ACU football is ushering in a new age this season. For the first time in four years the offense finds itself in an unusual position.
The Wildcats will be welcoming senior John David Baker as quarterback in replacement of Mitchell Gale. Baker brings an exciting new wrinkle to the offense with his ability to scramble and run with the ball. The team will be using new plays such as the zone-read to take advantage of his skill set.
A huge advantage for Baker and the Wildcats will be the return of three key receivers from last year: seniors Taylor Gabriel and Darian Hogg and junior Darrell Cantu-Harkless. Head coach Ken Collums is confident that these receivers can help Baker make an easy transition into the starting quarterback role.
“These guys know the offense and will make it easier on John David,” Collums said.
The line will be anchored by returning starters seniors Blake Spears, Josh Perez and Will Latu and junior Tyler McIntosh. Rarely does an offense have this many returning starters, which will help the transition to Div. I be both smooth and painless. The returning talent surrounding John David should also make his transition into the starting quarterback role an exciting, promising one.
The offense will be seeing some new teams on the schedule from both the Southland Conference and conferences around the country. The team has been used to playing the Lone Star Conference competition, but they will be challenged by new defenses they have never seen before. The team is excited to battle the new competition.
“We are not playing WT or Midwestern. It’s a new challenge but exciting to play some new people and new faces,” Baker said.
Although they like the opportunity to play new teams, they are focused on the two Southland opponents they will play this season in Incarnate Word and Houston Baptist.
The most intriguing game of the season will be Football Bowl Subdivision opponent New Mexico State. ACU will have help in handling the large Div. I defenses because of the amount of experienced offensive line returning.