnathon Edwards
Key Losses: WR DeAngelo Wilson, OL Robert Holmes, DE Terrell Lucas, DE Matthew Gayle, CB Elijah Culp
Freshman quarterback Draylen Ellis was not the most efficient quarterback, but he was productive, throwing for 1,270 yards and 14 touchdowns with four interceptions. Top receiver DeAngelo Wilson is gone after leading the team with 44 receptions for 619 yards, but Baniko Harley, Eugene Minter and Jay Parker all caught at least 21 passes in nine games and are ready for larger roles in 2021. Running back CJ Evans is a dangerous pass catcher too. He also rushed for 365 yards and four touchdowns. Brian Snead missed a couple games, but was the team’s top rusher with 522 yards. APSU has a lot of quality offensive weapons and if they can pick up where they left, this will be a very potent offense.
By the numbers, Austin Peay did not boast a great defense. However, they usually did enough and allowing 55 points to both Pitt and Cincinnati did not help the numbers. The defensive front has some rebuilding to do, but the linebackers are in good shape with Jack McDonald leading the way. Like McDonald, Kordell Jackson earned First-Team All-OVC honors. He joins Kam Ruffin and Johnathon Edwards in a secondary that ranked third in the conference in pass defense.
The Bottom Line:
A tough non-conference schedule with road games against Chattanooga, Ole Miss and Eastern Kentucky will test Austin Peay early. They start out OVC play with a potentially tough home date with Southeast Missouri and a road game at Murray State. Those two games could decide who wins the OVC. 
Projected Postseason:  None
2020-21 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 133.8 (52nd in nation, 4th in conference)
Passing Offense: 208.0 (45, 3)
Total Offense: 341.8 (47, 3)
Scoring Offense: 23.9 (45, 6)
Rushing Defense: 142.4 (45, 5)
Pass Defense: 217.3 (58, 7)
Total Defense: 359.8 (49, 6)
Scoring Defense: 33.4 (81, 8)
Turnover Margin: 0.00 (44, 4)
Sacks: 2.44 (36, 1)
Sacks Allowed: 1.78 (35, 4)