Austin Peay: This is the first meeting between the two teams. The Governors struggled in 2011, going 3-8, 0-2 against FBS teams. They have not recorded a winning season since 2007, when they went 7-4.
Trends: Virginia Tech won their last game against an FCS opponent in last year's opener against Appalachian State 66-13, but before that, lost their 2010 home opener to James Madison. Austin Peay lost their opener on the road a week ago to Western Kentucky 49-10. They are 0-5 against FBS teams since 2002 (as far back as I can go on their athletics site), though all five have been played over the last three seasons (including this season and the game last week). In those games, the Governors have been outscored 274-82, with 33 of those points coming in one game against Middle Tennessee State in 2010.
History Lesson: This is the first meeting between the two teams. According to the Hokiesports game notes, Austin Peay will be just the fourth team from the state of Tennessee to visit Lane Stadium. The Hokies play this game on short rest after playing Georgia Tech on Monday. On short rest (two games within a calendar week), the Hokies are 8-1 under Beamer, with the lone loss coming in 2010 to James Madison. Under Frank Beamer, the Hokies have gone 11-1 against FCS (or previously known as I-AA teams), with the only loss occurring to James Madison, who Beamer holds a 5-1 mark over, and an average score differential of 37-9, including the loss. BOOM! Just thought since we were saying it so much, we should give you the whole truth.
Austin Peay runs multiple formations instead of running primarily out of a singular formation. They like to run the ball. They had an 1,000-yard back last year in Ryan White, but he was a senior. Last week the Governors had a 100-yard rusher in Wesley Kitts. Kitts is the team's leading returning rusher with 495 yards and a healthy 5.9 avg. Last week he averaged over 10 yards per carry in gaining his 100 yards. Watch out for him.
The Governors only completed two passes a week ago against Western Kentucky for 11 yards despite returning a three-year starter in quarterback Jake Ryan. Laughably, both of those passes were completed to the same player, last year's leading receiver Devin Stark. Typically they pass the ball better than that, but you wonder if they can be a factor at all against teams like the Hokies.
Defensively, the Governors run a 4-2-5, and according to this preview from Western Kentucky blog, Topper Talk, the Governors like to stack the box.
Hokies Win If: They show up.
Governors Win If: The Hokies are worn out and check out in this one and don't take them seriously, commit several huge blunders and the Governors play the game of their lives. Also, if every one of their players is in good standing with their deities of choice and call in a favor. But even then, it's probably unlikely. After the 2010 JMU game though, I'll never say impossible.
Dot-dot-dots: Something you may have heard leading up to the game is a rather infamous Austin Peay chant, "The Fly Is Open, Let's Go Peay!" While this is wonderful all on its own at face value, there is of course a story behind it. James "Fly" Williams was a star basketball player at Austin Peay in the 70's. Using his nickname, fans devised the clever chant above anytime he was open. Or just anytime. It's a classic.