The 2020 college football season arrived with a bang on Saturday night in Montgomery, Ala., the culmination of an uncertain summer leading into a much-anticipated start to what’s expected to be an unprecedented campaign. Austin Peay true freshman running back CJ Evans Jr. scored on the game’s first play, a 75-yard speed option down the sideline through the Central Arkansas defense for the season’s first points.
Sixteen seconds into the game, Austin Peay leads, 7-0, in the Guardian Credit Union FCS Kickoff — the only matchup during Week Zero.
Both the Governors and the Bears made the playoffs last season with Austin Peay finishing with 11 wins after capturing the Ohio Valley Conference for the first time since 1977. Saturday’s prime-time affair is nationally-televised on ESPN with new social-distancing measures in place inside of the Cramton Bowl.
TOUCHDOWN AUSTIN PEAY?? •CJ Evans 75 yards to the house! First play of the game! #AustinPeay #CentralArkansas(??via @espn) pic.twitter.com/DuZ5fp3OXc
ESPN announced in the pre-game leadup that Austin Peay star wideout DeAngelo Wilson did not make the trip for the game.
The Associated Press Top 25 preseason rankings released earlier this week and featured the inclusion of the Big Ten and Pac-12, Power 5 conferences who earlier this month decided to postpone all fall sports due to coronavirus safety reasons. Beginning in September, those league will not be included in the polls.
Six FBS conferences are playing this season — the ACC, Big 12, Conference-USA, the SEC and the Sun Belt. Daily health screenings, weekly testing, frequent sanitizing and various travel modifications are the new norm nationwide as college football tries to combat the spread of the virus.
Notable COVID-19 sideline protocols this season include coaches and staffers wearing masks and increased space on sidelines.
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