After a 48-21 loss against Sam Houston State, the Wildcats return to Shotwell for Homecoming to take on the Cardinals. ACU is still in search of its first win, while UIW is coming off a bye and has a 1-3 conference record with a win over Northwestern State 21-18.
This game will have a different feel than most home games with hundreds of alumni coming back to support their alma mater. The extra crowd is even more of an incentive for the Wildcats to take down the Cardinals.
On paper these two teams are evenly matched with UIW at 1-3 in conference play and the Wildcats at 0-5.
Head coach Ken Collums thinks this is the team’s chance to secure a win in hopes of turning the season around.
“We should be able to move and run the ball against Incarnate Word,” Collums said. “We match up better with them and really whenever you’re running the ball better, everything just works out better.”
Sitting last in the conference, the Wildcats are still ranked eighth in the Southland Conference standings for scoring offense with 23 touchdowns and averaging over 26 points per game. They are also fifth for total offense with 2,841 total yards.
Dating back to last season, the Wildcats are on an eight-game losing streak. Taking this win against Incarnate Word is the team’s best chance at taking back momentum.
In six of the Wildcat’s seven games this season, the offense has produced more points in the second half than in the first, three of which resulted in scoreless first quarters.
In order to secure a win this weekend, the offense will have to be more consistent and the defense will have to take control of the field. Collums believes the good practices his team has been having is promising of a good game.
“The biggest positive for us right now is that we are having good practices,” Collums said. “We are having positive practices. Nobody is moping around because we’ve lost games and that’s what we need for them to approach it as if the game is right around the corner and they’re going to get after it.”
The Wildcats are a perfect 3-0 against the Cardinals at home having outscored them 122-22 in those three games, but last season’s injury prone Wildcats fell 24-21 against UIW in San Antonio.
With a healthier team and the ideal situation, the Wildcats are prepared and confident going into the game against the Cardinals.
“The goal is to start out fast,” said Collums. “And we’re going to do everything we can to do just that.”
Each team will enter Saturday’s match up with its last game resulting in losses against SHSU. UIW fell 63-48 the week before its bye.