Weekly Predictions: ACU vs. Virginia
T-1st. Owen 3-2
T-1st. Carrie 3-2
3rd. Tavian 2-2
4th. Jalen 2-3
Owen: It’s within reason to suggest that the Wildcats should have waited to play in the spring. They weren’t ready for the season this fall. Certainly, COVID-19 has played a role in a tumultuous season, but the truth is that the Wildcats could have easily been 4-1 at this point in the season. Losing two games by one possession and a loss at home to a Div. II opponent summarizes the struggles from players and coaches in 2020. Virginia comes into this matchup with a two-game winning streak against Louisville and No. 15 North Carolina, 44-41. Junior quarterback Peyton Mansell will have to throw the ball more accurately than he did against Angelo St. While he didn’t throw any interceptions, there were several occasions that should have been the case. What has inevitably been a disappointing season will conclude with another disappointing loss.
Virginia: 52 ACU: 20
Carrie: In a season full of ups and downs, the Wildcats will finish their 2020 season on the road at the University of Virginia. There were high hopes for the Wildcats entering this season, and many people thought the Wildcats would be successful. Unfortunately, that has not been the case. The Wildcats enter Saturday with a 1-4 record after losing to Div. II opponent Angelo State on Nov. 7. If the Wildcats want to have a chance on Saturday, they have to improve their defense, specifically their running defense, which allowed four running touchdowns in the previous game. The Wildcats’ offense would need to improve as well, since the Wildcats’ first touchdown was a minute before halftime, and junior quarterback Peyton Mansell only threw 155 yards and one touchdown the entire game. If the Wildcats improve these things, they might be able to play alongside the Cavaliers for some of the game. But in the end, Virginia’s experience and momentum coming into this game will cause the Cavaliers to overwhelm the Wildcats.
Virginia: 49 ACU: 14
Tavian: In what I predicted the Wildcats to at least finish 5-3 for the year, they’re currently sitting at an underwhelming 1-4 on the year due to injuries, lack of chemistry and other inconsistencies. They finish the year off by playing a very good Virginia team from the ACC. Currently they’re 3-4, but let’s not forget they play in a Power 5 conference and took down a ranked North Carolina team three weeks ago in a shootout. In all honesty I think this turnout will be like the Mississippi State game last year. What will be a competitive first half will turn into a blowout in the second half. The focus for ACU should be to let the seniors go out and have fun and try and implement some new stuff alongside some trick plays to try and get an edge. The Wildcats lose big in their last game of the year.
Virginia: 56 ACU: 13
Jalen: This has to be the most awkward and frustrating season in ACU football history. While COVID-19 has shaken up this entire year, it is also obvious that this team is not in sync with one another. To make matters worse, Virginia is currently on a two-game winning streak, one of those wins being against No. 15 North Carolina 44-41. As for ACU, the highlight of this team this season has been the play of freshman running back Jermiah Dobbins. This season, he has rushed for 39 carries, 246 yards and five touchdowns. Dobbins’ ability to step up early in his collegiate career has the coaching staff excited for what he is capable of going forward. The biggest disappointment however, is their defense. This season, ACU’s defense has allowed over 400 yards of offense per game by their opponents. This offseason is crucial for the Wildcats. It determines what these next few years are going to look like (with or without Adam Dorrel). But for now, the Wildcats end their season with a loss again.
Virginia: 45 ACU: 7