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Govs back on road to face No. 15/18 Virginia Tech | APSU

APSUBLACKSBURG, Va. – In the last three years Austin Peay has played Big 10 (Wisconsin) and BIG EAST (Cincinnati) programs for the first time in University history. This weekend the Governors will play an Atlantic Coast Conference school for the first time when they travel to Blacksburg, Va., to face Virginia Tech.

Kickoff will occur 12:34 p.m., CDT from Lane Stadium, considered one of most difficult places in the country to play for visiting teams. For a second straight week, APSU will have a game broadcast by ESPN3. John Sadak and John Gregory will have the call while Rontina McCann will serve as sidelines reporter.

The No. 15/18 Hokies are coming off a 20-17 overtime victory against Georgia Tech, Monday night, while the Governors are attempting to bounce back from a season-opening 49-10 loss at Western Kentucky. Without question, Virginia Tech will be the most successful program the Governors have played in its football history.

Since leaving Murray State after the 1986 season, Frank Beamer has developed a juggernaut at Virginia Tech, a program that was dominant in the Big East in its short stay in that conference and now one that annually sits atop the ACC. Under Beamer, Tech football has reeled off 19 consecutive bowl appearances, four ACC titles, five ACC Coastal Division crowns, three BIG EAST Conference titles, two “major” bowl victories, six BCS appearances and an appearance in the national championship game.

Beamer has the most wins (252) of any active coach at the Football Bowl Subdivision level and the second most wins (210) of a coach at one school.

This year’s Virginia Tech team is reminiscent of previous successful Hokies teams-an offense built around an outstanding quarterback (Logan Thomas) and a stifling defense. At 6-6, 260 pounds, Thomas, an All-America candidate, provides a dual-threat as both a runner and passes.  He had 230 yards passing and 40 rushing against Georgia Tech, Monday.

The defense, meanwhile, is led by end James Gayle, who had 12.5 tackles for loss a year ago.

Junior Cody Journell, who booted the game-tying and game-winning field goals against Georgia Tech, is one of the few scholarship kickers in recent times that has kicked for the Hokies.

The Governors, meanwhile, will seek to rebound from a disappointing season-opening performance at Western Kentucky, also a FBS school. Defensively, the Govs hope to shore up coverage and tackling issues that saw the Hilltoppers amass nearly 600 yards total offense.

Offensively, the Govs revamped offensive line hopes to do a better job of protecting senior quarterback Jake Ryan, who completed just two passes a week ago while being sacked twice.

In his first start, senior running back Wesley Kitts recorded his career’s second-100-yard rushing performance that included a 68-yard TD run, the Govs’ first score.

Senior kicker Stephen Stansell needs just one field goal to tie Tom McMillan (33) for career boots.

The contest will be a homecoming for APSU assistant coach Marcus Gildersleeve, who played wide receiver and special teams for the Hokies from 1996-98.

 

 

-AP-

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