ACU football hits the road for the third consecutive week as they travel to Plano for the annual DFW game.
The Wildcats will play in John Clark Stadium against second-place conference opponent Central Arkansas. ACU will enter the game at 4-5 and 2-3 in the Southland while Central Arkansas enters at 5-4 with a 4-1 Southland record.
Ken Collums will play his alma mater for the first time as head coach. Collums led the Central Arkansas Bears to a NAIA national championship in 1991.
“I have never been real fired up to play the UCA Bears,” Collums said. “I am a product of the University of Central Arkansas. It’s a little different.”
ACU will be without starting quarterback Parker McKenzie. McKenzie suffered a concussion last week in ACU’s 38-21 loss to Sam Houston State.
“He will be fine,” Collums said. “He just has a bump on the head, but we are going through our normal protocol on concussions.”
McKenzie has started every game this season for the Wildcats and is leading the Southland in passing yards (2,530) and touchdowns (20).
Despite the loss, Collums has faith in the team as a whole.
“When you lose your starter, it’s not easy,” Collums said. “But that’s why it is a program; it’s not about one player but the team.”
The keys to ACU’s high-powered offense will be handed over to redshirt freshman Kade Munden. Munden has played in three games this year and went 7-for-8 for 59 yards in his backup role.
Munden has a great supporting cast to help him in his first career start. The offense has eight skill-position players with double-digit receptions on the year. The running game will look to bounce back after last weeks’ game where De’Andre Brown and Herschel Sims combined for 14 carries for only 32 yards and one rushing touchdown.
The defense will also be limited this week as freshman starting linebacker Sam Denmark is listed as questionable to play with a high ankle sprain. Denmark is second on the team in tackles with 65. The linebackers will have to lean on seniors Lynn Grady and Justin Stephens to pick up the slack with Denmark being out.
“They do have so many NFL prospects at the wide receiver position,” Stephens said. “They are a really good football team fighting for the conference championship. They will be out there ready to play.”