Sophomore quarterback Dallas Sealey threw for 309 yards and three touchdowns in his return, but the Wildcats were outscored 27-0 in the second quarter and eventually fell 48-21 to Sam Houston State.
ACU’s defense had not registered an interception since week two against Northern Colorado, when junior linebacker Sam Denmark stepped in front of Kyle Sloter’s pass, but the defense found itself on the end of two interceptions in just the first quarter. The first by freshman Adonis Davis in the End zone, which kept the game tied at zero in the with just over seven minutes left in the first quarter.
After the offense was unable to get anything going after the interception, junior Sam Denmark earned his second pick of the year on SHSU’s ensuing drive to give ACU a two turnover advantage in just the first quarter.
The defense also had a goal line stand on the Bearkat’s first drive of the game, which was crucial in keeping the time at 0-0 until late in the first quarter.
However, SHSU would score on not one, but two tipped passes in the second quarter as part of 27 straight points to end the half. The first came on a third-and-14 from SHSU’s own 31 and looked as if it would be Davis’ second interception of the day, but the ball bounced out of his hands and into Nathan Stewart’s hands and he took it the rest of the way for a 69-yard touchdown.
The Bearkats would add two more scores to make it 20-0, before getting another tipped pass touchdown on third and goal from the ACU 15, which made it 27-0 at halftime.
“Very rarely do you see a tipped ball end up being a touchdown,” head coach Ken Collums said. “You might see that once a season, but today we saw it twice in the first quarter.”
ACU would play the Bearkats even in the second at 21-21, but the Wildcats would not be able to overcome the first half deficit.
After struggling the past few games, juco transfer D.J. Fuller provided a bright spot for the offense hauling in eight catches for 163 yards and two touchdowns.
With the loss the Wildcat’s losing streak grows to eight straight and they remain winless on the season at 0-7. Meanwhile, SHSU proved why it is ranked No. 2 in the FCS and improved to 6-0 overall and 5-0 in the Southland Conference.
“If you just watch the game, you can see the difference,” Collums said. “Our guys are young and skinny and their guys are old and big. We’ll end up looking similar to them, but we aren’t there yet.”
Next weekend ACU returns home for its homecoming match up against Incarnate Word who is coming off a bye.