The football team will host the No. 4 ranked Bearkats of Sam Houston State Saturday for its final home game of the 2017 season.
The Wildcats sit at 2-7 overall, and 2-5 in conference after a heartbreaking loss in overtime to Northwestern last week, while Sam Houston has a full head of steam with an 8-1 overall record, and a 6-1 Southland record coming off of a 57-20 win against Incarnate Word.
In ACU’s previous game, redshirt freshman quarterback Luke Anthony was given the opportunity to start for the first time this season, and earned honorable mention Southland player of the week throwing for 345 yards and two touchdowns.
Head coach Adam Dorrel said he was pleased with Anthony’s performance.
“I thought he did phenomenal, I’m really proud of his effort,” Dorrel said. “He’s done a really good job all year being a leader on and off the field.”
Heading into the game, The Wildcats have had an impressive year in the passing game ranking third in the conference with 2246 yards. Senior wide receiver Troy Grant has legged most of those yards with 440.
However, ACU has struggled to find its rhythm in the rushing game ranking last with 777 yards. Sophomore running back Tracy James has emerged as the leading running back for the Wildcats with 480 yards this season.
The Wildcats will welcome a talented team in Sam Houston Saturday, ranking first in the conference in total offensive yards (4919), first in passing yards (3154) and second in rushing yards (1765).
Reigning Southland Conference player of the year, senior quarterback Jeremiah Briscoe, will be leading the Bearkat offense. Briscoe broke the FCS record of touchdown passes thrown in a season last year with 57. So far, this season, Briscoe has thrown for 3079 yards, and 27 touchdowns.
Sophomore wide receiver Nathan Stewart has produced the biggest numbers for Briscoe with 1057 yards and eight touchdowns.
Defensively for Sam Houston, junior linebacker Justin Johnson leads the team in tackles with 64. A year after winning the Southland Conference defensive player of the year, senior defensive end P.J. Hall has performed well again this season with five sacks and 12.5 tackles for a loss.
Senior linebacker Sam Denmark, who needs 10 tackles to break the all-time ACU career record of tackles, said the defense is ready for Sam Houston.
“Going into a game like this and playing a tough offense like that excites the defense,” Denmark said. “Our coaches have a great game plan, but it’s up to us to practice it and master it.”
Kickoff time for the game was moved up to 2 p.m. this week after it was originally scheduled for six. The Wildcats will also be participating in senior day before the game, where Denmark, and the other seniors will be honored. Coverage of the game can be heard on 98.1 FM.