The Wildcats return to Abilene this weekend when they face McNeese at Wildcat Stadium.
ACU will be looking to do something they’ve never done before against the Cowboys, win. Despite having played McNeese every year since 2014, the Wildcats have struggled to pull out the victory.
McNeese currently leads the head-to-head series, 6-0, dating back to their first matchup in 1972. Last year’s game was hotly contested in Lake Charles where the Cowboys won, 24-21.
Junior quarterback Luke Anthony threw for 314 yards and two touchdowns on 61 pass attempts. It is the most Anthony has thrown the ball since his Freshman year when he threw the football 67 times against Sam Houston St..
The run game was also halted in last year’s matchup. ACU totaled just a single rushing yard in the loss, but senior running back Tracy James doesn’t expect that to happen this year.
“Our mentality is going to be different,” James said. “We’re going to come out and let them know we’re running the ball, and we’re going to run it down their throat.”
McNeese is coming off a hard-fought win against Alcorn State, 17-14 last Saturday. Junior quarterback Cody Orgeron threw for 191 yards and two touchdowns on 29 attempts. Meanwhile the team ran for a combined 154 rushing yards.
While the Cowboys have not posted as impressive offensive numbers compared to the Wildcats this season, they make up for it by leading the Football Champion Subdivision in turnovers gained.
Throughout the entire season, head coach Dorrel has emphasized to his team to protect the ball, and Saturday’s game will be a true test for his offense.
“I think it’s going to be a big challenge for us,” Dorrel said. “It really just starts with guys believing and not forcing the football.”
The Wildcats have posted a positive turnover margin this season and have yet to throw a single interception. It is something that Dorrel said he has been impressed with from Anthony.
“I think Luke’s doing a great job,” Dorrel said. “We want to throw the ball, not because we have to, but because we want to, and I think we’ve been able to do that so far.”
ACU looks to grab that first win against McNeese, Saturday at Wildcat Stadium. The game is set to begin at 6 p.m. and will air on ESPN+.