No. 7 Gamecocks fall to Austin Peay in weekend matchup

Gamecocks fall to Austin Peay in first loss of the spring football season. (Matt Reynolds/JSU)Gamecocks fall to Austin Peay in first loss of the spring football season. (Matt Reynolds/JSU)

Matt Reed, Correspondent

The Gamecocks suffered a 13-10 loss to rival Austin Peay on Sunday at Burgess-Snow Field, ending a seven-game win streak.

The final regular-season home game ended with six turnovers by the Gamecocks after a rocky first half that included four turnovers and 12 penalties. It was the Gamecocks’ lowest scoring total since the 17-7 loss to Kennesaw State in the 2017 FCS playoffs. 

The Austin Peay Governors gained only 27 yards in 29 carries on the ground, and ended the game with only 238 yards of offense. JSU quarterback Zion Webb completed just 9-of-26 passes during the game, gaining 111 total yards with four interceptions, the first of which resulted in a touchdown for the Governors. JSU outgained the Governors in yards 259-238, which is still the fewest total yards in the 2020-2021 season.

The opening series by the Gamecocks resulted in a touchdown, but was followed by a five-play scoring drive by the Governors with three penalties against the Gamecocks.

“You’re just not going to win a game with six turnovers,” said head coach John Grass on the loss. “Penalties helped them a lot on their two scoring drives. As poorly as we played, we still had a chance to win the football game.”

The Gamecocks now fall one game behind OVC leader Murray State (5-0), but still have to face off with Eastern Illinois and Murray State on the road. 

“We’ve just got to put this one behind us and move forward,” said Grass. “We’re still playing outstanding defense. We’ve got all our goals still ahead of us if we can beat EIU next week and then go beat Murray State.”

Gamecock football will travel to the “Land of Lincoln” this Saturday, April 3 to take on the Eastern Illinois Panthers for the next OVC matchup. The game will kick off at 1:00 p.m. and will be available for streaming on ESPN+.

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