ACU football will play itss final home game of the season this weekend as it takes on the Northwestern State Demons.
The Wildcats bring in an even overall record of 5-5 and a conference record of 3-3, while the Demons carry a 4-5 overall record and a 2-3 conference record.
The ‘Cats look to carry their momentum from last week’s huge win over Central Arkansas into the final home game.
Sophomore quarterback Parker McKenzie returns to the starting lineup this week after missing the UCA game with a concussion, but the team will continue to use redshirt freshman Kade Munden. Munden had five total touchdowns and zero turnovers in the win last week.
“Our thing now is what we put together last week is worth doing,” said Ken Collums, head coach. “The question is do you throw all that out and go back to your normal stuff when Parker comes back? My answer is we are going to do whatever works. It makes sense for us to use De’Andre and Kade as Wildcat quarterbacks.”
The running game is hoping to build on its best outing of the year. The offense ran the ball 54 times for 286 yards against UCA. Running back De’Andre Brown ran for 171 yards in the new offense, giving the Wildcats new hope for a running game that struggled over the previous two weeks.
“Munden being in the game really opened up a lot of options for us,” said Jamie Walker, tight end. “We got a lot of faith in Munden; we all knew he was athletic but we didn’t realize what kind of player he was. Seeing how he could run -and De’Andre could run and with Herschel a little bit more healthy next week – I feel pretty good about the run game.”
The receivers look to get back into action after having only one reception last week in the run-heavy offense.
This will be senior wide receiver Demarcus Thompson’s last home game of his ACU career. Thompson went from fourth on the depth chart last year to the team leader in receptions (45) and second in yards (514).
A large majority of the ACU defense will also play their final game in Shotwell Stadium this weekend. Starters Nick Richardson, Damon Williams, Justin Stephens, Justin Stewart, Angel Lopez and Rob Boyd, along with contributors Blake Rudd and Brandon Dornak, will finish their Shotwell career against the Demons.
The experienced defense has been number one in takeaways this season with 23. It will need to create turnovers against a battle-tested Norwestern State offense that has seen opponents such as Baylor, Louisiana Tech and Southeastern Louisiana.
Junior do-it-all corner Jonathan Epps will be one of the keys to creating turnovers. Epps was named Southland Conference Defensive Player of the Week after his performance against UCA in which he recorded two interceptions, taking one back 68 yards for a touchdown.
ACU will kickoff its final home game of the season at 2 p.m. Saturday.