By Daniel Johnson, Sports Editor
The nationally ranked ACU football team was challenged by and lost to the unranked University of Central Oklahoma in its season opener. But in its second game of the season, the Wildcats will face a challenge that no modern Lone Star Conference team has been able to overcome: NCAA Football Championship Subdivision opponent Texas State University.
Texas State is undefeated against the lower division LSC teams, and ACU will be the eighth LSC team the Bobcats play since 1999.
“As a whole, we see it as a challenge,” said senior wide receiver Jerale Badon. “And we want to meet that challenge.”
ACU will play Texas State in San Marcos on Saturday, and if the Wildcats upset the Bobcats, they will be the first Lone Star Conference team to ever beat Texas State, a feat Badon said isn’t impossible if the Wildcats play up to its potential.
“A win’s a win,” Badon said. “We know it’s a big school, but it will bring us back to where we need to be if we play focused and if we play ACU football.”
ACU is coming off of a 27-17 season opening loss to UCO in a game that was plagued by uncharacteristic Wildcat penalties and turnovers. ACU committed 10 penalties and turned the ball over three times.
ACU’s national ranking dropped from No. 11 to No. 24 because of the loss, but despite the early loss and mistakes, head coach Chris Thomsen said he looks at the Texas State game as an opportunity for his team to continue to improve.
“I’m glad we’re playing another good team to find out what we got,” Thomsen said.
The Bobcats opened its season by upsetting the No. 15 team in the Football Championship Subdivision- formerly known as NCAA Division I-AA-Cal Poly University. Texas State beat the Cal Poly Mustangs 38-35 to open its season at 1-0.
Thomsen said one of the main reasons UCO was able to score 27 points on the Wildcats was a breakdown in the secondary and, against Texas State, ACU will have to play without starting defensive back Bobby Tatum. Tatum injured his shoulder in the UCO game and will be out for 4-6 weeks.
ACU and Texas State will play at 7 p.m., and the game will be broadcast on KYYW 1470 AM.