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Coach Cannon rebuilding Governors on, off field

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 28, 2014 at 12:16 pm •  Published: July 28, 2014
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The Austin Peay Governors are rebuilding on and off the field after a winless campaign in Kirby Cannon's first season as head coach.

The Governors will be young again with 43 true or redshirt freshmen on the 93-man roster, and Austin Peay will show off its new stadium on Sept. 13 hosting Chattanooga after a $19 million offseason renovation.

Central Arkansas transfer Trey Taylor had a solid spring as a redshirt to lead the competition for starting quarterback. Timarious Mitchell played in 10 games last fall.

The offense will need more production after getting shut out three times last season in ending an 84-game streak without a shutout. The defense also needs more pressure after collecting only eight sacks.

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Five things to watch as Austin Peay tries to turn it around:

SINKHOLE SAGA: The stadium project should be completed in early August, despite bad winter weather and a sinkhole in the north end zone which drew national media coverage. Luxury boxes, chair-back seating and a new concourse area are some of the amenities in the face-lift.

BACKFIELD IN MOTION: Leading receiver Rashaan Coleman and converted defensive back Justin Roberson will see action at running back.

MICHIGAN PIPELINE: The Govs added former Detroit all-state receiver Steve Bell from Scottsdale (Arizona) Community College, and Central Michigan transfer QB Darrien Boone who will have four years of eligibility. Bell, recruited at Central Michigan during Cannon's tenure, helps at a position where Peay used multiple walk-ons last fall.

BETTER START?: The Governors visit the Liberty Bowl to face Memphis in the Aug. 30 season-opener after beginning 2013 with back-to-back lopsided losses at in-state Southeastern Conference teams Vanderbilt and Tennessee.

ALL RELATIVE: Defensive lineman Corey Teague of LaVergne, Tennessee, and cousin Sema'je Kendall, a Chattanooga defensive back, will face off again this year. Teague's father Corey Sr. played for 1992 unbeaten OVC champion Middle Tennessee, and other cousins have played for Tennessee, LSU and Middle Tennessee.

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Predicted finish in Ohio Valley Conference: Ninth


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