- Associated Press - Friday, August 21, 2015

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The losing skid is over, and Austin Peay coach Kirby Cannon finally has his first victory since taking over the program. Now the young Governors are working at getting him even more wins.

Cannon goes into his third season 1-23 with the Governors ending an 18-game skid that had been the longest in the Football Championship Subdivision last October by beating Murray State 20-13. They nearly added a second at homecoming only to lose 31-27 to Tennessee State.

With 15 starters back, Cannon says this program is on the right path toward being able to compete.

But Cannon says he also is trying to make sure the Governors concentrate on what they must do each day to put them in position to win games after going 1-11 last season.

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Some things to watch at Austin Peay:

WHO’S AT QB? Cannon has to pick between Mickey Macius, Trey Taylor and Darrien Boone before the season opener Sept. 5 against Mercer. Macius led the Governors throwing for 530 yards and five touchdowns with three of those in the Govs’ only win last season. Taylor has more mobility, having run for 87 yards. Boone ranked fourth on the team running for 119 yards.

OFFENSIVE WEAPONS: Otis Gerron is back for his sophomore season as the Governors’ leading rusher. He ran for 596 yards as a freshman, and Austin Peay also has Julian Franklin back along with Kendall Morris who was redshirted last season. Whoever starts at quarterback also has plenty of targets with Wesley Thomas, Jared Beard and Malik Boynton back as sophomores after getting lots of playing time a year ago.

DEFENSIVE LEADER: Linebacker Antonio Turner is back after leading the Governors with 81 tackles last season on a defense that returns six starters up front. Defensive linemen Tyler Schneider, Jule Pace and Nicholis Matiere-Bey now are juniors, which should help a secondary that lost three starters. But Austin Peay has to stiffen up after allowing an OVC-worst 243.1 yards rushing per game.

PROTECT THAT BALL: The Governors may be young, but they sure proved they could hold onto the football. They led the OVC with the fewest interceptions (10), and they lost nine fumbles - also a league-best. The Governors have had less than 20 turnovers each of the past two seasons.

DECADE OF FOOTBALL: This season marks Austin Peay’s 10th playing scholarship football again and ninth in the OVC.

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Predicted finish in Ohio Valley Conference: Ninth


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