Dual-threat freshman quarterback Kade Munden gave ACU its biggest win of the season as the team compiled 286 yards on the ground to upset the Central Arkansas Bears, 52-35.
ACU improved to 5-5 overall on the season and 3-3 in conference, while the Bears dropped to 5-5 and 4-2 in conference.
The Wildcats held off one of the Southland’s highest-scoring offenses to win the shootout. ACU took a strong 31-14 lead into halftime after jumping out to a 21-7 lead early on.
UCA quarterback Ryan Howard delivered two touchdown passes in the second half to make it a 38-28 game, but that would be as close as it got. The defense would dominate the rest of the game to give the Wildcats the win in their annual DFW game in John Clark Stadium.
Head coach Ken Collums broke the hearts of his alma mater Saturday afternoon. Collums started at quarterback all four years for the Bears in 1991-1994. He also won the 1991 national title for UCA.
“I wanted this one, it’s great to win, you got to win,” Collums said. “This game was a little different. The closer it got, I thought it would get easier, but in this one, it didn’t.”
Munden made the most of his first career start as he was responsible for five Wildcat touchdowns. He didn’t do much in the passing game, as he went 6-for-8 for 49 yards, but he did throw three touchdowns.
Munden did his damage on the ground, rushing 20 times for 100 yards and a touchdown.
“I can’t even explain it,” Munden said. “I am so proud of all the guys. They came out and worked hard and we had a great week of practice. I just wanted to come out here and do my one-eleventh and just work with these guys because if weren’t for them, I’d be zero.”
Running back De’Andre Brown recorded his best game of the season as he rushed for 171 yards and even threw a touchdown pass to tight end Jamie Walker.
ACU’s receivers were used sparingly as the running game rushed 54 times. Each starting tight end for the Wildcats caught a touchdown, including two from Walker.
The defense was the story of the game as they forced a season high of seven turnovers against the Bears. The secondary recorded four interceptions. Utility player Jonathan Epps had two interceptions on the night taking one 68 yards for a Wildcat touchdown in the fourth quarter.
The defense flew around the ball all night as they sacked UCA’s quarterbacks five times. Nick Richardson recorded his eighth sack of the year. Rishaad Wimbley also recorded two sacks in the game as well.
“Our guys got after it,” Collums said. “We got heat on the passer. When receivers and running backs weren’t protecting the ball we went after it. Our guys played hard and we took advantage of their mistakes.”
The Wildcats will continue conference play at 2 p.m. Saturday at home against the Northwestern State Demons.