By Daniel Johnson, Sports Editor
ACU’s offense racked up 458 total yards and scored a season high six touchdowns in its upset win over Texas State on Saturday. And in the Wildcats’ first home game of the season, week three may be a repeat of last week’s show as they take on a struggling Southeastern Oklahoma State defense.
“We want to come out and perform well in front of the home fans,” said head coach Chris Thomsen.
The 1-1 Wildcats will open home play against one of the worst defenses in the Lone Star Conference on Saturday: the Southeastern Savage Storm.
In the 13-team Lone Star Conference, Southeastern ranks 11th in total defense, 12th in rushing defense and 12th in scoring defense. The Savage Storm, who were picked to win the LSC North, are also coming off of an embarrassing 41-17 loss to Tarleton State.
Tarleton’s offense racked up 560 yards of total offense against Southeastern, and so far this season Southeastern has given up an average of 478.0 yards a game.
The last time ACU and Southeastern met in 2006, the Wildcats scored 51 points, and the win launched a seven-game winning streak for ACU.
But despite the Savage Storm’s early defensive struggles and last year’s results, Thomsen said he is ready for a battle.
“I know Southeastern is ready to prove themselves,” Thomsen said.
ACU’s offense is coming off of its biggest week of the season. Junior running back Bernard Scott scored four touchdowns and junior quarterback Billy Malone threw for 227 yards and three touchdowns against Texas State, a performance that lifted ACU’s offense yardage average to 407.0 yards a game.
One weakness the Savage Storm may try to take advantage is ACU’s injury laden and struggling passing defense.
In ACU’s week two win over Texas State, ACU had problems defending the pass. ACU gave up 294 yards in the air for three passing touchdowns. ACU is ranked 10th in the LSC in pass defense and has given up 509 yards in the air this season.
The Southeastern offense has one of the best passing offenses in the LSC, averaging 256.5 yards in the air after two games.
“I guess as a veteran in the secondary, the main thing we can do right now is emphasize on film, film, film,” said senior cornerback Corey Jordan.
Former starting defensive back Bobby Tatum was injured in the Wildcats’ first game against the University of Central Oklahoma and starting sophomore linebacker Jody Walker was injured in the Texas State game.
“It’s tough obviously; we’ve lost players we counted on being in all season,” Thomsen said. “We had to pull up a few guys who were gonna red shirt that we believe will have the ability to step up.”
But regardless of the injuries and defensive struggles, Jordan said losing at home isn’t an option.
“I think it’s huge because I don’t want our fans to come out and not enjoy the game,” Jordan said. ACU and Southeastern will kick off at 6 p.m. at Shotwell Stadium on Saturday.