ACU dropped a big game against Sam Houston State on Saturday, 24-10, to push its playoff chances further away.
Both Abilene Christian and Sam Houston State came into the game at 5-4 on the season, and looked to the future in what was a do or die game for both teams. The Bearkats keep the playoff picture alive after the big win, in which quarterback Eric Schmid completed 16 of 33 passing attempts and one touchdown after being out for over a month with a broken hand.
ACU began the game firing on all cylinders, jumping out to a 10-0 start over the Bearkats as senior running back Tracy James added yet another touchdown to his season after a 14-yard completion by junior quarterback Luke Anthony.
The momentum shifted quickly for Sam Houston State, though. Anthony was picked off by SHSU’s Will Lockett within the Bearkats’ own 10-yard line and Sam Houston State never looked back.
The Bearkats stormed back and took the lead heading into halftime, 14-10. SHSU began its first scoring drive with a five play, 90 yard drive with five minutes remaining before halftime. Receiver Noah Smith connected with fellow wideout Ife Adeyi for a 36-yard strike to bring the Bearkats back within three.
The second score came within four minutes of the half, when Schmid connected with Adeyi on a 56-yard touchdown score down the sideline.
The Bearkats receiving core shredded an exhausted ACU defense who was out on the field for approximately 29 minutes. They were led by speedster Adeyi who had eight receptions for 197 yards and two touchdowns. Running back Donovan Williams also added one touchdown and 34 yards rushing.
“That was a tough one,” James said. “We have to have energy and we lost that by the second half, and that’s just what killed us overall.”
Penalties were a key factor in this game for both sides. For ACU, the flag was thrown nine times which resulted in giving up 105 yards to the Bearkats.
Sam Houston State capitalized on these mistakes and the lack of execution all around by a struggling ACU offense. For the Bearkats, they were penalized 13 times giving up 155 yards, but ACU couldn’t cash in on the free yards and first downs.
“I feel like us offensively have to fix some small mistakes. We were one play away from scoring again,” sophomore quarterback Sema’J Davis said. “I feel like we were straining so we’ll look at the film, and then get those mistakes fixed.”