The football team will get its first shot at a conference competitor this weekend with a road matchup against Houston Baptist.
Last season, ACU also opened conference against HBU in Wildcat Stadium and won 24-3. They now turn around to face each other in Husky Stadium nearly an exact year later.
Both the Wildcats and the Huskies will look to earn a better result in conference this season, as ACU went 2-7 and HBU went 0-9 last season.
Head coach Adam Dorrel said HBU will be a challenging start to Southland play.
“They’re a good ball club; I think much improved from last year,” Dorrel said. “We don’t have a ton of film. They have a new offensive coordinator and a new defensive coordinator, so it’s been challenging to try and gameplan.”
The Wildcats, 1-1 overall on the season, lost to Baylor 55-27 in the first week and won their home opener against Angelo State last Saturday.
Junior wide receiver Josh Fink was the headline of the winning effort last week in the absence of redshirt senior wide receiver D.J. Fuller. Fink hauled in eight passes for 161 yards and two touchdowns.
Redshirt sophomore quarterback Luke Anthony showed signs of struggle in the second quarter with two interceptions, one returned for a touchdown by Rams’ sophomore linebacker Donavyn Jackson. He did, however, post 370 yards with the two touchdowns to Fink and a rushing touchdown of his own.
Defensively, junior linebacker Jeremiah Chambers has emerged as the leading tackler for the Wildcats with 16 on the season so far. He also leads his squad in tackles for a loss, totaling three and is in a three-way tie for sacks with one.
Chambers said he knows the defense has to remain focused the entire game in order to win.
“We have to stop the run, go out fast and finish fast,” Chambers said. “We have to play all four quarters and at the top of our abilities.”
HBU has started its season off comfortably, as this will be the third home game in a row for them. The Huskies did suffer a 51-34 loss, however, to their first Southland opponent, McNeese, last Saturday.
The team has totaled an impressive 971 yards in its first two games, 606 of it in the air and 365 on the ground.
Sophomore quarterback Bailey Zappe has received the majority of the reps under center. The Husky signal-caller completed 39 of his 66 pass attempts for 552 yards and six touchdowns in the first two games.
On the defensive side of the ball, sophomore linebacker Langston Tunson has been a nuisance beyond the line of scrimmage for HBU. Tunson has made eight tackles for a loss and three sacks, leading his team in each category. He also leads his team with 35 tackles and is one of four players with an interception.
ACU has been dominant in the two team’s past matchups winning four of the five total games. Their one loss was a 27-24 overtime heartbreaker in 2016.
The game is set to begin at 6 p.m. this Saturday and can be viewed on ESPN3.