If you look at Saturday’s match up against Stephen F. Austin (2-1) on paper ACU (0-3) has the edge in almost every category, including points per game 32.5 to 26 and total offense 455 yards per game to 367 yards per game. The Wildcats even have the slight edge in scoring defense at 39.7 to 40.3, which has been a struggle through their first three games.
ACU also has the edge in the all-time series, as it has beaten SFA 10 of the 16 times the teams have played and is 2-0 against the Lumberjacks since rejoining the Southland Conference.
In 2014 the Wildcats edged out a 37-35 victory after now redshirt junior Nik Grau converted a 31-yard field goal late in the game.
“Two years ago we go down to Nacogdoches and it is a brawl,” said head football coach Ken Collums. “We’re throwing hay-makers and were taking them, and it was two quality teams at the end of the year that still had enough left to play good football and we matched up with them well.”
Last year ACU earned a 35-32 win on junior DeAndre Brown’s 20-yard touchdown run.
“I think it’s going to be a typical rivalry,” Grau said. “It’s going to be a close game like it has been the last two years, and I’m excited to see what our team does.”
Brown has racked up 388 yards and six touchdowns in his last two games against SFA, and although he has been hampered by a hamstring the last two weeks, head coach Ken Collums said he will be in the starting lineup.
However, the Lumberjacks will have plenty of momentum heading into the match up, as SFA is coming off of a 31-28 upset victory of McNeese State. McNeese was ranked 14th in the FCS top-25 before the lost and now sit at no. 24. The Lumberjacks also received recognition in the latest poll in light of the victory.
The match up will also pit the last two Southland Conference Offensive Players of the week in sophomore quarterback Dallas Sealey against SFA’s Zach Conque. In the game against McNeese, Conque totaled 325 yards and three touchdowns.
Sealey leads the Southland in passing yards (918), completions (73), points scored (30), rushing touchdowns (5), total offensive yards (1,080) and total offense per game (360.0 yards). Conque is fifth in the Southland in total offense at 238.7 yards per game.
“Dallas is playing well but the good thing is he has so much more room to grow, he’s going to get better,” Collums said.
This is just the eighth time in school history ACU has started a season 0-3, and only in 2002 was it able to work back to a winning record. The Wildcats will also be looking to end an eight-game road losing streak on Saturday.