A 15 point first quarter dooms the Wildcats as they fall to the Mustangs 15-13. The loss all but guarantees MSU a playoff berth while ACU’s playoff fate is uncertain.
After giving up 15 points in the first quarter ACU settled down and scored 13 unanswered points, but fell short in the 15-13 loss.
“Our guys came back, they fought hard and I am proud of them,” Coach Chris Thomsen said.
Zack Eskridge and the Mustangs dominated the first quarter. Eskridge was a perfect 11/11 for the quarter and led the Mustang offense to two touchdowns and a field goal. However both extra points were missed, making the score 15-0 after one quarter.
Offensively the pressure got to Mitchell Gale, forcing him to struggle as he completed 18 of 31 passes for 141 yards with a touchdown and one interception for the game.
ACU turned things around in the second quarter using the wind to help them drive down 58 yards and score on a three-yard pass play to tight end Trey Simeone with 3:58 left in the second quarter. ACU added a 56-yard field goal by Morgan Lineberry with 1:53 left in the half to make the score 15-10. The Wildcats would go into the half trailing by five.
The third quarter was a defensive battle as both teams held the other scoreless. ACU’s defense played great stopping the Mustangs on a short field after a Gale interception.
In the fourth quarter ACU had its chances. After a long drive stalled out the Wildcats called on Lineberry again to kick a long field goal. Lineberry nailed a 51-yard field goal to make the score 15-13 with 6:03 left in the game. The Wildcats stopped them on defense again and got the ball back 3:31 left in the game at their own 30-yard line. The Wildcats were stopped on a 4th and 7 when Gale launched a ball deep that fell incomplete. MSU was able to run out the clock and hold on for the victory.
The playoff pairings will be announced Sunday at 2 p.m. on ESPNews.