By Daniel Johnson, Sports Editor
Just like its season opener against the University of Central Oklahoma, ACU took an early lead against its week two opponent Texas State. But unlike week one the Wildcats kept scoring.
ACU rebounded from its season-opening loss to UCO by upsetting Football Championship Subdivision opponent Texas State 45-27 in San Marcos Saturday night after posting the most points ACU has scored since Oct. 19, 2006. The win was the first time a modern Lone Star Conference team has beat Texas State.
“Last week was a big time lesson we had to learn,” said offensive coordinator Ken Collums. “But the bottom line was that we had guys that did their job when they were supposed to.”
The nationally ranked Wildcats scored a season-high six touchdowns and 458 total offensive yards against its upper-divisional opponent Texas State to move to 1-1.
“Regardless of who we’re playing I feel like if everyone does their responsibilities we’ll be able to move the ball,” Collums said.
ACU running back Bernard Scott moved the ball all game running for three rushing touchdowns, one receiving touchdown and 135 rushing yards.
Also scoring big for the Wildcats was junior wide receiver Johnny Knox who had a team-leading eight catches for two touchdowns and 164 yards. Meanwhile, junior quarterback Billy Malone was 15-23 for 227 yards and three touchdowns in the win.
“It doesn’t matter what division you’re in, we just wanted to go out there and make a statement,” Scott said.
ACU took the lead early after capitalizing on an interception by outside linebacker Mike Kern on Texas State’s second offensive play of the game. Malone connected with Knox in the corner of the end zone for a 23-yard pass that put the Wildcats up 7-0 after junior kicker Matt Adams put away the extra point.
ACU continued to score early, going on a 11-play, 71-yard drive to the end zone to take a two-touchdown lead. Scott capped off the drive with a four-yard touchdown run after senior wide receiver Jerale Badon made a 20-yard run to get within four yards of the end zone.
ACU kept the early scoring going after Scott bolted through the Bobcats backfield for a his second touchdown, this time a 33-yard run in the second quarter that put the Wildcats up 21-0.
Scott scored again in the closing minutes of the second quarter after catching a floating pass from Malone in the bottom left corner of the end zone to put ACU up 28-0.
“If our offense is playing well so is our defense,” said senior linebacker Cody Stutts, who led ACU’s defense with six tackles and one sack.
Texas State finally found the end zone on their first drive of the second half after running back Stan Zwinggi capitalized on a ACU 14-yard pass interference penalty by scoring a 5-yard touchdown to pull within three scores of the Wildcats.
But ACU extended its lead to 31-7 after Adams nailed a field goal from 36 yards out.
The Bobcats dropped ACU’s lead to 31-14 after scoring on a 52-yard flea flicker from wide receiver Morris Crosby to wide receiver Cameron Luke in the third quarter.
But Texas State’s defense couldn’t stop the Wildcats.
ACU increased its lead to 38-14 after Malone found Knox in the end zone again, this time for a 42-yard score.
Texas State wouldn’t give up though, dropping the Wildcats score to 18 points, after George found Luke in the end zone on a fourth and ten play that made the game 38-20.
The Bobcats then had their biggest chance to come back after taking advantage of back-to-back pass interference calls on ACU junior defensive back Michael Diggs. Texas State quarterback Bradley George connected with Luke in the end zone, bringing the Bobcats within 11 points of ACU.
But Scott ended any chance of a comeback after running for his third rushing touchdown, this time a 17 yarder with less than 10 minutes remaining. Scotts touchdown was the last of the game, putting ACU up 45-27.
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” Scott said of his four-touchdown game.
The win was ACU’s first over a team in a higher Division since 1999, when ACU beat Prairie View A&M 30-14 in 1996. ACU’s next game will be its first at home when the Wildcats take on Southeastern Oklahoma State at Shotwell Stadium on Saturday.