Last week’s playoff update seems to have been optimistic. ACU dropped a heartbreaker this past weekend and fell to 2-2 in the increasingly muddy LSC South.
The offense moved the ball right out of the gate, taking it down to the Texans’ 10-yard line, but Mitchell Gale again struggled, throwing a pair of picks, his first coming on that drive. ACU made it into the red zone twice more in the first half, coming away with just two field goals.
The second half was nothing short of a dismal performance by the ACU offense. Mark Sprague punted nine times during the evening, and that was with three ACU turnovers.
The hardest thing for the Wildcats must have been seeing the defense hold the Texans, a team that has two rushers who combine for 160 yards a game, to -30 yards on the night – all for nothing. It was an awe-inspiring performance by the defense; the Texans were shut down offensively, and it looked liked six points would be enough to sneak away with a win. But all it takes is one big play, and that is what Tarleton got. A 75-yard strike by quarterback Scott Grantham, plus a stumble by corner back DuMaurier Jordan, helped the Texans come from behind for the win.
ACU surprisingly is still in control of its own destiny. The two remaining teams on the Wildcats’ schedule are ranked ahead of them in the new regional rankings, which currently have ACU in the No. 7 spot.
Midwestern State blew by Central Oklahoma this weekend with a 43-16 victory and now sits in the spot ACU held last week, No. 4.
Before the Wildcats get to Midwestern, they must get by Texas A&M-Kingsville this weekend. The Javelinas staved off an upset by Eastern New Mexico with a 38-31 victory. They are in the playoff picture at No. 5 as of now, but they likely would be eliminated from real contention if they lose either of their last two games.
If the Wildcats can win both games, they should end up with the No. 5 or No. 6 seed. Missouri Western, sitting in the third spot right now, just lost to an unranked Missouri Southern and somehow managed to stay put, despite an upset win by Tarleton. It would have been best if Tarleton and Kingsville had gotten ahead of Missouri Western, simply for the fact that it looks better in a win.
But the Wildcats cannot worry about anyone else, because they must win both games to advance to the playoffs. It would also be nice if they were convincing wins, just to remove any doubts voters might have.
Should ACU lose another game, making it to the postseason would require some very serious help. It would take losses by a few teams and mercy on the part of the voters to get the Wildcats in at that point.
I certainly hope the offense can find a way to get it together before this weekend, when they face an extremely tough Kingsville team.