The 100th season of Wildcat football ended with a 35-9 blowout loss against the last year’s FCS national champion and conference opponent, the Sam Houston State Bearkats.
ACU ends the season with a 5-6 overall record, and a 3-5 WAC/ASUN Challenge record that places them third overall in the WAC standings to finish off the 2021-22 season.
A total of 265 yards, 17 1st-downs, and only 1 turnover, were the positive statistical metrics ACU had going for them, but they were unable to find the finishing touch to their offense in order to score. The 3-16 3rd-down efficiency rate held the Wildcats from capitalizing on opportunities in order to score to stay competitive in the ball game.
“Our defense played them as well as they have been played all year,” head coach Adam Dorrel said. “We missed opportunities on offense today against a very fundamentally sound and diverse football team, but overall I was pleased with our guys’ efforts.”
Peyton Mansell, redshirt sophomore quarterback from Belton, finished the game with 20-35 passing completions and attempts, but no touchdowns. SHSU shut down Kobe Clark, junior receiver from Sweetwater, by only allowing one reception for -7 yards to give ACU zero directions to look to for points.
With this runaway win for the Bearkats, they proved on all levels why they are the defending FCS National Champions making historic win streaks. The explosive 424 total yards for SHSU and star-studded defense only allowed ACU to score three field goals by sophomore kicker from Richardson, Blair Zepeda.
Junior quarterback from the Woodlands, Eric Schmid, led the way for the Bearkats victory with three touchdowns on 244 passing yards. Sophomore second-string running back from Houston, Noah Smith, was the impact playmaker of the game with one rushing and two receiving touchdowns.
“They were all business today for a team that has won 22 straight games,” Dorrel said. “We learned a lot from this very physical football team. We just have to continue to get better on the defensive end, continue to recruit, and get back out there.”
As ACU heads into the offseason, they look to celebrate their improvement this year with a disciplined group led by a wide group of senior class leadership. Senior running back from Hamshire, Tyrese White, and senior defensive back from Angleton, Koy Richardson, are some of the nine notable seniors for the Wildcats that have potentially played their last game of football.
“I want my seniors to go out and do great things with their life,” Dorrel said. “We do a good job and not only teaching them football here, but getting them ready to go out and be successful in a very competitive world where the competition is not done, but just getting started.”