ACU will stay home for its final game of the season this Saturday against the 2020 FCS National Champion, Sam Houston State.
The last match up these two teams had was in 2019, where the Wildcats lost 10-24. These teams have a history dating back to 2014, including only one ACU win in 2018.
Last week, the Wildcats broke its two-game losing streak beating Tarleton 29-3, in a game that was highlighted by strong offensive and defensive performances. According to head coach Adam Dorrel, he feels that win was the clicking game that the team has needed all year.
“It was really exciting, we struggled to get turnovers this season, so it was a good breakthrough we had this week,” Dorrel said. “It was not a fluke by them, it was simply us doing what we have been working on and it finally clicking together.”
With the win against Tarleton last week, the Wildcats head into their last week with a 5-5 overall record and a 2-1 record versus Western Athletic Conference opponents.
Sam Houston holds a 9-0 overall record heading into the last WAC game of the season. They hold a 22-game winning streak, which is the longest streak in college football at any level.
This game means a significant amount for both teams, so Dorrel knows that this is going to be a tough game.
“We have a lot to play for, they have a lot to play for,” Dorrel said. ” They are playing for a national championship, we are playing for a final home win. The competition is going to be high.”
The recent game against Tarleton State showed the strengths ACU has to offer. The Wildcats gained a total of 18 first downs pushing 321 total offensive yards. Peyton Mansell, a redshirt sophomore quarterback from Belton, completed 77 percent of his passes thrown for a total of 169 passing yards.
“Overall, last week was the most complete game we’ve had all year,” Dorrel said. “I have been so proud of them and it’s derived from our leadership. The guys want to get better and they have been showing up and battling. The guys are ready for Saturday and are ready to put it all out there.”
The Bearkats wrapped up against Eastern Kentucky last week with a win of 42-28. Sam Houston gained 28 first downs, helping obtain their 521 total offensive yards. Sam Houston has been on the up their entire season, with their biggest difference of 49 against Dixie State.
The Wildcats are going to have to prepare for the Bearkats’ aggressive offense in order to keep them from gaining another win and going undefeated, but the Wildcats have done a lot to improve their team every week heading into the final matchup of the regular season.
“I think the thing we’ve seen the most change is the offensive line play,” Dorrel said. “It’s been very consistent this year and it’s gotten better each week. Defensively, we’ve shown up short, here and there, with not being able to stop the run. We’ve made some changes within these last three weeks and continue to work on it.”
The Wildcats host Sam Houston State Nov. 20 at Wildcat Stadium with kickoff at 1 p.m. with the game streaming on ESPN+.