The football team looks to end a three-game losing streak this Saturday as it hosts FCS No. 11 Nicholls State to Wildcat Stadium for Homecoming.
ACU comes into the game with a 2-4 overall record and is 1-3 in Southland play. Nicholls State is 4-2 overall and 3-1 in conference after its 28-10 victory over Northwestern State last week.
Nicholls’ only conference loss was to McNeese, 20-10, in their first Southland game of the year. Since then, the Colonels defeated Sam Houston 27-7, Lamar 50-27 and Northwestern State 28-10.
The Colonels also had an upset victory over Big 12 opponent Kansas, taking them down 26-23 in overtime.
Head coach Adam Dorrel said Nicholls will be a tough matchup for Homecoming.
“They’re very similar to McNeese in the fact that their football program is predicated around being great on defense,” Dorrel said. “The team is very fundamentally sound and they have a lot of respect for what they’re doing.”
Coming into the game, Nicholls’ defense ranks second in the conference with 21.5 points given up per game and 334 yards given up per game.
Unlike the offense ACU saw from McNeese last week, the Colonels rank fourth overall in with 430.2 yards per game. They also fall just five yards short of Lamar for the most rushing yards per game, boasting a number of 221.5.
Nicholls has used a four-man running back by committee system so far this season and has even seen positive rushing production from their starting quarterback, junior Chase Fourcade.
Five different backs, including Fourcade, have rushed for over 200 yards this year. Junior running back Kendall Bussey is the only one to break 300 yards with 314 total. Combined, the team has rushed for 1,329 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Defensively, junior linebacker Evan Veron and junior defensive lineman Sully Laiche have been disruptive in the backfield this season. Veron has fought his way to 13 tackles for a loss and six sacks, while Laiche has made 10.5 tackles for a loss and 4.5 sacks.
The Wildcats rank second offensively in yards per game with 465.8. Redshirt sophomore quarterback Luke Anthony has lead the charge with 1790 passing yards in six games. Redshirt junior running back Tracy James and junior transfer running back Billy McCrary have combined for 791 of the 978 rushing yards.
On the other side of the ball, ACU ranks fourth overall in yards allowed per game with 385.5. Junior linebacker Jeremiah Chambers has made the most stops for the Wildcats with 63 tackles. He’s also totaled 7.5 tackles for a loss and two sacks.
This matchup will be the second between the two teams. ACU will try to even the series a one win a piece after Nicholls won last year’s game 29-20.
The game is scheduled for 2:30 p.m., which will be ACU’s first afternoon start of the year. Coverage can be seen on ESPN3 or heard on 98.1 FM.