The offense proved to beat defense on Friday during ACU’s annual Purple vs. White spring football scrimmage, with the offense outscoring the defense, 54-49.
Both quarterbacks for the Wildcats had strong showings in this spring game. Junior Peyton Mansell was 11 of 14 in passing, throwing for 182 yards and one touchdown, while sophomore Stone Earle threw for 105 yards, converting in 11 of his 14 attempts and threw for two touchdown passes.
As for defense, leading the Wildcats with four tackles was junior cornerback Ryan Stapp. The defensive effort was also splayed out across the entire roster, with 19 defensive players recording at least one tackle during the game on Friday.
Overall, head coach Adam Dorrel felt good about how the team played and developed throughout the game and spring training.
“Our guys competed really hard for spring, which was really good to see,” Dorrel said. “I thought we had really strong physicality, and our guys were able to spend a lot of time with each other and have started to grow our family chemistry, which is important since we have a lot of new guys. So overall, I’ve been really pleased with the spring.”
Looking at the spring game as a whole, Dorrel saw some struggles with the defense that he wants to clean up for the fall.
“There were too many times today when we were in third-and-long, and the offense converted, and it was not good on the defensive side as far as their mental approach to it,” Dorrel said. “We also need to continue to clean up our pass protection as well as play against the offensive line better. But as a whole, I still feel pretty good about them.”
About midway through the game, it was announced that Dustin Inness, a junior long snapper from Phoenix, Arizona, would receive a scholarship after walking on the team in his freshman year. This ultimately led to a stop in play as the team celebrated with Inness after hearing the good news.
Coach Dorrel also was excited for the junior long snapper and was proud of what Inness had achieved after all his years on the team.
“Anytime you get a walk-on to come and take a chance on your school,” Dorrel said, “and you see them produce and make it is always great. I’m really proud of Dustin and how he’s become a complete student-athlete and a great teammate. He’s had a lot gone on in his life, so I am proud and happy for him and his family.”
Now, looking forward to the rest of training and for the 2021 season, Dorrel wants his team to continue improving their team chemistry.
“The big thing we do want to keep focusing on is team chemistry,” Dorrel said. “As we continue to practice and train for the fall, we want to continue to see our guys grow closer and become even more of a family.”
The Wildcats will continue to practice throughout the summer after taking a break, starting after Finals Week and ending on June 1. The team’s first game of the 2021 season will occur on September 4, when they go on the road to face Southern Methodist University in Dallas.