ACU football (2-5 overall, 2-4 conference) returns home to face its toughest Southland opponent this season in no. 10 McNeese State Cowboys (7-0 overall, 6-0 conference).
The Wildcats come off a heartbreaking 25-20 loss to Incarnate Word, pushing their losing streak to four. ACU will need to bring in a tightened, clean game plan to beat the Cowboys.
ACU head coach Ken Collums said that the guys aren’t upset about missing the FCS playoffs, but rather about an unusual four game losing streak.
“These guys are competitors, they knew we could’ve gone 11-0 and not made the playoffs,” Collums said. “It’s not a deal about where we are depressed about not getting to go to the playoffs. It’s that nobody around here has lost four games in row and I personally haven’t losses four in a row.”
The Wildcats look for a spark on offense as they change to scrambling freshman quarterback Dallas Sealey. Sealey won’t be a cold backup coming off the bench for the Wildcats, as the freshman has played significant time this season completing 43-of-59 passes for 370 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. The ‘Cats will need a turnover free, efficient start from Sealey if they want to knock off the undefeated conference leader.
ACU will also need a lot of run support from running backs De’Andre Brown, Herschel Sims (if available) and Adrian Duncan. Brown showed a glimpse of last season’s breakout year with a 70-yard touchdown run to open the third quarter last week against Incarnate Word.
The offensive line will have to play well despite missing multiple starters. They will need to provide protection for Sealey and holes for the run game if ACU has any shot at a win.
Injuries continue to plague ACU, especially on the offensive lines. The Wildcats have had several young faces playing major minutes and even new positions over the past few weeks.
“We went into the Incarnate Word game with 15 guys that were unavailable,” Collums said.
McNeese State boasts the best scoring defense in the conference, giving up just 10.6 points per game. The Cowboys lead the conference in sacks as well with 23.
The defense will have its hands full this week as well trying to stop McNeese State quarterback, Daniel Sams. Sams is a true dual threat just like Trent Brittain from Incarnate Word. He is third in the conference in rushing with 551 yards to go along with eight rushing touchdowns. The senior signal caller also plays efficiently through the air with a touchdown to interception ratio of 8:4.
“Their quarterback makes everything go,” Collums said. “Daniel Sams is a phenomenal athlete. You just like to watch him he throws the ball adequately but the big thing is we can’t let him get out and run.”