Ohio Valley Conference preview

Thursday, August 28, 2008

AUSTIN PEAY GOVERNORS

Enrollment: 9,207

Located: Clarksville, Tenn.

Coach: Rick Christophel, 7-4 in second season at Austin Peay and overall

2007 record: 7-4 (5-3, T-3rd OVC)

I-AA playoff appearances: none

Stadium: Governors Stadium (10,000)

Returning starters: 16 (6 offense, 10 defense)

Key players: QB Garry Orr (735 yd), WR Lanis Frederick (33 rec, 4 TD), LB Kit Hartsfield (88 T), DB Kevis Buckley (45 T, 4 int), PR/KR Terrence Holt (24.5 yd KR, 12.2 yd PR, 4 TD)

Noteworthy: Austin Peay was picked to finish last in the OVC in 2007 but was the surprise of the league

2008 schedule

Aug. 28 — at North Dakota State

Sept. 6 — at Georgia Southern

Sept. 13 — Gardner-Webb

Sept. 20 — Tennessee-Martin

Sept. 27 — at Eastern Kentucky

Oct. 4 — Murray State

Oct. 18 — at Tennessee State

Oct. 25 — Tennessee Tech

Nov. 1 — at Jacksonville State

Nov. 15 — at Eastern Illinois

Nov. 22 — Southeast Missouri

EASTERN ILLINOIS PANTHERS

Enrollment: 12,179

Located: Charleston, Ill.

Coach: Bob Spoo, 127-102-1 in 21st season at Eastern Illinois and overall

2007 record: 8-4 (7-1, 2nd OVC)

I-AA playoff appearances: 12 (last in 2007)

Stadium: O'Brien Stadium (10,000)

Returning starters: 14 (7 offense, 7 defense)

Key players: QB Bodie Reeder (1,726 yd, 10 TD), RB Travorus Bess (612 yd, 4 TD), OG Chaz Millard, DE Pierre Walters (47 T, 6.5 TFL, 4 QS), DB Rashad Haynes (53 T, 5 int)

Noteworthy: Eastern Illinois has made three straight playoff appearances, but has lost in the first round every time

2008 schedule

Aug. 28 — at Central Michigan

Sept. 6 — at Illinois

Sept. 13 — Indiana State

Sept. 20 — at Illinois State

Sept. 27 — Jacksonville State

Oct. 11 — at Tennessee-Martin

Oct. 18 — Southeast Missouri

Oct. 25 — at Eastern Kentucky

Nov. 1 — Murray State

Nov. 8 — at Tennessee State

Nov. 15 — Austin Peay

Nov. 22 — at Tennessee Tech

EASTERN KENTUCKY COLONELS

Enrollment: 15,000

Located: Richmond, Ky.

Coach: Dean Hood, first season at Eastern Kentucky and overall

2007 record: 9-3 (8-0, 1st OVC)

I-AA playoff appearances: 18 (last in 2007)

Stadium: Roy Kidd Stadium (20,000)

Returning starters: 9 (5 offense, 4 defense)

Key players: QB Allan Holland (1,990 yd, 14 TD), DL Chris Coy (51 T, 18.5 TFL, 8 QS), DB Brandon Gathoff (91 T, 5 int), DB Zach Denton (69 T, 5 int), PK Taylor Long (13-14 FG)

Noteworthy: Eastern Kentucky has posted 30 straight winning seasons, the second-longest active streak in Division I-AA or Division I-A

2008 schedule

Aug. 28 — at Cincinnati

Sept. 6 — Western Kentucky

Sept. 13 — Morehead State

Sept. 20 — at Tennessee State

Sept. 27 — Austin Peay

Oct. 4 — at Tennessee Tech

Oct. 11 — Jacksonville State

Oct. 25 — Eastern Illinois

Nov. 1 — at Southeast Missouri

Nov. 15 — Murray State

Nov. 22 — at Tennessee-Martin

JACKSONVILLE STATE GAMECOCKS

Enrollment: 9,061

Located: Jacksonville, Ala.

Coach: Jack Crowe, 49-39 in ninth season at Jacksonville State, 63-69 in 14th season overall

2007 record: 6-5 (4-3, T-3rd OVC)

I-AA playoff appearances: 2 (last in 2004)

Stadium: Paul Snow Memorial Stadium (15,000)

Returning starters: 12 (6 offense, 6 defense)

Key players: QB Ryan Perrilloux, RB Daniel Jackson (509 yd, 21 rec), LB Marquise Elston (42 T, 8 TFL, 3 QS), KR/PR Maurice Dupree (29.4 yd KR, 13.9 yd PR, 2 TD), PK Gavin Hallford (22-29 FG)

Noteworthy: LSU transfer Perrilloux, the MVP of last year's SEC title game, was dismissed from the national champions for disciplinary reasons in May

2008 schedule

Aug. 28 — at Georgia Tech

Sept. 6 — Alabama A&M

Sept. 20 — at Chattanooga

Sept. 27 — at Eastern Illinois

Oct. 4 — Southeast Missouri

Oct. 11 — at Eastern Kentucky

Oct. 18 — Murray State

Oct. 23 — at Tennessee-Martin

Nov. 1 — Austin Peay

Nov. 8 — at Tennessee Tech

Nov. 15 — Tennessee State

MURRAY STATE RACERS

Enrollment: 10,150

Located: Murray, Ky.

Coach: Matt Griffin, 3-19 in third season at Murray State, 13-43 in sixth season overall

2007 record: 2-9 (1-7, 10th OVC)

I-AA playoff appearances: 5 (last in 2002)

Stadium: Roy Stewart Stadium (16,800)

Returning starters: 19 (8 offense, 11 defense)

Key players: QB Jeff Ehrhardt (2,567 yd, 21 TD), RB Charlie Jordan (601 yd, 4 TD), TD DeAngelo Nelson (34 rec, 3 TD), LB Nathan Williams (101 T in 2006, injured in 2007), LB Tamar Butler (79 T, 10.5 TFL, 5 QS)

Noteworthy: Griffin turned around Tennessee-Martin in his third season and is attempting to do the same at Murray State

2008 schedule

Aug. 28 — Lambuth

Sept. 6 — at Indiana

Sept. 13 — Illinois State

Sept. 20 — at Western Kentucky

Sept. 27 — Tennessee-Martin

Oct. 4 — at Austin Peay

Oct. 11 — Tennessee Tech

Oct. 18 — at Jacksonville State

Nov. 1 — at Eastern Illinois

Nov. 8 — Southeast Missouri

Nov. 15 — at Eastern Kentucky

Nov. 22 — Tennessee State

SOUTHEAST MISSOURI STATE REDHAWKS

Enrollment: 10,655

I-AA playoff appearances: none

Stadium: Houck Stadium (10,000)

Returning starters: 17 (9 offense, 8 defense)

Key players: QB Houston Lillard (1,350 yd, 10 TD), RB Timmy Holloman (655 yd, 6 TD), WR Miles Edwards (34 rec, 7 TD), LB Jared Goodson (98 T, 5.5 TFL), PK/P Doug Spada (14-22 FG, 42.5 yd P)

Noteworthy: In 17 Division I-AA seasons, Southeast has produced just two winning records, the last in 2002

2008 schedule

Aug. 28 — Southwest Baptist

Sept. 6 — at Missouri

Sept. 11 — Tennessee Tech

Sept. 20 — Missouri State

Sept. 27 — at Indiana State

Oct. 4 — at Jacksonville State

Oct. 18 — at Eastern Illinois

Oct. 25 — Tennessee State

Nov. 1 — Eastern Kentucky

Nov. 8 — at Murray State

Nov. 15 — Tennessee-Martin

Nov. 22 — at Austin Peay

TENNESSEE STATE TIGERS

Enrollment: 9,024

Located: Nashville, Tenn.

Coach: James Webster, 13-20 in fourth season at Tennessee State and overall

2007 record: 5-6 (4-3, 5th OVC)

I-AA playoff appearances: 4 (last in 1999)

Stadium: LP Field (67,500)

Returning starters: 17 (9 offense, 8 defense)

Key players: QB Antonio Heffner (1,486 yd, 10 TD), RB Javarris Williams (1,187 yd, 12 TD), WR Chris Johnson (41 rec, 5 TD), LB Remond Willis (84 T, 9 TFL), LB Kellen Woodard (49 T, 13 TFL)

Noteworthy: Former South Carolina transfer Heffner was limited to seven games by injury after being first-team all-OVC in 2006

2008 schedule

Aug. 30 — at Alabama A&M

Sept. 6 — Southern

Sept. 13 — vs. Jackson State (at Memphis, Tenn.)

Sept. 20 — Eastern Kentucky

Sept. 27 — vs. Florida A&M (at Atlanta, Ga.)

Oct. 4 — at Tennessee-Martin

Oct. 18 — Austin Peay

Oct. 25 — at Southeast Missouri

Nov. 1 — Tennessee Tech

Nov. 8 — Eastern Illinois

Nov. 15 — at Jacksonville State

Nov. 22 — at Murray State

TENNESSEE TECH GOLDEN EAGLES

Enrollment: 10,321

Located: Cookeville, Tenn.

Coach: Watson Brown, 4-7 in second season at Tennessee Tech, 98-158-1 in 24th season overall

2007 record: 4-7 (2-6, T-7th OVC)

I-AA playoff appearances: none

Stadium: Tucker Stadium (16,500)

Returning starters: 12 (6 offense, 6 defense)

Key players: QB Lee Sweeney (1,453 yd, 10 TD), OG Scott Eller, DB Maurice Smith (102 T, 6.5 TFL, 2 int), DB Taron Ryce (48 T, 2 int), PK Justin Kraemer (12-15 FG)

Noteworthy: Sweeney, second-team all-OVC and the OVC freshman of the year in 2006, was hampered by injuries last season

2008 schedule

Aug. 28 — Gardner-Webb

Sept. 6 — at Louisville

Sept. 11 — at Southeast Missouri

Sept. 20 — at Western Michigan

Sept. 25 — Central Methodist

Oct. 4 — Eastern Kentucky

Oct. 11 — at Murray State

Oct. 16 — Tennessee-Martin

Oct. 25 — at Austin Peay

Nov. 1 — at Tennessee State

Nov. 8 — Jacksonville State

Nov. 22 — Eastern Illinois

TENNESSEE-MARTIN SKYHAWKS

Enrollment: 7,000

Located: Martin, Tenn.

Coach: Jason Simpson, 13-10 in third season at Tennessee-Martin and overall

2007 record: 4-7 (4-4, 6th OVC)

I-AA playoff appearances: 1 (last in 2006)

Stadium: Hardy M. Graham Stadium (7,500)

Returning starters: 16 (8 offense, 8 defense)

Key players: QB Cade Thompson (1,034 yd, 8 TD), QB Dexter Anoka (1,369 yd, 8 TD), WR Roren Thomas (39 rec, 6 TD), OG Kevin Bannon, DL Ray Williams (40 T, 3.5 QS)

Noteworthy: Tennessee-Martin finished 2007 strong, winning four of its final five games, including its last three

2008 schedule

Aug. 30 — at South Florida

Sept. 6 — Baker

Sept. 11 — Concordia

Sept. 20 — at Austin Peay

Sept. 27 — at Murray State

Oct. 4 — Tennessee State

Oct. 11 — Eastern Illinois

Oct. 16 — at Tennessee Tech

Oct. 23 — Jacksonville State

Nov. 8 — at Auburn

Nov. 15 — at Southeast Missouri

Nov. 22 — Eastern Kentucky

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