The Wildcats will get something Saturday many sports teams can only dream about: a second chance. ACU will return to Wichita Falls for its second-straight week to play the Midwestern Mustangs. This time around, however, the winner advances in the playoffs, while the loser’s season is over.
College football teams rarely play each other twice in the same season, much less in consecutive weeks. ACU and MSU will enter the game well prepared after playing each other just last week.
This game will come down to execution. For the Wildcats, this means finishing drives and putting points on the board. ACU’s offense has struggled with inconsistent drives; if they can correct that and rely on a solid defensive line, the Wildcats will be in a good position to win the game.
The defense will need to raise its level of play again in order to stop quarterback Zack Eskridge. Eskridge picked apart the Wildcats’ defense in the first quarter last week. He was a perfect 11/11, throwing for 197 yards and a touchdown, as he led his team to 15 points in the quarter.
The Wildcats finally began to put pressure on Eskridge in the second quarter, forcing five sacks and six hurries. Eskridge completed only one of his last 11 attempts, ending 14/24 for the game. ACU will need to push hard through all four quarters to slow him and the MSU offense down Saturday. The Mustangs will be looking to return the favor by targeting Mitchell Gale. The young quarterback has made some mistakes this season under heavy pressure. MSU will be looking to pressure Gale defensively to leading to defensive stops giving the ball back to the offense.
Offensively, the Mustangs are looking to protect Eskridge and establish a running game early to open the passing attack for him. They will also try to get BeeJay Mathis going, something they failed to do last week when the Wildcats held him to 21 rushing yards on eight attempts.
The game will kick off at noon Saturday, students can call the MSU ticket office to purchase tickets.