The Wildcats take on future Western Athletic Conference foe Lamar on Saturday at 6 p.m. The Wildcats and Cardinals face each other twice this season, with this game being a non-conference game and the next game being a conference game.
The Wildcats defeated the Div. 2 UT-Permian Basin Falcons on Saturday, 34-9, while the Cardinals defeated Div. 1 Northern Colorado in a 17-10 overtime win at the Klaws. The Wildcats forced five turnovers against the Falcons and look to build off a strong defensive performance.
“The best thing was the turnover margin,” head coach Adam Dorrel said. “We were plus four in the turnover margin. We affected the passer and finally got some pass rush. It’s one thing to do it in practice but when guys do it in games, it helps their confidence.”
Lamar runs a unique spread triple-option offense, which could be tough for an ACU defense despite forcing three fumbles and two interceptions last weekend. The Cardinals lead the WAC with more than 45 rushing attempts per game.
“It definitely poses you challenges,” Dorrel said. “We got to play assignment football and know where the quarterback is.”
ACU redshirt freshman running back Jermiah Dobbins returns from injury to give an extra boost to a running back group that totaled 226 rushing yards against the Falcons.
“I’m very excited about our running backs,” Dorrel said. “We feel like we’ve got really good stable backs. We like to run them all because they’re all a little bit different. We’re going to come and go all year on our backs and offensive line.”
Dorrel said his team is really working on doing a better job of converting third downs this weekend. So far, the Wildcats are 10-33 on third downs this season.
“It’s been our Achilles heel,” said Dorrel. “We’re trying to be very specific on what we’re doing on third downs, so our players know and who’s touching the ball on third down. When it’s third and medium, we’re really good, but when it’s third and long, we’re really bad.”
Playing a team twice doesn’t usually happen, but Dorrel said his team is prepared for their final non-conference game of the season.
“I think it’s hard when you beat somebody the first time because what do you do the second time,” said Dorrel. “If you lose what do you do the second time because it’s challenging.”
ACU will kickoff is at 6 p.m in Beaumont, Texas, at Provost Umphrey Stadium. The game will also be streaming live on ESPN+.