Sunday features an Ohio Valley Conference matchup between the Austin Peay Governors (2-2, 1-3) and the Jacksonville State Gamecocks (7-1, 3-0). The contest takes place in Week 7 of the FCS football spring schedule, but the OVC also played a partial fall schedule.
Kickoff is scheduled for 3 p.m. ET at Burgess-Snow Field in Jacksonville, Ala. Jacksonville State is a 10½-point favorite in the OVC bout, according to the college football odds.
What to Know: Austin Peay Governors
Austin Peay is trying to get back on track after suffering a setback last week to UT-Martin, 37-34. The Governors had won two in a row before the defeat, dropping their spring season record to .500.
Teams from the OVC played a handful of fall contests, with Austin Peay dropping the three games they participated in.
Freshman quarterback Draylen Ellis has gotten the start under center in the four spring games, completing 55-of-114 passes for 832 yards, 11 touchdowns, and three interceptions. Ellis is also a threat on the ground, rushing for 53 yards and one touchdown this spring.
The Governors were without starting running back Brian Snead for last week’s game against the Skyhawks. In his absence, senior running back Ahmaad Tanner carried the ball 14 times for 105 yards and one touchdown. It is unclear if Snead will suit up in Sunday’s contest.
Austin Peay has found success through the air with five pass-catchers with 10 receptions or more through the fall and spring slate. Headlining the receiving corps is senior wideout Baniko Harley, who has 26 receptions for 366 yards and five touchdowns. Fellow senior wideout DeAngelo Wilson hauled in four passes for 107 yards and one score against UT-Martin.
Defensively, the Governors allow 37.1 points and 377.1 yards of total offense per game. Redshirt junior linebacker Jack McDonald is the team’s leading tackler, compiling 56 tackles and one interception through seven games.
What to Know: Jacksonville State Gamecocks
Jacksonville State carries a perfect conference record into the matchup and has won its last seven games dating back to the fall following a loss to Florida State. Sunday’s showdown will be the final home contest for the Gamecocks this spring. They have a pair of road tilts to cap the shortened regular season.
Junior quarterback Zion Webb has stepped in under center for the Gamecocks with fall starter Zerrick Cooper out due to injury. In four games, Webb has completed 68-of-109 passes with eight touchdowns and three interceptions.
Jackson State has a pair of junior running backs that split carries out of the backfield. Uriah West (94 carries, 486 yards, four touchdowns) and Josh Samuel (91 carries, 458 yards, four touchdowns) serve as the Gamecocks’ bell cows. West out carried Samuel, 16-8, in last week’s contest.
At receiver, Jacksonville State features a pair of pass-catchers with over 300 yards receiving apiece. Sophomore Dave Russell III has hauled in a team-high 24 passes for 351 yards and three touchdowns, while tight end Trae Barry has caught 20 passes for 323 yards.
The Gamecocks surrender 18.1 points and 265.9 yards of offense per game through the fall and spring schedule. A pair of sophomores, safety Nicario Harper (57 tackles, two interceptions) and linebacker Marshall Clark (46 tackles, one interception), highlight Jacksonville State’s defensive unit.
The Pick Is in
The Gamecocks’ defense will be the difference-maker. Jacksonville State is holding teams to 14.9 points per game over their seven-game winning streak. Jacksonville State will score enough against the Governors to put this game away comfortably in the second half. They’ll also cover the spread with a 17-point victory.
When doing your college football betting, take the Gamecocks to win and cover.