By Ron Wynn
NASHVILLE, TN — Coming one year after the best season in school history, the Austin Peay Governors are no doubt thrilled that the fall portion of their current football season is over. Whenever the OVC resumes play, the Governors will begin with an 0-3 mark following a disastrous road game at 14th-ranked Cincinnati. The Bearcats gained nearly 500 yards of total offense and controlled things from start to finish on the way to a 55-20 win in what was Cincinnati’s home opener.
The Bearcats QB Desmond Rider completed 13 of 19 passes for 196 yards and two touchdowns, with eight different players having receptions. There were seven runners gaining at least 40 yards, led by Rider’s 57. Running back Gerrid Doaks ran for three touchdowns and added a touchdown reception. The Bearcats were in the red zone five times, and scored touchdowns on each occasion. They converted 60 percent of their third down tries, and both their fourth down ones.
Austin Peay did have a few good things happen offensively, with QB Jeremiah Oatsvall finishing 20 of 34 for 202 yards and one interception. Baniko Harley had four receptions for 94 yards. C.J. Evans rushed for 88 yards on 12 carries and had a 64-yard touchdown run. Austin Peay will now await the OVC’s decision on when and where to resume the season. They’ll use the subsequent time off for what head coach Marqase Lovings says will be like a standard off-season practice schedule.
Austin Peay wasn’t the only local area team to get routed Saturday, as Middle Tennessee State University were defeated 47-14 in their home opener. It was MTSU’s second loss in two games. Troy scored 40 consective points to blow open what had been a tie contest.