The Wildcats open conference play against a former Southland Conference and now Atlantic Sun opponent, Central Arkansas, on Saturday at 6 p.m.
ACU looks to extend its three-game win streak against a challenging program they have not been able to beat since 2014.
“We’re really excited to get into it, get off and get going,” said head coach Adam Dorrel. “We got a huge challenge in front of us, Central Arkansas is a great football program, and they have been for a long time. But I think our guys are up to the challenge.”
ACU recognizes the Bear’s playmakers as their biggest challenging aspect heading into this game.
“They have really big playmakers in all aspects,” Dorrel said. “Starting with their dynamic quarterback and really good receivers who are really good on the line. To me offensively, it is the quarterback and the two receivers.”
This game features a matchup between two highly efficient quarterbacks. Starting for the Bears is junior quarterback, Breylin Smith, from Conway, Arkansas, who has increased his completion percentage from 56 percent last season to 64 percent this season.
Starting once again for ACU is redshirt freshman quarterback, Stone Earle, from Keller. At this point in the season, Earle has a completion percentage of 69 percent. Earle and his offensive weapons look to match the intensity of the Breylin Smith and his physical playmakers.
“He’s getting better every week, and that’s exciting,” Dorrel said. “He doesn’t feel like he has to do everything, which is super exciting. He is a dual-threat talent who does well in the pocket against the blitz, and he is really keeping us out of some negative plays with his feet and his instincts.”
The Wildcats performance on both sides of the ball has resulted in three straight dominant victories. Throughout this momentum, Dorrel said he likes to look at the team chemistry the Wildcats have been building all season, and take that into this weekend’s matchup versus Central Arkansas.
“You come off winning a football game, you grab dinner, have fun on the bus, and it is great to see guys enjoying each other and the experiences we didn’t get to do last year,” Dorrel said. “It makes me and our coaching staff feel good that our guys are happy and enjoy being together. They are all playing hard, and we got to keep capitalizing on that momentum.”
ACU will kickoff against Central Arkansas, Saturday at 6 p.m in Anthony Field at Wildcat Stadium, with the game streaming live on ESPN+.