ACU football faces one of its toughest tasks in recent history as it heads to Alabama to take on the Troy University Trojans.
Troy has been a solid mid-major program for years, appearing in multiple bowl games over the last 10 seasons. The Trojans enter with the same record as the Wildcats who sit at 0-2.
Quarterback Parker McKenzie and the offense enter Saturday’s game with 29 points per game and 422 yards per game. The Wildcats need McKenzie to have a great outing if they want to win. McKenzie has been responsible for all seven touchdowns this season and has gone 44-for-62 for 568 yards and six touchdowns with two interceptions, as well as one touchdown on the ground.
Despite McKenzie’s performance, Ken Collums, head coach, believes the ‘Cats need to put together a much smarter game offensively and keep from turning over the ball.
“You have to approach every opportunity and every rep in practice like it’s Saturday,” Collums said. “It’s about doing it cleaner than we did last week, and we want it to be clean on Saturday.”
Defensively, the ‘Cats look to build on a great outing against NAU in which they held the FCS playoff team to only 27 points.
The Wildcats’ defensive line has been the anchor this season with senior defensive linemen Nick Richardson and Damon Williams, combining a total of nine tackles for loss after two weeks of play. They shut down the NAU rushing attack last week, only allowing 3.6 yards per carry.
Williams hopes the Wildcats can continue to dominate at the point of attack and get a signature win Saturday.
“I think it’s a big-time game for us,” Williams said. “I feel like we can get a win and shock the world.”
Larry Blakeney, Troy’s head coach, leads the Trojans into Saturday’s game. Blakeney has put together quite a resume in his 24 years as coach of the Trojans, building a 175-104-1 record since he arrived on campus in 1990. Blakeney helped the Trojans transition from Div. II to Div. I FBS during his tenure.
“Troy’s not an up-and-coming program,” Collums said. “They’ve gone to bowl games and their head coach is established. The field is named after him.”
The Wildcats take on Troy at 6 p.m. Saturday on ESPN3.