The ACU football team stunned the Troy Trojans this Saturday as it took down its FBS opponent 38-35.
ACU moves to 1-2 after their three-game, non-conference gauntlet, and the Trojans drop to 0-3 on the season.
The Wildcats battled back from a 21-7 first half deficit. Their offense bounced back and found its way as they outscored the Trojans 31-14 in the second half.
Sophomore running back Adrian Duncan scored a nine-yard rushing touchdown with 1:17 left on the clock. Duncan’s run seemed to seal the game until Troy quarterback Dontreal Pruitt completed a 49-yard pass to receiver Josh Johnson to take the Trojans down to the one-yard line. Running back Brandon Burks took it in from the one to make it a 38-35 Wildcat lead with 20 seconds remaining.
The ensuing onside kick was recovered by junior cornerback Keith Barnett to seal a 38-35 Wildcat win.
“That’s what this thing is about, execution under pressure,” said Ken Collums, head coach.
The offense turned to a more balanced game plan this week as the running game carried the ball 40 times and the passing game attempted 34 passes for a total of 493 yards.
Quarterback Parker McKenzie added to an already impressive first season as he went 25-for-34 for 312 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. McKenzie completed passes to 11 different receivers, with Demarcus Thompson leading the way with eight catches with 58 yards as well as a three-yard touchdown run. Receiver Cedric Gilbert caught a touchdown for the third consecutive week, adding three catches for 84 yards.
Running back Herschel Sims turned in his best game of the season, carrying the ball 20 times for 96 yards. Freshman De’Andre Brown also added eight carries for 72 yards and one touchdown.
Troy’s two-quarterback offense put together an impressive offensive day with 417 total yards of offense. Starting quarterback Brandon Silver went 12-for-21 for 187 yards and a touchdown. He also added five carries for 40 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
Silvers left the game in the second half with an undisclosed injury, so situational quarterback Dontreal Pruitt took over the offense for the rest of the game. ACU’s defense made second half adjustments, giving Pruitt a tough game as he went only 9-for-17 for 99 yards.
Defensively the two senior safeties led teh way. Safety Justin Stewart was second on the team in tackles with seven. Stewart leads the team in tackles for the season with 25.
Three-year starting safety Angel Lopez led the team in tackles with eight. Lopez sat out last week’s game against Northern Arizona to recover from the concussion he suffered against Georgia State.
Defensive end Nick Richardson did not have a sack against Troy but led the defensive line in tackles with four along with recording tackle for loss.
The Wildcats spoiled a celebration for Troy’s head coach, Larry Blakeney, who was looking for the 176th win of his career. He would have had the third most winds of all time at an Alabama University.
He also had never lost to an FCS opponenet in 24 years of coaching the Trojans. Blakeney dropped to 14-1 as the Wildcats became the only FCS team to defeat the Trojans.
“I just love how we came together as a team,” McKenzie said. “We overcame adversity. That’s been our talks all week, and we really stepped up.”