The Wildcats (1-1) struggled mightily in the first half but scored on their first three drives of the second half to down the Houston Baptist Huskies (1-2) 49-21.
ACU scored on its first drive of the game with a five-play, 64-yard scoring drive ending with a six-yard touchdown pass to senior Jonathan Epps. The ‘Cats did not look good for the next quarter, letting the Huskies romp for two long rushing drives.
ACU’s offense would answer in the half’s final 6:31, scoring two quick rushing touchdowns courtesy of senior Herschel Sims and sophomore De’Andre Brown. The ‘Cats headed to halftime with a 21-14 advantage.
The ‘Cats would not look back, scoring 21 unanswered points in the third quarter and putting the finishing touches in the fourth with an eight-yard score from junior Parker McKenzie to Epps.
McKenzie rebounded nicely from his Fresno State start, going 18-for-25 for 228 yards and three touchdowns. The two-headed monster of Sims and Brown smashed through the HBU defense. Sims rushed for 78 yards and two touchdowns while Brown rushed for 93 yards and a score.
“I think we showed out talents today,” Brown said. “I love playing with him and I think we are different backs, but we can do it all.”
The play makers out wide had a nice night as Epps and and senior Cedric Gilbert combined for 12 catches for 145 yards and three touchdowns.
Defensively, sophomore linebacker Sam Denmark led all players in tackles (12) and tackles for loss (2.0). Bishop Gorman product and freshman cornerback Jabari Butler recorded two interceptions. The secondary has recorded four picks in two games, three of which came from true freshman.
However, the defensive line struggled to stop the run for most of the game, allowing 208 yards rushing at a 5.9 yard per carry clip. The run stopping struggle continued from week one against Fresno State. The ‘Cats gave up 225 to the Bulldogs and that looked like it carried over in the HBU game.
“We had a rough start, but we came out second half and did great it feels good to be 1-0 in conference,” Denmark said.
The Wildcats return to action next Saturday at 11 A.M. against a 2014 playoff squad in Stephen F. Austin. ACU upset SFA in the last week of the 2014 campaign 37-35. The Lumberjacks fell to McNeese State in their conference opener, 28-14, in Nacogdoches.