The Wildcats will be looking for some answers at home this weekend against Central Arkansas, after falling late to Stephen F. Austin. ACU lost the Bears 42-14 in Conway, Arkansas, a season ago and will be looking to end its winless streak to start the season.
This is the first time the Wildcats have started 0-4 since 1991, when they finished the season 1-9, and they have are in the middle of a five-game losing streak dating back to last season.
Although history is not on the Wildcat’s side, sophomore quarterback Dallas Sealey is optimistic about the team’s progression.
“We’ve got in a groove every single game, but it’s taken us a while, we’ve got off to slow starts.” Sealey said. “So I think if we can find our groove and get in a rhythm fast, within the first quarter, I think it’s going to lead us to winning.”
Offensively, ACU enters the game as one of the most prolific teams in the league, ranked second in total yards at 472.2 yards per game, and Sealey leads the league in total offense.
“I think as an offensive we’re gelling pretty good,” Sealey said. “I’m as confident as I’ve ever been and I think we are going to do good things.”
But UCA enters Saturday with plenty of it’s own optimism, as it claimed the Southland Conference’s defensive and special teams players of the week honors. The Bears also earned a 28-23 victory over FBS-opponent Arkansas State.
If the ACU wants to replicate its 52-37 win over UCA two years ago, Sealey and the Wildcats will have to start fast.
“Every game so far I think we’ve gone in the first two drives and been a nervous and we haven’t move as fast as we normally do, we haven’t communicated as well as we usually do and I think its hurt us so far,” Sealey said.
In the last three games, after trailing early, ACU has fought to a one-possession deficit all three times, and even took the lead against Northern Colorado and Houston Baptist. But each time the Wildcats struggled to make plays late. Head coach Ken Collums said the team will look to reverse that trend against UCA.
“Ultimately down the stretch you’ve gotta to make more plays then the opponent,” Collums said. “I’m hoping what happens on Saturday is this thing comes down to the fourth quarter and for a change we make more plays than the other team does down the stretch.”
All-time, ACU has beaten UCA only once and trails in the series 6-1-1. But since rejoining the Southland Conference in 2013, the season series is even at 1-1.
“What we’re doing is controlling what we can control which is our approach, and that’s going to set us up for a quality game on Saturday,” Collums said.
UCA is one of three teams sitting atop the conference at 2-0, and ACU is one of three winless teams left in the Southland.